Thousands Of Sheep Drown As Sudan Ship Sinks

West Darfur State is one of the states of Sudan, and one of five comprising the Darfur region.
West Darfur State is one of the states of Sudan, and one of five comprising the Darfur region.

 

An overladen ship crammed with thousands of sheep sank Sunday in Sudan’s Red Sea port of Suakin drowning the animals on board but with all crew surviving, port officials said.

The livestock vessel was exporting the animals from Sudan to Saudi Arabia when it sank after several thousand more animals were loaded on board than it was meant to carry.

“The ship, Badr 1, sank during the early hours of Sunday morning,” a senior Sudanese port official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “It was carrying 15,800 sheep, which was beyond its load limits.”

The official said the ship was supposed to carry only 9,000 sheep.

Another official, who said that all crew were rescued, raised concerns over the economic and environmental impact of the accident.

“The sunken ship will affect the port’s operation,” the official said.

“It will also likely have an environmental impact due to the death of the large number of animals carried by the ship”.

Last month, a massive fire broke out in the cargo area of Suakin port, lasting hours and causing heavy damages. It was not clear what caused the blaze.

An investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the fire, but has yet to release its findings.

The historic port town of Suakin is no longer Sudan’s main foreign trade hub, a role which has been taken by Port Sudan, some 60 kilometres (40 miles) away along the Red Sea coast.

There have been moves to redevelop the port, but a 2017 deal with Turkey to restore historic buildings and expand the docks was suspended after the ouster of longtime president Omar al-Bashir.

Sudan remains gripped by a chronic economic crisis, which has deepened following last year’s military coup led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

The military takeover triggered punitive measures, including aid cuts by Western governments, who demanded the restoration of the transitional administration installed after Bashir was toppled.

Thousands Of Sudanese Protest Military Coup

Sudanese demonstrators take to the streets of the capital Khartoum to protest last year's military coup which deepened the country's political and economic turmoil, on March 24, 2022. AFP
Sudanese demonstrators take to the streets of the capital Khartoum to protest last year’s military coup which deepened the country’s political and economic turmoil, on March 24, 2022. AFP

 

Thousands of Sudanese took to the streets of Khartoum on Thursday to protest against last year’s coup, witnesses said, pressing on with angry protests in defiance of a deadly crackdown.

The demonstrations in the capital and other cities were the latest since the military seized power on October 25, triggering international condemnation and punitive measures.

The coup upended a transition to civilian rule after the 2019 ouster of autocratic president Omar al-Bashir, following mass protests against his iron-fisted three decades in power.

“No, no to military rule,” the protesters chanted at the biggest rally in Khartoum, also urging the military to “Go back to the barracks”.

READ ALSO: Ethiopia Declares ‘Indefinite Humanitarian Truce’

Sudan, one of the world’s poorest countries, has been reeling from a plunging economy due to decades of international isolation and mismanagement under Bashir.

Since the coup led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the northeast African country has suffered from international aid cuts and economic turmoil.

Its currency, the pound, has plummeted in value and prices of food and fuel have skyrocketed.

Protesters turned out in large numbers on Thursday despite a crackdown that, according to medics, has left dead at least 89 people and wounded hundreds.

“This is the third time for me to take to the streets after economic conditions worsened,” Iman Babiker said at a protest in North Khartoum.

“It has become unbearable.”

Demonstrators have over the past two days set up barricades of bricks, tree branches and burning car tyres on the main streets of the Sudanese capital.

Sudan has yet to appoint a prime minister since the January resignation of premier Abdalla Hamdok, who remained under house arrest for weeks before he was reinstated.

In an interview published on Wednesday by the Saudi Asharq Al-awsat newspaper, Burhan said he hoped a new prime minister would be nominated after the agreement of political factions in Sudan.

AFP

Sudanese Rally Against Military Rule And Economic Crisis

Sudanese protesters take part in ongoing demonstrations calling for civilian rule and denouncing the military administration, in Sudan’s capital Khartoum on March 14, 2022. 
AFP

 

 

Sudanese security forces opened fire Monday as protesters in several cities across the northeast African nation marched against military rule and a worsening economic situation, witnesses told AFP.

Costs of bread and transport have soared in recent days, and protesters marched to demand a return to civilian rule and protest the rising cost of living.

Regular protests calling for the civilian rule have taken place since a military coup led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan on October 25, with heavy-handed crackdowns leaving 87 dead, according to medics.

“Down with military rule”, protesters chanted in Damazin, a city some 450 kilometres (280 miles) southeast of the capital Khartoum.

Security forces opened fire to disperse protesters, witness Mohamed Abdel Qader said.

On Sunday, the price of bread shot up over 40 percent, from 35 to 50 Sudanese pounds, or from five to eight US cents.

Sudan has been especially vulnerable to fears of global supply shortages in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

As costs of fuel spike, the cost of transport has also jumped 50 percent across Sudan.

In Nyala, state capital of South Darfur in the west, security forces fired a barrage of tear gas canisters to stop crowds.

“No to rising costs,” people shouted, according to resident Abdel Moneim Mohamed. “No to military rule.”

– ‘Intolerable’ –
Protesters in Nyala also included residents of the vast camps set up when people were forced from their homes during the conflict that broke out in Darfur in 2003.

“The situation has become intolerable,” said Hamad Bashir from Atbara, a city 280 kilometres (175 miles) northeast of Khartoum, a traditional centre of the country’s railway industry.

Bashir said that railway workers have not been paid for two months.

Rail workers began a strike on Sunday, said Hasham Khedr, the head of the Railway Workers’ Union.

Food insecurity is a major issue in impoverished countries, where one in every three people are dependent on aid, according to the United Nations.

The situation was exacerbated when October’s military coup triggered broad international condemnation and punitive measures that included a suspension of $700 million in US aid.

In Khartoum, local “resistance committees” have called for protests to demand a return to civilian rule and the release of detainees.

Authorities have rounded up hundreds of pro-democracy protesters since the coup, many of whom have been released in recent weeks.

On Monday, three protesters were detained in Nyala, activists said.

The October coup derailed a fragile power-sharing agreement between the army and civilians that had been painstakingly negotiated after the 2019 ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir

Russia Ramps Up Ties With Sudan As Ukraine War Rages

A photo combination of Russian President and Sudan’s military leader, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemedti).
A photo combination of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Sudan’s military leader, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemedti).

 

As much of the West seeks to isolate Russia after it invaded Ukraine, experts say Moscow is boosting relations with its longtime African ally Sudan, eyeing its gold wealth and strategic location.

Khartoum has lost crucial Western support since army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan led a military coup last October, a move that triggered broad condemnation and punitive measures, including a suspension of $700 million in US aid.

On February 23, the day before Russia invaded its neighbour, a Sudanese delegation headed by powerful paramilitary commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo arrived in Moscow for an eight-day visit.

READ ALSO: US, Allies To End Normal Trade Relations With Russia

The two sides discussed “diplomatic, political and economic topics”, as well as “Russian-Sudanese national security… joint cooperation and counterterrorism”, said Daglo, commonly known as Hemeti, at a news conference upon his return.

Sudan relied militarily on Russia under strongman Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted in 2019 following three decades in power marked by international isolation and crippling US sanctions.

Russian private companies have reportedly benefited from Sudan’s gold mines by ramping up ties with the military and Daglo’s powerful Rapid Support Forces, which emerged from the Janjaweed militias accused of atrocities during the Darfur conflict that erupted in 2003.

“Moscow has been following a clear and coherent policy… to serve its interests” in Sudan and in Africa more broadly, analyst Khaled al-Tijani said.

“Russian investments in Sudan, especially in gold, and ties with security forces have remained shrouded in ambiguity,” he added.

Wagner, RSF

Researcher Ahmed Hussein said that Daglo likely discussed in Moscow arrangements between his forces and “Russian (security) apparatuses with links in Sudan and Africa, especially Wagner Group”.

Wagner, a Russian private military contractor with links to the Kremlin, has faced accusations of involvement in turmoil in Sudan’s neighbours the Central African Republic and Libya, while French President Emmanuel Macron last month warned of the shadowy group’s “predatory intentions” in Mali.

The European Council on Foreign Relations has said Wagner personnel were deployed in Sudan “to mining exploration sites” following a 2017 meeting between Bashir and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who agreed gold mining deals and negotiated the construction of a Russian naval base on Sudan’s Red Sea coast.

Wagner personnel subsequently provided “a range of political and military assistance” to Bashir’s regime, according to the ECFR.

Also in 2017, Russian mining firm M Invest gained preferential access to Sudan’s gold reserves, according to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Three years later, the US imposed sanctions on Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, who has links to M Invest and is believed to own Wagner, for “exploiting Sudan’s natural resources for personal gain and spreading malign influence around the globe”.

The ECFR said Wagner had formed “a triangle of Russian influence linking Sudan, the Central African Republic and Libya”, reflecting “Moscow’s strategic interest in expanding its Africa footprint”.

Daglo’s RSF has itself been involved in the conflicts in Libya and Yemen.

Threats ‘matter little’

As for the planned naval base in the strategic city of Port Sudan, “the Russians need to get to warm-water ports, and the Red Sea is an integral part of that ambition,” Hussein said.

In December 2020, Russia announced a 25-year deal with Sudan to build and operate the base, which would host nuclear-powered vessels and up to 300 military and civilian personnel.

The same month, Washington removed Khartoum’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, a listing that had long crippled its economy.

In 2021, Sudanese military officials said the naval base deal was under “review” after certain clauses were found to be “somewhat harmful”.

Daglo said the base was not on the agenda in Moscow but that Sudan was ready to cooperate “with any country, provided it is in our interests and does not threaten our national security”.

Following Sudan’s October coup, Russia told a UN Security Council meeting that General Burhan was needed to maintain stability, one diplomat had said on condition of anonymity.

Last week, Sudan joined 35 countries in abstaining from a UN General Assembly vote condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

For researcher Hussein, Russia’s growing interest in Africa “puts Khartoum in the eye of the storm — turning it into a battlefield for an international conflict that goes far beyond its borders”.

Many fear that Western opposition to the coup is pushing Khartoum further towards Moscow.

“We’re basically offering Sudan to the Russians on a silver platter,” one Western diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“The generals sustained themselves under the Bashir-era embargo, which is why threats of isolation matter little today.”

AFP

Gunmen Kill 17 Civilians In Sudan

An image of the Sudanse flag.
The Sudanese flag.

 

At least 17 civilians have been killed in Sudan’s Darfur region, officials said Friday, in the latest violence between rival groups that has left dozens dead this week alone.

Recent fighting has seen heavily armed forces battle in the rugged Jebel Moon mountains in West Darfur state, close to the border with Chad.

On Thursday, fighting killed 17 people and also left “dozens of injured and missing” as well as “four villages completely burned”, said Adam Regal, spokesman for the General Coordination for Refugees and Displaced in Darfur, an independent aid organisation.

Regal accused the Janjaweed — many of whom have joined the feared paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, commanded by General Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, de facto deputy leader of Sudan — of taking part in recent fighting.

“Militias have been attacking the villages of Jebel Moon, setting fire to houses and using automatic rifle fire since Sunday,” a tribal leader told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“No government forces have arrived since the attacks on Thursday, and we are terrified of an attack at any time.”

In fighting from last Sunday to Monday, 16 people were killed in clashes between the Masalit — a non-Arab people of largely settled farmers — and Arab groups of herders in Jebel Moon, according to a independent union of medics.

Darfur was ravaged by a civil war that erupted in 2003, pitting ethnic minority rebels who complained of discrimination against the Arab-dominated government of then-president Omar al-Bashir.

Khartoum responded by unleashing the Janjaweed militia, mainly recruited from Arab pastoralist tribes, who were blamed for atrocities including murder, rape, looting and burning villages.

The scorched-earth campaign left 300,000 people dead and displaced 2.5 million, according to the UN.

The region remains awash with weapons and deadly clashes erupt, often over access to pasture or water.

The latest peace deal was signed in 2020, but since a military coup in October, Darfur has seen violence spike, with hundreds killed since the takeover in fighting between herders and farmers.

Regal warned that “new attacks could occur”.

Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide in Darfur, was ousted in April 2019 and jailed after mass protests against his three-decade rule.

But the latest clashes reflect a broader security breakdown in Darfur following last year’s military coup led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan in Khartoum, which derailed a transition to full civilian rule negotiated between military and civilian leaders.

In Darfur, the surge in violence has also seen rapes, the burning of villages, as well as UN bases being looted.

AFP

Thousands March In Sudan Against Military Coup

Sudanese demonstrators hold banners and wave their country's national flag during ongoing protests calling for civilian rule and denouncing the military administration, in the city of Khartoum North near the capital on February 21, 2022. AFP
Sudanese demonstrators hold banners and wave their country’s national flag during ongoing protests calling for civilian rule and denouncing the military administration, in the city of Khartoum North near the capital on February 21, 2022. AFP

 

Thousands of Sudanese protesters on Monday marched against the October military coup which has led to scores of arrests, as authorities released some of those held, witnesses and lawyers said.

Regular protests calling for civilian rule have occurred throughout the impoverished northeast African country despite a deadly crackdown since the power grab led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

The coup, Sudan’s latest, sparked wide international condemnation and cuts in aid.

READ ALSO: Mali Parliament Approves Five-Year Democratic Transition Plan

At least 82 people have been killed, many of them shot dead, and hundreds wounded by security forces, according to medics. The latest fatality came on Sunday.

“The number of people detained has exceeded 200,” according to a statement by a group of anti-coup lawyers, which confirmed that some had been ordered released.

Multiple political figures and pro-democracy activists are among those who have been detained.

Pro-democracy lawyer Enaam Attik said authorities have ordered that more than 40 people arrested in the crackdown on anti-coup protests be freed.

During Monday’s demonstrations, protesters called on the military “to go back to the barracks” in the city of Wad Madani, south of Khartoum, witnesses said.

In the eastern state of Gedaref they chanted, “Civilian is the people’s choice,” according to witness Amal Hussein.

Demonstrators also marched to rally outside a government building in the Red Sea city of Port Sudan but security forces blocked their route with tear gas, according to witnesses.

In the eastern border state of Kassala, young protesters chanted, “No, no to military rule” as they headed toward a military base in the city, witness Hussein Idris said.

Security forces in the capital Khartoum fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters who tried to rally outside the presidential palace, where the ruling Sovereign Council is based along the Nile River, an AFP correspondent said.

The latest demonstrations came one day after United Nations human rights expert Adama Dieng arrived on his first official visit to Sudan.

Dieng is scheduled to meet with senior Sudanese government officials, diplomats, rights defenders and others.

The military takeover derailed a transition to full civilian rule negotiated between military and civilian leaders following the 2019 ouster of strongman president Omar al-Bashir.

 

AFP

Anti-Coup Protester Shot Dead In Sudan – Medics

Sudanese protesters march during a demonstration calling for civilian rule and denouncing the military administration, in the capital Khartoum’s twin city of Umdurman, on February 14, 2022. 

 

Sudanese security forces shot dead a protester Monday during rallies demanding civilian rule, taking the number killed in crackdowns since last year’s coup to at least 80, medics said.

The protester was wounded in “the neck and chest by live rounds by coup forces,” the independent Central Committee of Sudan Doctors said.

Sudanese protesters march during a demonstration calling for civilian rule and denouncing the military administration, in the capital Khartoum’s twin city of Umdurman, on February 14, 2022.

Sudanese Barricade Streets, Close Shops After 7 Killed

Sudanese demonstrators barricade al-Sahafa street during ongoing protests against a military coup in the capital Khartoum on January 18, 2022.  (Photo by AFP)

 

Sudanese shuttered shops and barricaded Khartoum streets on Tuesday in a civil disobedience campaign to protest one of the bloodiest days since an October coup derailed the country’s democratic transition.

Security forces on Monday killed at least seven people during anti-coup protests by thousands, bringing the total fatalities from the crackdown on anti-coup demonstrations to 71, according to medics.

Sudan’s main civilian bloc, the Forces for Freedom and Change, called for two days of civil disobedience to begin on Tuesday.

“Shop closed for mourning,” said a series of small signs posted on the closed outlets at the sprawling Sajane construction supplies market in Khartoum. One of the merchants, Othman el-Sherif, was among those shot dead on Monday.

In several other parts of Khartoum, too, many pharmacies and other shops were shuttered, according to an AFP correspondent.

Sudan’s University for Science and Technology suspended all activities as part of the civil disobedience, according to an official statement.

READ ALSO: Buhari Unveils Mega Rice Pyramids In Abuja

As they do regularly, police on Tuesday fired tear gas at dozens of protesters setting up roadbloacks, this time on the streets of east Khartoum, according to an AFP correspondent.

After Monday’s deaths the United Nations special representative Volker Perthes condemned the use of live ammunition and the US embassy criticised “violent tactics of Sudanese security forces,” the latest such appeals by world powers, which have not curbed a rising death toll.

Washington’s Assistant Secretary of State Molly Phee and special envoy for the Horn of Africa, David Satterfield, were expected in Khartoum where they would “reiterate our call for security forces to end violence and respect freedom of expression and peaceful assembly,” spokesman Ned Price said.

On Monday, Sudan’s police said they used “the least force” to counter the protests, in which about 50 police personnel were wounded in confrontations.

Authorities have repeatedly denied using live ammunition against demonstrators, and insist scores of security personnel have been wounded during protests which have occurred regularly since the October 25 coup.

A police general was stabbed to death last week.

On Tuesday the “Friends of Sudan” group calling for the restoration of the country’s transitional government held talks in Saudi Arabia over the crisis.

“Deep concern about yesterday’s violence. International support and leverage is needed. Support for political process needs to go along with active support to stop violence,” the UN’s Perthes said on Twitter, after attending the meeting virtually.

Sudan Doctors Protest State Violence In Post-Coup Rallies

Dozens of Sudanese doctors demonstrate in Khartoum on January 16, 2022 to denounce attacks by security forces against medical personnel and doctors during pro-democracy rallies opposed to the October military coup. (Photo by AFP)

 

Sudanese doctors protested Sunday against violent attacks by security forces targeting medical personnel during pro-democracy rallies following last year’s military coup.

“During every protest they fire tear gas inside the hospital where I work,” one doctor, Houda Ahmad, said at the rally in Khartoum.

“They even attack us inside the intensive care unit,” she added at the rally, where medical personnel carried pictures of colleagues they said had been killed.

The demonstration was the latest in the crisis-hit north-east African country, where protesters in the north also blockaded roads to vent their anger against an electricity price hike announced last week, and that has since been frozen.

Sudan’s October 25 coup led by military leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan derailed a fragile transition to civilian rule, that had started with the 2019 ouster of strongman Omar al-Bashir following youth-led mass protests.

The military power grab has sparked an international outcry and triggered a new wave of street demonstrations, with another rally expected on Monday.

During the turmoil of recent months, prime minister Abdulla Hamdok was detained and later reinstated but then quit, warning that Sudan was at a dangerous crossroads threatening its very “survival”.

Deadly crackdowns have claimed the lives of 64 protesters, according to pro-democracy medics. A police general has also been killed in the street violence that has rocked Sudan, one of the world’s poorest countries.

– Pandemic and poverty –

The UN World Health Organization said last week there had been 11 confirmed attacks on Sudanese health facilities since November.

The WHO said it was “also aware of the interception of ambulances, medical personnel and patients during their attempts to seek safety”.

It called for the attacks to “stop now”, pointing out that they threaten healthcare services needed more than ever during the Covid pandemic.

Covid-19 is a “grave threat” for Sudan, where 94 percent of the population has not been vaccinated, said the WHO.

Sudan has confirmed 93,973 coronavirus infections and about 4,000 deaths. In September, it said 64 percent of about 1,000 health workers tested had been found to be Covid-positive.

Sudan’s 45 million people have also been dealing with a severe economic crisis and inflation approaching 400 percent.

On Sunday, hundreds blocked key roads in the Northern Province, 350 kilometres (229 miles) from the capital, angered by recent news electricity prices would double — a move that was then frozen, but not officially abolished.

“No vehicle will pass until the authorities have cancelled this increase, because it signs the death certificate of our agriculture,” protester Hassan Idriss told AFP by phone.

The protests that led to the 2019 ouster of Bashir had started after the government decided to triple the price of bread.

– Hunger strike –

During the recent protests, Sudan has also often shut down the internet and moved to limit reporting on the unrest.

In the latest move it revoked the licence of Al Jazeera Mubasher, the live TV unit of the Qatar-based network, accusing it of “unprofessional” coverage of protests, the channel said.

The United Nations is now seeking to organise talks involving political, military and social actors to resolve the crisis.

UN special representative Volker Perthes announced the bid last week saying it was “time to end the violence and enter into a comprehensive consultative process”.

The mainstream faction of the Forces for Freedom and Change, the leading civilian pro-democracy group, said Sunday it would accept the offer of dialogue if it were to revive the transition to civilian rule.

Sudan’s military in April 2019 put an end Bashir’s three-decade rule, leading to the arrest and imprisonment of the autocrat and many regime officials.

Bashir is also wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

An imprisoned former foreign minister under Bashir, Ibrahim Ghandour, has begun a hunger strike along with several ex-regime officials, his family said Sunday.

They will only end it “once they have been freed or brought before an impartial tribunal”, his family said in a statement.

The public prosecutor’s office had recently ordered the release of several ex-officials, but Burhan instead ordered they stay in detention.

Ghandour’s family decried the “interference in judicial affairs”.

The protester movement however accuses Burhan, who was Bashir’s ground forces commander, of helping old regime figures come back to power.

US Africa Envoy To Visit Saudi Arabia, Sudan And Ethiopia

In this file photo taken on September 4, 2019 the new US Ambassador to Turkey David M. Satterfield pays his respects as he attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Mausoleum of the Turkish Republic's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (Anitkabir), in Ankara. Adem ALTAN / AFP
In this file photo taken on September 4, 2019 the new US Ambassador to Turkey David M. Satterfield pays his respects as he attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Mausoleum of the Turkish Republic’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (Anitkabir), in Ankara. Adem ALTAN / AFP

 

The US special envoy for the Horn of Africa will visit Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Ethiopia next week amid ongoing crises in the two African nations, the State Department announced Friday.

David Satterfield and Assistant Secretary of State Molly Phee will travel to Riyadh, Khartoum and Addis Ababa from January 17-20.

In Riyadh, the pair will meet with the Friends of Sudan, a group calling for the restoration of the country’s transitional government following a military coup in October.

READ ALSO: Myanmar Junta Slams Suu Kyi With Five New Charges Over Helicopter Purchase

The meeting aims to “marshal international support” for the UN mission to “facilitate a renewed civilian-led transition to democracy” in Sudan, according to the statement.

Satterfield and Phee will then travel to Khartoum, where they will meet with pro-democracy activists, women’s and youth groups, civil organizations and military and political figures.

“Their message will be clear: the United States is committed to freedom, peace, and justice for the Sudanese people,” the statement read.

In Ethiopia, the pair will talk with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to seek a resolution to the deepening civil war.

“They will encourage government officials to seize the current opening for peace by ending the air strikes and other hostilities,” the statement read.

They will also ask for the establishment of a ceasefire, the release of political prisoners and the restoration of humanitarian access.

Satterfield, the former US ambassador to Turkey, was appointed to replace Jeffrey Feltman as special envoy on January 6.

Feltman quit just as he visited Ethiopia in a bid to encourage peace talks to end more than a year of war following the withdrawal of Tigrayan rebels.

The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, which last year threatened to march on Addis Ababa, by December had withdrawn to its stronghold, and the government has not pursued the rebels further on the ground.

Feltman had also sought to tackle the crisis in Sudan, but he was treated unceremoniously in October when Sudan’s military ruler, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, carried out a coup just after the US envoy had left the country.

Feltman’s resignation came days after Sudan’s civilian prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok, quit, leaving Burhan as the undisputed leader of the country despite Western calls to preserve a democratic transition launched in 2019.

 

AFP

AFCON Match Preview: Nigeria Eye Knockout Spot Against Sudan

 

The Super Eagles of Nigeria face Sudan in their second Group D match at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) on Saturday, eyeing a berth at the knockout stage of the biennial soccer competition.

Nigeria, three-time AFCON winners, had gotten off to a good start in the tournament following a 1-0 victory over record-holders Egypt in their first tie a few days back.

Three points against the Falcons of Jediane at the Estadio Roumde Adjia, Garoua, will see the 2013 champions book a spot in the round of 16.

Nigeria’s preparation for the competition had been marred with tussles over the release of players.

While Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen, was left out based on health grounds; Watford did not release in-form forward, Emmanuel Dennis, a development that raised concerns among fans.

READ ALSO: [Egypt, Sudan, And Guinea-Bissau] How Tough Is Nigeria’s AFCON Group?

Aside from player availability, the sacking of long-time coach, Gernot Rohr, less than two months before the tournament also cast doubt on Nigeria’s participation. In his stead, former international, Austin Eguaveon, was named to handle the side.

But in their first game on Tuesday, the Eagles deservedly defeated the record-winners 1-0 after a dominant display.

Nigeria Key Men And Team News

Super Eagles Of Nigeria
(Top L-R) Nigeria’s goalkeeper Maduka Okoye, forward Taiwo Awoniyi, defender Kenneth Omeruo, midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, midfielder Joe Aribo, defender William Troost-Ekong, (bottom L-R) forward Kelechi Iheanacho, defender Ola Aina, defender Zaidu Sanusi, forward Moses Simon and forward Samuel Chukwueze pose prior to the Group D Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Nigeria and Egypt at Stade Roumde Adjia in Garoua on January 11, 2022.
Daniel BELOUMOU OLOMO / AFP

 

Eguaveon’s side have an abundance of attacking options to do the damage against Sudan. Iheanacho is expected to continue his goalscoring form in Saturday’s game while winger, Simon Moses, who was a thorn to the Egyptian defence in the first match, has his work cut out for the day.

Midfielder Joe Aribo – the provider of the assist for the goal against Egypt –  will carry much of the team’s creative weight while Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi shields the defence.

Ahmed Musa, the team’s captain, who missed the first game, could have a chance of adding to his international cap.

‘Completely Focussed’

But there might not be a change of guard to the lineup that featured against Egypt.  Defender Kenneth Omeruo is also expected to be fit for the match after he was stretchered off the pitch on Tuesday.

In a pre-match briefing, Eguaveon said the Super Eagles will not be carried away with the win against Egypt.

“I am happy with the players and their ability to give their best on the pitch. I am focused on winning against Sudan at the moment,” the 1994 AFCON winner said.

“I am not thinking about anything else or how we will start our third match. We are completely focused on our match against Sudan. Beating Egypt was not easy, and we are looking forward to continuing our victories and qualifying for the next round.”

Sudan 

Sudan’s best performance at the AFCON in recent times was a quarter-final finish in 2012. [email protected]

 

The Super Eagles opponents are only returning to the continental fiesta since 2012 and will want to make a statement in a group containing some of Africa’s soccer heavyweights.

They hosted the maiden edition of the competition in 1957 and won the AFCON in 1970 also on home soil.

But a lull saw them miss the competition for 32 years, only to qualify in 2008 as Ghana hosted the continent.

In 2012, the Sudanese reached the quarter-finals of the biennial fiesta, one of their best outings in recent years.

En route to Cameroon, they earned 12 points from Group C, beating South Africa to finish second. They also scored nine goals in the qualification series.

But just weeks before the tournament, Hubert Velud was dismissed following the country’s poor outing at the 2021 Arab Cup. They lost all group games, conceded 10 goals but scored none.

The development, however, is not deterring new coach, Burhan Tia, who insists his young side should not be underrated.

“Our team is young, and we are building for the future. The spirit, ambition, and motivation will be our strong weapons in the tournament,” he said.

“There is nothing impossible in football. The group might be strong, but with good preparations and concentration we will be able to make it to the knockout stage.”

His team seem to be repaying his confidence in them as they battled hard to draw Guinea-Bissau in their first game. While Nigeria is a tougher opponent, the Falcons are hoping to give Nigeria a run for their money on Saturday.

Sudan Key Men And Team News

The Sudanese side will be missing the services of Mohamed Abdelrahman who netted a third of their goals during the qualifiers.

Ramadan Agab, and Nasr Eldin El Shigail are the other men the Falcons of Jediane will rely on to cause a major upset against Nigeria. Sudan are ranked 33rd in Africa and 125 in the world.

Opportunity For Youngstars 

Tia will be banking on goalkeeper Ali Abu Ashren to continue his fine form when the match kicks off at the Roumde Adjia, Garoua. His sterling showing in the first fixture helped the Falcons earn a point against Guinea-Bissau.

Although Coach Tia admitted that Sudan will miss Rahman, the team, he noted, can spring a surprise.

“We play with a great team with high-level stars, but we will play with a balance between defense and attack,” the coach told CAF ahead of the game.

“The absence of Mohamed Abdel Rahman is impressive, but we have a number of young players waiting for an opportunity to appear.”

Nigeria vs Sudan Head-To Head

Nigeria and Sudan have met 14 times at the international level out of which the Super Eagles won eight. Two of the games were draws while the North Africans have won twice.

Nigeria Vs Sudan Match Time

The game between Nigeria and Sudan at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nation (AFCON) will start at 5:00 pm (WAT).

Hundreds Rally In Sudan Against Military Rule As Security Tightens

This picture taken on January 4, 2022 shows a view of demonstrators by a flaming tire at a make-shift barricade erected during a protest demanding civilian rule in the “Street 40” of the Sudanese capital’s twin city of Omdurman. (Photo by AFP)

 

Hundreds of Sudanese anti-coup protesters rallied Tuesday chanting slogans against the military as security forces deployed in Khartoum and neighbouring cities, witnesses said, days after the resignation of the country’s civilian premier.

Protesters shouted “No, no to military rule” and called for the fall of Sudan’s ruling council headed by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who led a military coup on October 25 that derailed a transition to civilian rule.

Streets leading to the presidential palace and army headquarters in central Khartoum were sealed off amid a heavy presence of riot police, paramilitary forces and army personnel, the witnesses said.

Dozens also gathered in the neighbouring city of Omdurman and barricaded streets using rocks and bricks.

Pro-democracy activists have stepped up calls for demonstrations since the October coup which saw then-prime minister Abdalla Hamdok and cabinet ministers detained.

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The coup has triggered mass demonstrations and a violent crackdown that has so far left at least 57 dead and hundreds wounded, an independent union of medics has said.

At least 13 women have allegedly been raped during the unrest, according to the United Nations.

On November 21, Burhan reinstated Hamdok in an agreement promising elections in mid-2023, but the protest movement slammed the deal as “betrayal” and has kept up street pressure.

Late Sunday, Hamdok announced that he was stepping down, saying he had tried to prevent the country “from sliding toward disaster” but that it was now at a “dangerous crossroads threatening its very survival”.

Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit said Tuesday that he “respects” Hamdok’s decision and called for “urgent action” to resolve the crisis.

The United Nations’ secretary-general “regrets that a political understanding on the way forward is not in place despite the gravity of the situation in Sudan”, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Monday.

Sudan has been navigating a fragile transition towards full civilian rule since the April 2019 ouster of veteran president Omar al-Bashir following an unprecedented wave of youth-led protests.

Activists online have urged demonstrators to head to the presidential palace in Khartoum “until victory is achieved”, according to the Sudanese Professionals Association, an umbrella of unions that were instrumental during the anti-Bashir protests.

General Burhan last month issued a decree allowing security forces to arrest individuals “over crimes related to the state of emergency”, effectively banning street protests.

Security forces are allowed to enter and search “any building or individual” and impose “surveillance of any property and facility”.

Since the coup, authorities have often disrupted internet services and communication lines to prevent mass gatherings.