Jubilation In Sudan As Military Chief Steps Down

Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the new chief of the military council taking over in Sudan following the ouster of president Omar al-Bashir, speaking with demonstrators outside the army headquarters in the capital Khartoum.  SUDAN NEWS AGENCY / AFP

 

Crowds of Sudanese waving flags and chanting “we toppled two presidents in two days” celebrated in the capital late Friday after the country’s military council chief stepped down a day after he was sworn in.

“We have done it, we have done it,” shouted young men and women as they drove across Khartoum after General Awad Ibn Ouf announced his resignation on state television.

On Thursday, he was sworn in as the chief of a ruling military council that replaced long-time president Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted by the army following months of deadly protests.

READ ALSO: Sudan’s New Military Council Chief Steps Down

Before quitting, Ibn Ouf appointed Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan as his successor, setting off a wave of jubilation across the city.

Car horns sounded on the streets as jubilant crowds streamed out of their homes to cheer the departure of Ibn Ouf, considered a regime insider and close aide of Bashir.

Chants like “It fell again, it fell again” reverberated across the capital’s squares and neighbourhoods, onlookers said.

“This was our second uprising, first against Bashir and then against Ibn Ouf,” said Mohamed, a protester, whistling and clapping in an upscale Khartoum neighbourhood.

Dozens of members of a paramilitary group stood at the sidelines, many atop pick-up vehicles loaded with machine-guns, as cheering crowds drove past, witnesses said.

Protest organisers however warned Burhan that if he failed to transfer powers to a civilian transitional government he would face their fury too.

They called on Burhan to reverse decisions announced by Ibn Ouf such as cancelling the suspension of the constitution and also implored him to end the state of emergency and night-time curfew.

Crowds flock to demo 

Thousands of protesters have massed outside the army headquarters in the capital since April 6.

Earlier on Friday, throngs of Sudanese chanting “it will fall again, it will fall again” flocked there to hunker down for a second night defying the curfew, witnesses said.

Dressed in white traditional clothes, men and women headed to the military complex to join thousands of others camped there.

“We did it once, we can do it again,” said a protester, who had been at the site of the demonstration since Tuesday night.

Since the appointment of Ibn Ouf as military council chief, the protesters had turned their anger against him.

“We don’t want Ibn Ouf, we don’t want any military government,” said one protester.

“This entire group is from Bashir’s regime. We want a civilian leader.”

Several soldiers were however seen chatting and mingling with protesters at the complex on Friday, witnesses said.

As the evening approached, buses full of protesters headed to the protest site with plans to defy the curfew again, a witness told AFP.

 ‘Reject the announcement’ 

A mass of people flooded two bridges that connect the capital with suburbs.

At the protest site itself thousands offered Friday prayers earlier in the day.

An imam dressed in a white robe with a Sudanese flag draped over his shoulder led the weekly prayer.

“This is the first time that I’m coming here in response to calls that today’s prayers will be performed here,” said Hussein Mohamed, an elderly man who came to the site from Omdurman, Khartoum’s twin city across the Nile.

Groups of Coptic Christians served food and drinks to worshippers ahead of their prayers.

Many offered mats to protesters who had been camping at the site since last night.

“Protesters reject the announcement, protesters reject the announcement,” chanted women, raising their hands in the air, after praying under a makeshift tent at the complex.

Witnesses said the entire area reverberated with the sound of singing.

Protesters were chanting in circles, with one leading the song and others dancing in circles around him repeating it.

Groups like this are everywhere, said one demonstrator as behind him musicians played traditional Sudanese and African tunes.

Later in the night when Ibn Ouf quit, demonstrators at the complex burst into joy, many kissing photographs of those killed in protests, an onlooker said.

Demonstrators chanted “What happened? It fell again,” he said.

Protest organisers have called on the demonstrators to continue with the sit-in until their demands are met.

AFP

Sudan’s New Military Council Chief Steps Down

A grab from a live broadcast of Sudan TV shows Sudanese Defence Minister Awad Ibn Ouf delivering a speech in Khartoum on April 12, 2019, announcing he is stepping down in favour of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan Abdulrahman to succeed him.  Sudan TV / AFP

 

Sudan’s military council chief General Awad Ibn Ouf announced Friday he was stepping down, just a day after he was sworn in following the ouster of veteran president Omar al-Bashir.

“I hereby announce my resignation as head of the Transitional Military Council and the appointment of the person, in whose experience and suitability I trust to bring this ship to a safe shore,” Ibn Ouf said on state television.

“I announce the selection of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan Abdulrahman to succeed me as president of the military council.”

READ ALSO: Sudan Military Council Appeals For Aid To Tackle Economic Crisis

Ibn Ouf also said that before stepping down he had fired his deputy in the council Lieutenant General Kamal Abdelmarouf.

Boko Haram: Chad Fires Military Chief Over Death Of 23 Soldiers

Idriss Deby,
Chad-President-Idriss-Deby

 

Chad President Idriss Deby has fired his armed forces chief of staff following the latest bout of unrest which culminated in a Boko Haram attack that left 23 dead.

Deby fired Brahim Seid Mahamat and his two deputies by presidential decree after six years in the post-Friday night just hours after the attack in the southwest of the country.

The soldiers were killed after coming under attack from jihadists in the early hours of Friday morning in the deadliest attack on the Chadian military by Boko Haram, which launched an insurgency in Nigeria a decade ago.

READ ALSO: 23 Chadian Soldiers Killed In Boko Haram Attack

The unrest has spread to neighbouring Niger and Chad with the Boko Haram revolt to date claiming more than 27,000 lives and uprooting more than 1.7 million people.

Friday’s attack took place at Dangdala, on the northeastern bank of Lake Chad.

Thursday had seen another attack by the group kill eight civilians at Karidi in southeastern Niger in the Diffa region bordering Lake Chad, The area is one of the worst-hit areas for jihadist attacks in Niger.

Troops from Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria have been grouped into a multi-national force to fight Boko Haram.

Deby’s reorganisation of security — which included the suspension of the air force chief and his deputy — saw army chief of staff Taher Erda take the top job with a general from the northeastern region of Tibesti made chief advisor on national defence issues.

Erda is a Deby loyalist and former police chief who fought alongside the president before he took power in 1990.

The air force suspensions followed the discovery of debris from an helicopter which went missing more than a week ago in the north.

The sparsely populated, mainly desert region near the border with Sudan, Libya and Niger is volatile prone to attack from Chadian rebel groups based across the Libyan border.

In late January, France pounded Chadian rebels who had crossed back into their country from Libya to halt their incursion.

AFP

Russia’s Military Intel Chief Sanctioned Over Attack On Skripal

The Skripals

 

The European Union imposed chemical weapons sanctions on nine Russian and Syrian officials on Monday including the chief of the GRU military intelligence agency.

The EU said the Russians, two agents and the head and the deputy head of the GRU, were responsible for “possession, transport and use” of the nerve agent used in the attack in Salisbury, England last March.

AFP

 

Terror Fight: Olonisakin Attributes Military Success To Leadership Change

Military, Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel OlonisakinThe Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, says that the change of leadership style by the current crop of military has contributed largely to the success of the fight against terrorism and internal aggression.

The Military Chief said this on Wednesday at a lecture series on military leadership at the National Defence College in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

He said that no amount of equipment or technological superiority would ensure military success against any form of aggression without effective leadership at the operational, strategic and tactical level of the military.

General Olonisakin noted that all military level must interact effectively if the war against both internal and external aggression is to be won.

He added that the military is also working on improving the welfare of personnel of the Nigerian Armed Forces to sustain the new style of leadership.

Ukraine Army Helicopter ‘Shot Down’ Near Sloviansk

Ukraine Army helicopterAs the crisis in Ukraine continues, pro-Russian rebels in the East have shot down a military helicopter near the flashpoint city of Sloviansk killing 14 people.

The aircraft was reportedly hit after offloading soldiers at a military base.

Sloviansk has seen fierce fighting between separatists and government forces in recent weeks.

President-elect, Petro Poroshenko has vowed to tackle the uprising in eastern Ukraine, saying he would deal firmly with “bandits” and “murderers”.

There has been an upsurge in the conflict since Mr Poroshenko’s election on Sunday. The rebels say they lost up to 100 fighters when they tried to seize Donetsk airport on Monday.

Since then further clashes have been reported in several areas – including Sloviansk – where pro-Russia militiamen are holding four international monitors.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said that the missing OSCE members were alive and well and there was hope they would be released soon.

“We have not yet been able to re-establish contact with them; it has now been since Monday. Of course, as the days pass we get more concerned but we are using all of our contacts, all our government contacts, diplomatic contacts, non-state actors on the ground of which there are many, to re-establish contact with them.

“We believe they are fine, they are well but of course one thing we do want is to see them return to their base in Donetsk,” Bociurkiw said.

Earlier on Thursday, the leader of pro-Russian separatists in the area where the monitors were seized said they are likely to be released soon.

Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, whose separatist group controls the town of Slaviansk, said the OSCE had been warned not to travel in the area, but had sent a four-man team out all the same.

The team, which comprises a Dane, a Turk, an Estonian and a Swiss, are among a few hundred monitors sent to monitor compliance with an international accord for de-escalating the crisis in troubled eastern Ukraine, where separatists have seized control of strategic points in several towns.

Egypt Election: Sisi Secures Crushing Win

Abdul-Fattah-al-SisiJust as predicted, Egypt’s former military chief, Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi has won the country’s presidential election by a landslide.

Provisional results show he gained over 93% of the vote with ballots from most polling stations counted.

Egyptians cheered and waved flags on Thursday to celebrate the victory as the General, who toppled Egypt’s first freely elected leader, joins a long line of leaders drawn from the military.

Judicial sources said that Sisi captured 92.2% of votes cast in more than 50% of polling stations. His only rival, leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, gained 3.8% while 4.2% of votes were declared void.

Newspaper headlines on Friday morning heralded Sisi’s victory, writing “Sisi takes the throne” and “Sisi sweeps to victory.”

Fireworks erupted in Cairo when Sisi’s results began to emerge. His supporters waved Egyptian flags and sounded car horns on the crowded streets of the capital.

Celebrations continued until morning when people gathered and celebrated the apparent victory.

Voter turnout was 44.4% of Egypt’s 54million voters. That would be less than the 40million votes, or 80 percent of the electorate, that Sisi had called for, but for Sisi supporters on the streets of Cairo, his victory still heralds a bright new era.

“It will change 180 degrees in Sisi’s era. We were living in anxiety in our homes and on the street with robberies and carjacking. There was real anxiety. Now God will calm the situation with Sisi in the picture”, said one of the jubilant supporters.

In a country polarized since the revolt against Hosni Mubarak, many Egyptians said voters had stayed at home due to political apathy, opposition to another military man becoming president, discontent at suppression of freedoms among liberal youths, and calls for a boycott by Islamists.