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North Africa Politics

Egypt’s former longtime ruler, Hosni Mubarak dies at 91

Mubarak’s family was still at the hospital and told journalists that the Egyptian presidential office would organise the former President’s funeral.

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Former Egyptian military ruler and president, Hosni Mubarak./Google


Egypt’s former longtime president, Hosni Mubarak died Tuesday at age 91 at Cairo’s Galaa military hospital, his brother-in-law General Mounir Thabet told journalists.

Thabet, a former high-ranking military official, confirmed the family was still at the hospital and said the Egyptian presidential office would organise the funeral, an AFP report said.

Mubarak was in power from 1981 until he was overthrown in 2011 amid the region’s Arab Spring protests.

– Mubarak: A tough Egyptian General –

Muhammad Hosni El Sayed Mubarak born May 4, 1928 was an Egyptian military and political leader who served as the fourth president of Egypt from 1981 to 2011.

Before he entered politics, Mubarak was a career officer in the Egyptian Air Force. He served as its commander from 1972 to 1975 and rose to the rank of air chief marshal in 1973. 

Some time in the 1950s, he returned to the Air Force Academy as an instructor, remaining there until early 1959. He assumed presidency after the assassination of Anwar Sadat.

Mubarak’s presidency lasted almost thirty years, making him Egypt’s longest-serving ruler since Muhammad Ali Pasha, who ruled the country from 1805 to 1848, a reign of 43 years.

Mubarak stepped down after 18 days of demonstrations during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. 

On 11 February 2011, Vice President Omar Suleiman announced that Mubarak had resigned as president and transferred authority to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

On 13 April 2011, a prosecutor ordered Mubarak and both of his sons (Alaa and Gamal) to be detained for 15 days of questioning about allegations of corruption and abuse of power.

Mubarak was then ordered to stand trial on charges of negligence for failing to halt the killing of peaceful protesters during the revolution. These trials began on 3 August 2011.

On 2 June 2012, an Egyptian court sentenced Mubarak to life imprisonment. After sentencing, he was reported to have suffered a series of health crises. On 13 January 2013, Egypt’s Court of Cassation (the nation’s high court of appeal) overturned Mubarak’s sentence and ordered a retrial, his Wikipedia entry said.

On retrial, Mubarak and his sons were convicted on 9 May 2015 of corruption and given prison sentences. Mubarak was detained in a military hospital and his sons were freed 12 October 2015 by a Cairo court. 

He was acquitted on 2 March 2017 by the Court of Cassation and released on 24 March 2017.

He died on 25 February 2020.

North Africa Politics

Sudan’s Former PM, Sadiq al-Mahdi, Dies Of COVID-19

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Sudanese politician and former prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi has died at the age of 84.

The octogenarian died from a coronavirus infection weeks after being hospitalized in the United Arab Emirates, according to family sources and a party statement early on Thursday.

Mahdi, 84, was Sudan’s last democratically elected prime minister and was overthrown in 1989 in the military coup that brought former president Omar al-Bashir to power. Mahdi’s Umma Party was one of the largest opposition parties under Bashir.

Last month, his family said he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was transferred to the UAE for treatment a few days later following a brief hospitalization in Sudan.

According to a statement by his party, Mahdi would be buried on Friday morning in the city of Omdurman in Sudan.

No successor has been named by the party but al-Mahdi’s daughter Mariam Sadiq al-Mahdi, who is the party’s deputy leader has been the most visible party leader in political negotiations and the media in recent years.

Leading Sudanese opposition figure Sadiq al Mahdi talks during an interview with Reuters in Khartoum, Sudan, on April 25, 2019.

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South Sudan Appoints Awut Deng Acuil as First Woman to Chair University Governing Council

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South Sudan has appointed Awut Deng Acuil to chair the governing council of the University of Bahr El-Ghazal.

Acuil, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation from August 2019 until March 2020 and the current Minister of General Education and Instructions, became the first woman to be appointed to chair the governing body of a university.

Her appointment was announced in a presidential decree read on the national broadcaster, the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation.

The university was established in 1991, when South Sudan was still part of Sudan. The country gained its independence in 2011

Acuil was also the first woman to serve as South Sudan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

She relinquished the post following the appointment of a unity government in February to end the conflict between rival groups in South Sudan.

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North Africa Politics

Italy Secretly Repatriating Undocumented Tunisians – Official

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Italy has continued the repatriation of undocumented Tunisians by secret flights that land at Enfidha-Hammamet International Airport, 100 kms south of Tunis, a security source in the Tunisian capital said on Saturday.

The Enfidha-Hammamet International Airport received flights on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with between 20 and 40 young Tunisians expelled by the Italian authorities, the source said.

Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese said recently that Italy has recorded an increase in the flow of migrants since the beginning of the year, reaching 32,000 people of whom 12,000, representing 38.7 percent, were of Tunisian nationality.

The minister had discussed with Tunisian President Kais Saeid the issue of illegal migration and forced repatriation of illegal migrants arriving in Italy via the Mediterranean.

On 10 August, Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luigi Di Maio, warned that “Tunisians arriving in Italy by boat will be repatriated at the rate of 80 weekly flights”.

Many civil society organisations in Tunisia have demanded the publication of the results of the negotiations between the Tunisian authorities and their Italian counterparts on the repatriation of Tunisians and the revision of the bilateral agreements on clandestine migration signed by the two governments.

The Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights, the Tunisian League for the Defence of Human Rights, the Euro-Mediterranean Commission and the European Union have called for the humane treatment of migrants by providing them with protection instead of forced repatriation.

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