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Businesses resume after day one of Sudan’s civil disobedience2 minutes read

Protesters had set up several roadblocks across many areas of the capital but the generals have vowed to dismantle them.

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Businesses resume after day one of Sudan's civil disobedience
A vendor displays clothing at the main market of Omdurman, the Sudanese capital Khartoum's twin city. (Photo by ASHRAF SHAZLY / AFP)

Several shops and fuel stations opened and buses ran Monday in the Sudanese capital, on the second day of a nationwide civil disobedience campaign called to pressure the ruling military.

The campaign comes a week after a deadly crackdown on protesters in Khartoum left dozens dead and almost two months since the April 11 ouster of Sudan’s longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir following months of protests.

Four people were killed on Sunday -the first day of the campaign -two in Khartoum and two in the capital’s twin city of Omdurman, just across the Nile river.

Protesters had set up several roadblocks across many areas of the capital that the ruling generals have vowed to remove in order to bring “life to normal”.

On Monday, several shops, fuel stations and some branches of private banks were open across Khartoum, a correspondent who toured the capital said.

Public transport buses were also ferrying passengers, while more vehicles and people were seen on the capital’s streets, he said.

“If I work it does not mean that I don’t support the revolution,” said bus driver, Abdulmajid Mohamed.

“I have to work to support my family or else we will have no money.”

The generals have blamed protesters for a deterioration in security in Khartoum and across the country.

“The Alliance for Freedom and Change -the umbrella protest movement -is fully responsible for recent unfortunate incidents… including blocking roads which is violating international humanitarian laws,” Lieutenant General Jamaleddine Omar said on state television late Sunday.

“The Military Council has decided to reinforce the presence of armed forces, RSF and other regular forces to help normal life return,” he said, including the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces behind the repression.

He said security forces would provide “security to isolated civilians, reopen roads and facilitate the mobility of people, public and private transport and protect markets and strategic state installations”.

The civil disobedience campaign was launched after men in military fatigues on June 3 raided a weeks-long sit-in leaving dozens of people dead, according to protest leaders who said several bodies were removed from the Nile.

The overall death toll since June 3 has reached 118, according to a doctors committee linked to the protesters who are pressing the military to hand over power to a civilian administration.

The health ministry says 61 people died nationwide in last week’s crackdown, 49 of them from “live ammunition” in Khartoum.

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North Africa

Sudan gets new defence minister

Maj. Gen Yassin Ibrahim, 62, was sworn in Tuesday before Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of the ruling sovereign council, a statement from the council said.

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PHOTO: Maj. Gen. Yassin Ibrahim Yassin, left, takes the oath as Minister of Defense in front of Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of the ruling sovereign council, at the Presidential Palace, in Khartoum, Sudan, on June 2, 2020/ AP

Sudan has sworn in new defence minister, Maj. Gen Yassin Ibrahim, two months after the death of the former defence chief, General Jamal al-Din Omar who died while in neighbouring South Sudan for peace talks with the country’s main rebel groups.

Ibrahim, 62, was sworn in Tuesday before Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of the ruling sovereign council, a statement from the council.

The new defence chief came out of retirement to take the position.

His appointment comes a year after long-time autocrat Omar Bashir was toppled in mass protests in April 2019.

“We will work side by side doing our best… to achieve the goals of the constitutional declaration,” the official SUNA news agency quoted Ibrahim as saying after he was sworn in.

The swearing-in came amid tensions with neighbouring Ethiopia over a cross-border attack allegedly conducted by a militia backed by Ethiopia’s military.

Since August last year a transitional government, comprised of civilians and military officials, has taken over the reins of power in Sudan after political factions adopted a constitutional declaration.

The declaration paved the way for the new government to steer the country to civilian rule during a three-year transition.

But the transition has been fragile with the government facing major challenges, including soaring inflation, a huge public debt, tribal clashes and efforts to forge peace with rebels. 

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Tunisia to reopen borders, airspace on June 27

Tunisian Prime Minister, Elyes Fakhfakh also said Tunisian nationals abroad will be repatriated from June 4.

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Tunisia's new Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh speaks during the government handover ceremony in Carthage on the eastern outskirts of the capital Tunis on February 28, 2020. (Photo by FETHI BELAID / AFP)

Tunisian Prime Minister, Elyes Fakhfakh has announced that the country will reopen its land, air and sea borders from June 27.

He also said Tunisian nationals abroad will be repatriated from June 4.

Fakhfakh made the announcement after a meeting with the national commission to combat coronavirus on Monday.

Tunisia has reported 1,084 confirmed coronavirus cases so far, a Xinxua news agency report said.

The North African country has received support from various countries including China.

On April 16, China donated a batch of medical aid to Tunisia’s Ministry of National Defense, including facemasks, test kits and medical protective googles.

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North Africa

Egypt, France plan to end terrorism in Libya

Both countries showed support for international endeavors as well as implementing the results of the Berlin process to end the conflict in Libya.

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron discussed the matter during a telelphone conversation on Saturday.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron have discussed the development of several regional issues, including the situation in Libya.

During a phone call on Saturday, Macron said he is keen to exchange views with Sisi over these issues as Cairo plays a key political role in the region, Egyptian Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement.

For his part, Sisi affirmed Egypt’s firm position towards the Libyan crisis based on restoring Libyan national state institutions, ending the spread of criminal groups and terrorist militias.

He added that Egypt also gives top priority to combating terrorism, achieving stability and security and putting an end to illegal foreign interventions in Libya, a Xinhua news agency report said.

The two presidents agreed to intensify their coordination in the coming period, stressing the necessity to end the Libyan crisis by reaching a political solution that paves the way for the return of security and stability in the country, the spokesman said.

They showed support for international endeavors as well as implementing the results of the Berlin process to end the conflict in Libya.

Libya has been locked in a civil war since the ouster and killing of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The Libyan conflict escalated in 2014, splitting power between two rival governments, the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in the capital Tripoli and another in the northeastern city of Tobruk allied with self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar.

While Egypt supports Haftar’s LNA that seeks to take over Tripoli, Turkey backs the Tripoli-based GNA. 

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