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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Sudan shift 'is support for popular demands and not army coup' | Coastweek

KHARTOUM Sudan (Xinhua) -- Sudanese people are continuing their protest against the military council in front of the army’s general headquarters in Khartoum, Sudan. Sudan’s opposition Freedom and Change Alliance on Friday urged the new leadership of the Transitional Military Council to transfer power to a transitional civilian government. The alliance urged the protesters to continue their sit-in before the army’s general headquarters. Earlier on Friday, chairman of Sudan’s transitional military council Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf announced his resignation. He named Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan Abdel-Rahman as his successor. XINHUA PHOTOS - MOHAMED KHIDIR

Sudan change represents support for popular demands
and not army coup - assurance from military council

KHARTOUM Sudan (Xinhua) -- Sudan’s Transitional Military Council said in a statement on Thursday that the change in Sudan is not a coup but represents support for the popular demands.

The statement was issued after the Political Committee in the military council met with a delegation of representatives of international organizations in Sudan.

The meeting focused on the security and political situation in Sudan while discussing the formation of a civilian government, and negotiation with the political forces.

Sudan’s transitional military council is tasked with running the country following the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir’s regime.

The council, chaired by Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan, has since adopted a number of measures in response to the demands of protesters.
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EARLIER REPORTS:

United States keeps Sudan on list of state sponsors of terrorism

WASHINGTON United States (Xinhua) -- The United States will maintain Sudan’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, while it supports the African country’s democratic transition, the U.S. State Department said Thursday.

"The United States supports a transition to a peaceful and democratic Sudan led by civilians who represent the diversity of Sudanese society," the department said in a statement.

"Sudan’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism remains in effect," the statement added, noting that the United States would calibrate its policies based on the assessment of events on the ground.

Washington continues to stress with the members of Sudan’s transitional military council and other armed groups the need to show restraint and avoid conflict, according to the statement.

Sudan was added to the list of state sponsors of terrorism in 1993.

Citing a U.S. state department official, Reuters on Tuesday reported that the United States would consider new ways to remove Sudan from the list if it sees a fundamental change in its government and a commitment not to support terrorism.

Since Dec. 19, widespread protests have swept Sudan. Sudan’s Defense Minister, General Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf, appeared on state television on April 11 and announced the military’s detention of then President Omar al-Bashir, the suspension of the constitution, and the start of a two-year transitional period to be overseen by the military and followed by elections.

A three-month state of emergency was also declared in the country.
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United Nations concern about protection of civilians in Sudan, official says

UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) -- A senior UN official on Wednesday expressed her concern about the protection of civilians in Sudan, noting that the broader population has been affected by the worsening economy.

"We are very concerned about the protection of civilians, particularly in Darfur, where localized fighting continues," Ursula Mueller, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, told a Security Council meeting on the situation in Sudan and South Sudan.
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"Well before the latest developments in Sudan, humanitarian needs in Darfur, and other parts of the country, were already growing due to the economic crisis,"she said, adding that "people who have been receiving humanitarian assistance now require greater support."

"The broader population has also been affected by the worsening economy and there is a risk that more people slide into greater vulnerability and poverty," said the assistant secretary-general.

The briefing took place less than one week after the ousting of President Omar al-Bashir by the Sudanese military following ongoing protests in many parts of the country calling for al-Bashir, who has ruled Sudan for nearly three decades, to step down.

On April 11, Sudan’s Defense Minister, Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf, appeared on state television and announced the military’s detention of al-Bashir, the suspension of the constitution, and the start of a two-year transitional period to be overseen by the military and followed by elections.

  Omer Zainal-Abdin, chairman of the Political Committee in Sudan’s Transitional Military Council | Coastweek

KHARTOUM Sudan (Xinhua) -- Omer Zainal-Abdin, chairman of the Political Committee in Sudan’s Transitional Military Council, speaks at a press conference in Khartoum. Sudan’s transitional military council said on Friday that it will not hand President Omar al-Bashir over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for trial. XINHUA PHOTO - MOHAMED KHIDIR
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A three-month state of emergency was also declared in the country. "Reports of incidents of violence involving internally displaced persons, including internally displaced persons killed in Kalma camp in South Darfur on April 13, are worrying," said Mueller.

She told the Security Council that the economic crisis in Sudan "has had a significant impact" on humanitarian needs and operations, which includes "rapid currency devaluation, rampant inflation, increasing prices for food and medicine, a marked decline in purchasing power and intermittent shortages of daily bread and fuel supplies."

"According to the latest analysis, 5.8 million people are presently food insecure, up from 3.8 million the year before ...

"With the start of the lean season in May, the number will increase," she warned.

"Shortages of imported commodities have also impacted healthcare and other services," she added.

The UN Central Emergency Response Fund last week allocated 26.5 million U.S. dollars to assist vulnerable people in areas which have seen some of the largest increases in food insecurity linked to the economic situation, said the assistant secretary-general.

The Sudan Humanitarian Fund is also providing over 20 million dollars in complementary funding, she added.

"More support is needed," said she, adding that humanitarian partners are appealing for 1.1 billion dollars this year to assist 4.4 million of the most vulnerable people, which represents a bit more than half of the overall needs identified in the country.

"Without expanded social safety nets, the ongoing economic situation will have serious consequences," she warned.

"At this critical time, it is essential to ensure that the people of Darfur and the rest of Sudan receive the assistance and the support they need," she said.
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Transition in Sudan will need time says United Nations envoy

UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) -- A Sudanese envoy said Friday that transition after the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir requires time and that the international community should not try to push it.

"Any democratic process requires time and that should not be threatened.

"We do not wish to see the nascent, gradual, democratic process unravel in the name of democracy," Yasir Abdelsalam, charge d’affaires of the Sudanese mission to the United Nations, told the Security Council.

"We, therefore, call on our partners in the international community to support a peaceful transition in the country in a way that would help build on gains and open up the path to stability, development, and prosperity, and allow us to move away from the scourge of violence," he said after the Security Council voted to extend the UN peacekeeping mission for Abyei, a territory contested between Sudan and South Sudan.

"I would like to reaffirm here that what is happening in Sudan is a domestic matter.

"It is up to the will of the Sudanese people.

"It is a delicate situation that Sudan is currently facing," said Abdelsalam.

Sudanese Defense Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf on Thursday announced the ouster of President al-Bashir.

Ibn Auf, who assumed the chairmanship of a transitional military council and said he would rule the country during a two-year transitional period, stepped down Friday and named Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan as his successor.

Abdelsalam said the transitional military council would be "the guarantor of a civilian government."

No party will be excluded from the political process, including armed groups, he said.

The suspension of the constitution could be lifted at any point, and the transitional period could be shortened depending on developments on the ground and agreements reached between stakeholders, he said.

Abdelsalam said the military council is responding to the Sudanese people’s aspirations for change and works to protect the lives of its citizens, as well as their well-being.

Street protesters in Khartoum who had demanded al-Bashir’s departure have continued their protests against the military takeover.
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African Union urges African solutions to ensure
consensual, inclusive transition in Sudan

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, on Wednesday stressed the AU’s resolve to ensure consensual and inclusive transition in Sudan through "African solutions to African problems."

The AU official made the remarks following his meeting with a Sudanese delegation led by Lieutenant-General Jalal Alsheikh Altayeb, a member of Sudan’s Military Transitional Council (MTC) on Tuesday, spokesperson to the AU Chairperson Ebba Kalondo said on Wednesday.

"The Chairperson reiterated the African Union’s commitment to work with all the Sudanese stakeholders towards a consensual and inclusive transition that meets the aspirations of the people and ensures the stability of the country," Kalondo stressed.

"As part of the continental solidarity and the search for African solutions to African problems, the Commission of the African Union will continue to closely monitor the situation and interact with all the Sudanese stakeholders, with the view to helping them overcome the challenges confronting their country," the spokesperson added.

The AU Peace and Security Council in its meeting on Monday had reiterated the 55-member continental union’s "total rejection of unconstitutional changes of government" in Africa based on previous declarations of the AU.

The council also recognized "the legitimate aspirations of the Sudanese people to the opening of the political space in order to be able to democratically design and choose institutions that are representative and respectful of freedom and human rights."
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Sudan foreign ministry urges international support
for Sudan’s democratic transformation

KHARTOUM Sudan (Xinhua) -- Sudan’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday called on the international community to support the efforts of the Transitional Military Council to achieve democratic transformation and balanced development in the country.

"The measures taken by the Sudanese armed forces came in favor of the revolution of the Sudanese people for freedom, justice and peace, after the people’s calls for the army to intervene to end the political, security and social crisis in the country," a ministry statement said.

The statement referred to the earlier confirmations by the chairman of the transitional military council that the power will be handed over to a civilian government that will be formed in two years.

The ministry reiterated Sudan’s commitment to all local, regional and international treaties, conventions and agreements as well as its keenness on good neighborliness and balanced international relations.

It also expressed aspiration for effective economic cooperation with the international community that would allow Sudan to exploit its huge natural and economic resources.

The ministry urged exemption of Sudan’s foreign debts and removal of the barriers which prevent it from receiving assistance and funds from the international institutions.

Sudan’s transitional military council is tasked with running the country’s affairs following the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir’s regime.

           

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