Africa at a glance

Monday April 15 2019

Abdel Fattah al-Burhan Abdulrahman

A grab from a broadcast on Sudan TV on April 13, 2019 shows Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan Abdulrahman, new chief of Sudan's ruling military council, in the capital Khartoum. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

Western nations urge Sudan civilian rule talks

The United States, Britain and Norway said Sunday it was time for Sudan's military rulers and other parties to hold talks over the country's transition to civilian rule.

The three countries said Sudan's new ruling transitional military council had pledged to transfer power to a civilian government but the "legitimate change" that the Sudanese people demand had still not happened.

The embassies of the three countries said the dialogue should be inclusive, involving the transition council and all other parties.

"This must be done credibly and swiftly, with protest leaders, political opposition, civil society organisations, and all relevant elements of society, including women."

The three countries also insisted that the continuing peaceful protests "must not be met with violence from any quarter".

Sudan protesters demand Bashir be brought to justice

Sudanese protesters on Sunday demanded the country's military rulers "immediately" hand power over to a civilian government that should then bring ousted leader Omar al-Bashir to justice.

Thousands remained encamped outside Khartoum's army headquarters to keep up pressure on a military council that took power after ousting Bashir on Thursday.

The organisation that spearheaded the protests against Bashir, the Sudanese Professionals Association, called on the council "to immediately transfer power to a civilian government".

The SPA also demanded the next "transitional government and the armed forces bring Bashir and all the chiefs of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS)... to justice".

Air strike kills IS Somalia's number two: minister

An air strike has killed the Islamic State group's second in command in Somalia, Abdisamed Mohamed Galan, the security minister in the northwest region of Puntland announced Sunday.

The air strike occurred near Hiririo village in the Iskushuban district of Bari region where the commander Abdihakim Dhoqob and a suspected colleague had been travelling in a car.

Galan did not say who had launched the strike.

IS in Somalia is far outnumbered by a rival jihadist group, the Al-Shabaab, which is aligned with al-Qaeda.

The United States said Wednesday that it had resumed air strikes against al-Shabaab and has previously targeted both groups.

Egypt's Sisi meets Libyan strongman Haftar in Cairo

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met Sunday with Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar whose forces are fighting for control of the capital Tripoli, the presidency said.

"The president (Sisi) affirmed Egypt's support in efforts to fight terrorism and extremist militias to achieve security and stability for Libyan citizens throughout the country", it said in a statement.

Their discussion comes on the back of "the latest developments on the Libyan situation", it added.

Sisi has been an ardent supporter of Haftar's forces, which control swathes of eastern Libya and launched an offensive on April 4 to take the capital.

Haftar has defied international calls to halt his battle against fighters loyal to the UN-backed Government of National Accord based in Tripoli.

Fighting near Tripoli has killed 121 people and wounded 561, the World Health Organization said on Sunday.

Zimbabwe leader says compensation only for elderly white farmers

The Zimbabwe government will give priority to elderly white farmers when it starts compensating those who lost their properties during the controversial land reforms, president Emmerson Mnangagwa said in an interview published Sunday.

The finance and agriculture ministries last week said they had budgeted 53 million Zimbabwean dollars ($18 million) in payments to white commercial farmers whose properties were seized nearly 20 years ago under Robert Mugabe.

The government pledged to target those in "financial distress".

In an interview with the state-owned Sunday Mail newspaper, Emmerson Mnangagwa said the estimated value of the improvements on the farms would be three billion Zimbabwe dollars ($1-billion) and that government was not under pressure to pay all farmers.

"We are looking at old white farmers as we make payment," Mnangagwa said, adding that the constitution allowed only compensation for improvements ‘because no one brought land to Zimbabwe’.

More than 4,000 of the country's 4,500 white farmers were stripped of their land under former president Mugabe's highly controversial land seizures.

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