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Founder of animal rescue in Sudan nurses wild animals back to health

“MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>Founder of animal rescue in Sudan nurses wild animals back to health

Osman Salih, cares for vulnerable wild animals from around the country and nurses them back to health.

The WorldApril 29, 2022 · 2:45 PM EDT

Kandaka, the lion, with her cubs at the Sudan Animal Rescue, Khartoum, Sudan, Dec, 4, 2021.

Halima Gikandi/The World

On the outskirts of Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, families with children walk around a large field, peering curiously at a menagerie of wild animals at the Sudan Animal Rescue.

“Right now, we have 10 acres that we've developed. We have about 17 lions, six hyenas, as well as gazelles, snakes, ostriches, monkeys and different types of species,” said Osman Salih, the founder.

The journey of the Sudan Animal Rescue, which takes in vulnerable wild animals from around the country, began two years ago.

Salih, a young software engineer at the time, had posted photos of lions wasting away.

“I visited a local park and I found that they had a lot of animals, including five lions, that were in really bad shape and starving,”

Osman Salih, founder, Sudan Animal Rescue

“I visited a local park and I found that they had a lot of animals, including five lions, that were in really bad shape and starving,” he said.

Related: Colombia to declare hippos an invasive species

The photos sparked outrage on social media and among Sudanese people — but also support.

Osman Salih, founder of the Sudan Animal Rescue, Khartoum, Sudan, Dec. 4, 2021.

Credit:

Halima Gikandi/The World

Salih realized there was a wider problem of zoos and animal parks in Sudan being neglected after years of economic and political turmoil.

“All these animal parks suffered because there weren't any visitors and there wasn't any funding from the government,” Salih explained.

One of the lions, named Kandaka, which means “lioness,” became especially popular.

Now, two years later, the health of those same lions has improved, and they can be seen roaming around. And Kandaka has also recently birthed cubs.

Related: Sudanese protester to military: ‘Our numbers are too big to be ignored’

In a different enclosure, a young hyena named Bita eagerly approaches visitors on the other side of her fenced home.

“[Bita, the hyena] is really domesticated and you just feel like you're dealing with a dog. She really craves attention and loves all these back rubs and playing around.”

Osman Salih, founder, Sudan Animal Rescue

“She's really domesticated and you just feel like you're dealing with a dog. She really craves attention and loves all these back rubs and playing around,” Salih said.

Young Bita plays on the ground. She was a house pet before she was brought to the Sudan Animal Rescue, Khartoum, Sudan, Dec. 4, 2021.

Credit:

Halima Gikandi/The World

He explained how Bita was raised as an exotic house pet at a home in Khartoum.

“Somebody kept her as a pet from a very young age, and he had literally, you know, tied [her] with a chain and collar in his garden. And she was getting, you know, bigger and older,” he said, noting it didn’t take much to convince the owner to let her go.

“At the end of the day she’s a wild animal and they are unpredictable,” he added.

While the Sudan Animal Rescue has become a popular visiting place for families and schoolchildren, Salih said that not everyone thinks supporting wild animals is a good use of resources, especially as some Sudanese people struggle to put food on the table.

Related: Kenya launches its first-ever national census for wildlife

But, he said, protecting Sudan’s wildlife and environment is worth it.

“Because of all the civil wars and the droughts, we lost a lot of the animals, including elephants and giraffes and rhinos.”

He hopes the center can become a starting point for bringing awareness to the country’s wildlife, and possibly creating a future tourism industry around it.

Sudan’s democratic revolution continues to take a heavy toll on citizens

“MuiTypography-root-133 MuiTypography-h1-138″>Sudan’s democratic revolution continues to take a heavy toll on citizens

According to Sudanese lawyer Mudathir Mohamed Taha, more than 200 people have been killed since the pro-democracy revolution began in 2019. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan told the media that an investigation into the deaths is underway.

The WorldDecember 22, 2021 · 4:00 PM EST

People take part in a protest against the October military takeover and a subsequent deal that reinstated Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok but sidelined the movement in Khartoum, Sudan, Dec. 19, 2021. 

Marwan Ali/AP

This week, hundreds of thousands of protesters across Sudan marched once again toward the presidential palace in Khartoum. The palace symbolizes the oppressive regime of former dictator Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted three years ago following massive popular protests.

For two months now, a broad cross section of Sudanese society has been demonstrating against the military after they staged a coup on Oct. 25. The military removed civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and arrested the very same civilian leaders intended to share power with the military as the country transitions to democratic elections.

Related: Anti-coup protesters in Sudan say they won't back down

While a deal with Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan in November returned Hamdok to his position, it has yet to convince many Sudanese that the military-civilian, power-sharing agreement is a tenable path to democracy.

Related: Sudan’s civilian prime minister is reinstated weeks after military takeover

In fact, ongoing violence by security forces has hardened many Sudanese against them.

According to the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, more than 45 people, including children, have been killed by security forces since the military takeover.

One of them was Sit al-Nafour Ahmed, a 25-year-old nurse from Bahri who was shot in the head during a demonstration on Nov. 17.

“I will never forgive the people who [killed my daughter.]"

Zenaib al-Saddique Bakkar, mother of slain protester, Sit al-Nafour Ahmed

“I will never forgive the people who did this,” said Zenaib al-Saddique Bakkar, Ahmed’s mother. 

She and her other daughters remember Ahmed as a kind and generous person who would tend to the wounded at protests and give clothes to the poor.

Crying, Bakkar said she wishes that she could have died instead of her daughter. Now, the most she can hope for is justice.

But Sudan’s military has denied killing protesters, despite video evidence showing otherwise.

Burhan, who once again heads the Sovereign Council, told media that an investigation into the deaths is underway.

“More than 200 people have been killed since the December revolution in 2019."

Mudathir Mohamed Taha, lawyer

“More than 200 people have been killed since the December revolution in 2019,” said Mudathir Mohamed Taha, a lawyer with an organization supporting the families of martyrs — a common term used to honor those killed in Sudan’s pursuit for democracy.

Taha was inspired to do this work after his older brother was killed after being shot at during a protest. 

But justice, he said, has been elusive. Sudan’s legal system is complex and long. More importantly, members of Sudan’s security forces still have broad immunity to criminal prosecution.

Related: 'Millions March' protests planned across Sudan as military doubles down on power grab

The recent military coup has also complicated the situation because the Sovereign Council appointed a new chief justice and attorney-general without input from the Freedom for Forces and Change coalition, as mandated by the constitution.

Regardless, neither the uncertain road to justice nor the deadly cost of demonstrating against those in power has stopped Sudanese from protesting for a democratic future.

“I was really touched by the death of Sit al-Nafour and all the martyrs."

Nashwa Abdulaziz, student protester, Sudan

“I was really touched by the death of Sit al-Nafour and all the martyrs,” said Nashwa Abdulaziz, a young student at a demonstration in Bahri this month.

She was wearing a picture of Ahmed’s smiling face around her neck.

“All of the people who have been killed motivate us to keep going with this revolution,” Abdulaziz said. 

Correction: The audio broadcast of this story erroneously said that Sudan’s military leaders removed the chief justice and attorney-general following the coup in October. In fact, the new Sovereign Council, headed by Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, appointed a new chief justice and attorney-general following the takeover. We regret the error.

Anti-coup protesters in Sudan say they won’t back down

“MuiTypography-root-125 MuiTypography-h1-130″>Anti-coup protesters in Sudan say they won't back down

For more than a month now, Sudanese young and old have been defying the military through popular protests — undeterred by an aggressive security response that has left more than 40 people dead.

The WorldNovember 30, 2021 · 5:15 PM EST

Thousands of protesters take to the streets to renew their demand for a civilian government in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, Nov. 25, 2021. The rallies came just days after the military signed a power-sharing deal with the prime minister, after releasing him from house arrest and reinstating him as head of government. The deal came almost a month after the generals orchestrated a coup. Sudan's key pro-democracy groups and political parties have dismissed the deal as falling short of their demands for a fully civilian rule.

Marwan Ali/AP

On Tuesday, thousands of people took to the streets of Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, to protest military leaders who took over power in the country last month; dissolved the government; and deposed the civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

Related: Sudan’s civilian prime minister is reinstated weeks after military takeover

The air was filled with tear gas and the deafening blasts of sound grenades deployed by security officials seeking to stop the protesters’ march toward the presidential palace.

For more than a month now, Sudanese young and old across the country have been defying the military through such massive popular protests — undeterred by an aggressive security response that has left more than 40 people dead.

“We’re looking for the overthrowing of the military,” Enough is enough. It’s been 30 years that they’ve been doing this.”

Maab Khalid , activist and doctor, Khartoum

“We’re looking for the overthrowing of the military,” said 25-year-old doctor and activist Maab Khalid during a recent demonstration in Khartoum. “Enough is enough. It’s been 30 years that they’ve been doing this.”

While Prime Minister Hamdok was reinstated last weekend in a new deal signed with coup leader Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, many in Sudan oppose any continued political partnership with the military.

“We are not satisfied by this deal. We don’t want al-Burhan,” said Abdelrahman Omar, a 20-year-old medical student who has also been protesting. “We just want a full civilian government, whether Hamdok included or not.”

Related: 'Millions March' protests planned across Sudan as military doubles down on power grab

Hamdok has repeatedly said that he signed the deal to end the bloodshed — and protect the social, economic and political gains that Sudan has made since 2019 when massive street protests forced dictator Bashir out of power.

“Taking into consideration the risks involved … The agreement was the only possible settlement [we] can reach” said Nabil Adib, a human rights lawyer in Khartoum who helped broker the deal.

The deal returns the country to a power-sharing arrangement between military and civilian leaders tasked with transitioning the country to democratic elections.

“What we saw clearly was that this transitional period needs both [the military and civilians ],” Adib continued.

Hamdok has also warned over the past year that fractures within the country’s security forces could lead to chaos.

“When the prime minister speaks about the danger of civil war, he was speaking about realistic danger,” Adib said.

But the deal excluded the broad coalition of political opposition parties, rebel groups and professional organizations who together made up the transitional military-civilian government that formed in 2019.

Now, many of them, along with former government ministers and political leaders, are calling for public outcry.

“I will go out again, and again, and again,” 24-year-old Mohamed Ahmed al-Tayib Ibrahim said from his hospital bed in Khartoum.

He was injured by a tear gas canister during a demonstration last Thursday.

“The Sudanese people don’t want military rule anymore,” Tayib said.

Sudan’s civilian prime minister is reinstated weeks after military takeover

“MuiTypography-root-133 MuiTypography-h1-138″>Sudan’s civilian prime minister is reinstated weeks after military takeover

After signing a 14-point deal with the country's military chief, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdulla Hamdok returned to office, promising to adopt a 2019 constitutional agreement.

The WorldNovember 23, 2021 · 2:30 PM EST

Sudan's top general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok hold documents during a ceremony to reinstate Hamdok, who was deposed in a coup last month, in Khartoum, Sudan, Nov. 21, 2021.

Sudan Transitional Sovereign Council via AP

Nearly a month after he was removed from office and put under house arrest, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has been reinstated to his position as the country’s interim civilian leader until it can hold democratic elections.

In Sudan, Hamdok signed a 14-point deal with General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan — the man behind the recent military takeover — to return to office, release political detainees and return to the 2019 constitutional agreement that was meant to steer Sudan toward democracy.

"We must put an end to the bloodshed.”

Abdalla Hamdok, prime minister, Sudan

“I know our people are capable of sacrificing," Hamdok said on Sunday through an interpreter. “But we must put an end to the bloodshed."

According to the Sudan Doctors Committee, more than 40 people have been killed by security forces during the weekslong protests against the military, including a 16-year-old boy who died after security forces shot him in the head.

Hamdok said he signed the agreement to end the violence, but also to put the country’s transition back on track.

“This agreement offers the possibility, because we can preserve the gains of the past two years,” Hamdok said, citing the end of Sudan’s decadeslong international isolation and removal from the US' state sponsors of terror list.

Related: 'Millions March' protests planned across Sudan as military doubles down on power grab

The military takeover last month not only threatened Sudan’s hard-won gains, but also put the country’s hope for a democratic future into question.

Still, the military has maintained they acted for the benefit of Sudan, and have denied the labeling of their actions as a military coup.

“By signing this political action, we were able to establish a real foundation for a transitional period.”

Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, commander-in-chief, Sudanese Armed Forces

“By signing this political action, we were able to establish a real foundation for a transitional period,” said al-Burhan at Sunday’s conference.

Mohamed Hamdan “Hemeti” Dagalo, head of Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF), wrote on Twitter that these "corrective actions" taken by the military in October to effectively dissolve the transitional government were “absolutely necessary.”

And Kholood Khair of Insight Strategy Partners told The World from Khartoum thatthe military seems to have gotten a leg up over the civilians in that it has been able to craft a new agreement where it still maintains a lot of power and really hasn’t had to give much up.” 

But the military, she said, has proven to be an unreliable partner, as shown by the events of the past month.

By signing the deal, Khair said that Hamdok has become politically weakened, and has faced resounding criticism from the streets and from his own supporters.

Related: Sudan’s ousted ambassador to the US says resorting to ‘the gun’ doesn’t aid the revolution

“This was an agreement that was unilaterally agreed [upon] and unilaterally brokered by the prime minister without the consultation of any civil society group, whether that's political parties or initiatives, organizations or the street itself,” Khair said.

Sunday’s protests in the streets of Khartoum, which previously had called for Hamdok’s release, have now turned against him.

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), an umbrella professional group that was pivotal in Sudan’s 2019 revolution, has rejected the deal.

Hamdok is now also facing opposition from his own ministers.

Related: Sudanese protester to military: ‘Our numbers are too big to be ignored’

“We are against what we saw on the TV, because it is supportive of the coup,” said Sudan’s Foreign Minister Mariam al-Sadig al-Mahdi during a conference held by the Atlantic Council.

She added that she and several other ministers have since submitted their letters of resignation.

Europe sees widespread protests against COVID-19 restrictions

“MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>Europe sees widespread protests against COVID-19 restrictionsThe WorldNovember 22, 2021 · 11:15 AM EST

Protestors clash with riot police during a demonstration against the reinforced measures of the Belgium government to counter the latest spike of the coronavirus in Brussels, Belgium, Nov. 21, 2021.

Olivier Matthys/AP

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Europe
It’s been a weekend of protests against COVID-19 restrictions across Europe, a continent that is seeing a surge in cases and is now the epicenter of the pandemic. In Belgium, where, starting Wednesday of last week, there’s been a wider mandate in masking and working from home, nearly 35,000 people took to the streets in peaceful protests that broke out into violence. Several cities across the Netherlands saw violent protests on Friday and Saturday, with Dutch authorities deploying a water cannon, mounted officers and dogs to disperse the crowds. Austria, Denmark, and the French overseas territory of Guadeloupe had similar protests. The French government is sending police special forces to Guadeloupe after three days of protests against COVID-19 restrictions that turned into rioting and looting. The rallies were initially called by workers’ unions to denounce France’s health pass, a necessary requirement to access restaurants, sports events and other places, and mandatory vaccinations for health care workers.

Sudan
Nearly four weeks after Sudan’s military took control of the country’s government in a coup that saw Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok deposed and placed under house arrest, Hamdok has signed a deal with Sudan’s top army commander that will see him reinstated as interim prime minister until new elections are held. Thousands of Sudanese took to the streets to protest the deal, calling it a betrayal to the democratic cause. The agreement also includes the release of political prisoners who were jailed following the military coup. The number of people killed during rallies in the past month has been raised to 41, according to a report by a coalition of medical workers. The report also stated that security forces have targeted hospitals and blocked injured protesters from receiving treatment.

Haiti
Two of the 17 missionaries that were kidnapped this past October in Haiti by the 400 Mawozo gang have been released. The hostages were part of an American missionary group that includes women and children. They were visiting an orphanage just outside the capital, Port-au-Prince. The Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries said it would not announce the names of the two people who were freed, but that they are “safe, in good spirits, and being cared for.” The missionaries are all from Amish, Mennonite and other conservative Anabaptist communities across six US states, plus one person from Canada.

From The WorldArmenia-Azerbaijan conflict stifles critical transport development in the region, analyst says

A forest burns in the mountains after shelling by Azerbaijan's artillery during a military conflict outside Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Oct. 31, 2020.

Credit:

AP Photo/File photo

As tensions flare up again between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Thomas de Wall, a senior fellow with Carnegie Europe with a specialty in Eastern Europe, speaks to The World's host Marco Werman about the regional players invested in the fight and how their interests are influencing the conflict.

‘I’m still not free’: Aid workers who helped refugees in Greece face months of legal limbo

Irish German Seán Binder stands outside a court in Mytilene port, on the northeastern Aegean island of Lesbos, Greece, Nov. 18, 2021. A group of 24 volunteers who took part in migrant rescue operations are on trial on the Greek island of Lesbos on smuggling-related charges in a case that has been strongly criticized by international human rights groups. 

Credit:

Panagiotis Balaskas/AP

Last week, Irishman Seán Binder and 23 other aid workers stood trial in Greece, accused of espionage, forgery and supporting a criminal organization. The judge ultimately ruled to refer the case to a higher court.

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Double Take

Sacré bleu!

The French flag saw a change this past summer that's gone largely unnoticed until recently. President Emmanuel Macron’s office darkened the blue in the flags flying around the Élysée Palace to align them with with the hue seen after the French Revolution. The switch took place in July. Presidential aides say the change is not in “opposition to the blue used by the European [Union] flag.”

In case you missed itListen: IOC announces plans for trans and intersex inclusion in sport

The Olympic symbol is reinstalled after it was taken down for maintenance ahead of the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Dec. 1, 2020.

Credit:

Eugene Hoshiko/AP/File photo

The International Olympic Committee has announced a new framework for transgender and intersex athletes this week. In part, the guidelines say no athlete has an inherent advantage just because of physical appearance, gender or intersex identities. The guidelines also move away from using testosterone levels alone to determine eligibility. And we hear the personal story of Sofie Lovern, a Mexican American standup comedian from Oakland, California, who converted to Islam as a young adult. Plus, Shohei Ohtani has been called the Japanese Babe Ruth. Now, the Los Angeles Angels’ player has won the American League’s MVP award, making him the second Japanese-born player to score the big win.

Don't forget to subscribe to The World's Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

‘Millions March’ protests planned across Sudan as military doubles down on power grab

“MuiTypography-root-133 MuiTypography-h1-138″>'Millions March' protests planned across Sudan as military doubles down on power grab

Attempts to mediate between the military and civilian leaders have been unsuccessful so far. 

The WorldNovember 12, 2021 · 5:00 PM EST

People chant slogans during a protest in Khartoum, Sudan, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. Sudan’s protest movement has rejected internationally backed initiatives to return to a power-sharing arrangement with the military after last month’s coup. It called for two days of nationwide strikes, starting Sunday, Nov. 7. 

Marwan Ali/AP/File 

Despite weeks of massive street protests and widespread international criticism, Sudan’s military seems to be doubling down on its power grab that began on Oct. 25. 

On Thursday, army chief General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan was sworn in again as head of Sudan’s new Sovereign Council, a body that the military dissolved nearly three weeks ago.

Related: Amid plans of mass protests, Sudan's military suggests ousted prime minister can return to power

The joint military and civilian council was established in 2019, following the ousting of former president Omar al-Bashir.

It was meant to steer Sudan toward democratic elections.

Now that future is in jeopardy.

And across Sudan, "march of millions" protests have reportedly been organized. 

Related: Sudanese protester to military: ‘Our numbers are too big to be ignored’

In a statement today, the United States and other Western powers said the move “complicates efforts to put Sudan’s democratic transition back on track." 

Related: Sudan’s ousted ambassador to the US says resorting to ‘the gun’ doesn’t aid the revolution

Since the coup, multiple civil servants, including ministers and ambassadors, have been removed from their positions, and replaced.

“A lot of them are allied to the former regime,” said Jihad Mashamoun, a Sudanese political analyst.

Attempts to mediate between the military and civilian leaders have been unsuccessful so far. 

“[T]he military did not want to release the people they arrested, and it didn’t want to recognize that what they did was a coup, which is actually the sticking point of Prime Minister Hamdok."

Jihad Mashamoun, Sudanese political analyst

“Because the military did not want to release the people they arrested, and it didn’t want to recognize that what they did was a coup, which is actually the sticking point of Prime Minister Hamdok,” Mashamoun explained. 

Additionally, many civilian leaders and demonstrators are rejecting a return to the previous, fraught arrangement, which had military and civilian jointly sharing power.

For many critics, the recent actions by the security forces, including continued arrests of civilians, is a sign that the military isn’t serious about a democratic transition.

While some who were detained during the coup have since been released, some senior civilian officials remain in undisclosed locations.

That includes Yasir Arman, current political adviser to Hamdok and former rebel leader of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement—North (SPL-M). His brother, Fattah Arman, described how Arman was taken from his home by armed men the day of the coup. A security video that captures the moment has since been shared online.

“He was barefoot, so they didn't even allow him to put any shoes or even change his pajamas. There was a blindfold on his eyes,”  Fattah Arman said. 

Another brother of Yasir Arman, who has no apparent political affiliation, was also arrested, but has since been released.

To date, Yasir Arman’s family has received little information about his whereabouts or condition.

“We are very worried about his well-being,” said Fattah Arman. “But…he's not alone, many have been arrested, many have been killed. We are positive that our people and everyone is going to topple this regime,” he added.

Peaceful protests against the military takeover have continued across Sudan, and diaspora communities, for weeks.

But the cost of these demonstrations has been high.

Activists have recorded more than a dozen deaths and many more injuries at the hands of security forces.

Abdulrahman Hassan Saied, a trader in Khartoum, said he was shot by security forces during a demonstration outside the military headquarters last month.

“The soldiers targeted us the protestors when we were peaceful."

Abdulrahman Hassan Saied, trader, Khartoum, Sudan

“The soldiers targeted us the protestors when we were peaceful,” he said.

His doctor told The World that it was unlikely Saied will ever be able to walk again due to his injuries.

Still, he remains defiant against the military – unwilling to relinquish the dreams that he and countless Sudanese have of a democratic future. 

“We want civilian government that will bring stability,” he said. “We don't want any military rule again.”

Sudan’s ousted ambassador to the US says resorting to ‘the gun’ doesn’t aid the revolution

Sudan’s ousted ambassador to the US says resorting to ‘the gun’ doesn’t aid the revolution

Nureldin Satti was one of the country's top diplomats in Washington. Satti says he will "resist" the military's power grab. The World's Africa correspondent Halima Gikandi spoke with him about what's playing out in Sudan and what's next.

By
Halima Gikandi

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People protest in Khartoum, Sudan, two days after a military coup, Oct. 27, 2021. The coup threatens to halt Sudan’s fitful transition to democracy, which began after the 2019 ouster of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir and his Islamist government in a popular uprising. It came after weeks of mounting tensions between military and civilian leaders over the course and pace of that process.

Credit:

Marwan Ali/AP

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Sudan’s military rulers are facing resistance from people in the streets and from Sudan’s own diplomatic corps.

On Monday, the military seized control and dissolved the country’s transitional government. More than 30 Sudanese diplomats responded with a statement condemning the coup.

On Thursday, the military said it has fired six of Sudan’s ambassadors. One of them is Nureldin Satti, the country’s top diplomat in Washington. Satti says he will “resist” the military’s power grab. The World’s Africa correspondent Halima Gikandi spoke with him about what’s playing out in Sudan and what’s next.
 

Halima Gikandi: How did you learn about what was happening back home and what went through your mind at that time?Nureldin Satti: Well, I learned about it, to be very frank with you, through the media, to start with, at the early hours, and some friends started calling from all around the world at the early hours of Oct. 25. And of course, what went through my mind was extreme disappointment and distress for what has happened. Because frankly, I expected everything but this. After all that we have gone through throughout the years, the decades, and the agreements that we have concluded between the civilian and the military components of the government, we thought that we would be able to resolve our problems peacefully without resorting to the gun.Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the general behind the military coup, says he’s acting for the benefit of Sudan’s revolution and that he will form a new government. You’re resisting that. Why?I am resisting that because he is not telling the truth. How can you act to the benefit of the revolution when you are using the gun to do that? The revolution, you know, one of the basic foundations of our thinking is that we are going to resolve our problems peacefully.And the United States, the African Union, the European Union and many others have condemned this military takeover. You’re a diplomat. What do you see as your role and what you can do given the situation at home?Well, my role is to continue to support my people, the people of Sudan who have taken to the streets to resist this military coup and to continue my contacts here in the US in order to see what can be done about this and encourage the United States to put pressure on those who carried this coup in order to change course and to accept, to take things back to what they were before the coup.And are there any specific actions you’d like to see right now from the Biden administration?Well, more of what they are doing now. They are now putting pressure on Burhan and his people. They’re contacting, they’re building I’d say a kind of consensus with a number of countries from the West and elsewhere. And of course, when the time comes, they will have to apply more pressure by using some concrete, you know, measures and decisions that would be more forcefully, that would convince Gen. Burhan that it’s not in his interest to continue on that course.And the US has paused, as one of the means for putting pressure on the military, has paused $700 million worth of aid for Sudan. Do you support that decision?In principle, of course, I would have hoped that the Sudanese received that money, but they have to receive it in proper conditions. If they received it in the current circumstances, my fear is that they are going to be squandered or used for other purposes. So, I suppose it’s good that they are talking about a pause and they’re not talking about, you know, repealing or going back on their promises.And you were appointed last year at a time when Sudan and theUnited States were just beginning to thaw their relations. Are you worried about the impact that this military coup will have on the future of this relationship?
​​​​​Yes, I’m extremely worried, extremely worried because we are already seeing, you know, some signs that we are going back to the situation that we were in before I came here and before the revolution actually. I came here because a revolution has taken place in Sudan. That’s why I was appointed here. Now, I do not want us to go back to the situation that we were in before. Many decades, you know, a tug-of-war between Sudan, the United States, the international community. Sanctions, wars and violence. You know, that kind of thing. It is the people of Sudan who are suffering from that. So we need to do all that we can to prevent us from going in that direction.
​​​​​​I spoke with one man this week who was protesting in Khartoum,and he said that the army needs to give power back to the people. Protests are continuing and we’ve already seen them become deadly. We’ve seen reports of multiple deaths at the hands of armed forces. What’s your message to Sudanese at this moment of fear and uncertainty?My message is twofold. One to Burhan and his people to stop this aggression against the peaceful Sudanese people. It is aggression. They are shooting and using live ammunition in the streets of Khartoum and other cities. And you know, this is really a violation of human rights and they will be, of course, held accountable for that. There’s no doubt about that. So I’m telling them to stop doing this, and you have to control your troops so that they do not commit those crimes. My second, of course, message is to our own people that they should keep pushing for change. There is no other course. And that is going to be a lot of sacrifices, many people are going to die, but at the end, you know, freedom. We shall be paying a very high price for freedom, and the Sudanese people have accepted to pay that price.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

Top US oil executives to testify before Congress

Top US oil executives to testify before Congress

By
The World staff

The logo for ExxonMobil appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, April 23, 2018.

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Richard Drew/AP/File photo

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United States
Top oil executives are testifying before Congress on Thursday in a landmark hearing before the US House Oversight Committee. Democratic legislators say they’re investigating a decadeslong, industrywide campaign to spread disinformation about the role of fossil fuels in causing global warming. Officials from Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron, BP America and Shell will speak before the committee, along with leaders of the industry’s top lobbying group and the US Chamber of Commerce. They’re also expected to renew their commitment to fighting climate change. Rep. Ro Khanna, who is behind the hearing, is a leading critic of the industry. The companies have dodged previous requests to testify on these issues.

Sudan
The African Union has suspended Sudan over this week’s military coup. The group said in a communique that the decision would remain in place until “the effective restoration” of the transitional authority that was leading the country toward democratic elections, which the military overthrew. The World Bank also halted its disbursements to Sudan on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Sudan’s top military official, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, fired at least six ambassadors including the envoys to the United States, the European Union, Qatar, China and France, after some of them condemned the coup. Burhan also fired Adlan Ibrahim, head of the country’s Civil Aviation Authority, after the resumption of flights in and out of Khartoum’s international airport on Wednesday.

Myanmar
A new report has revealed that Myanmar’s junta tortures detainees in a systematic way. The Associated Press conducted interviews with 28 people imprisoned and released in recent months, and concluded that since its takeover of the government in February, Myanmar’s military has been torturing detainees in a methodical and systemic way across the country. The investigation based its findings on photographic evidence, sketches, and letters along with testimony from two military captains and an aide to a high-ranking commander; it’s the most comprehensive look since the takeover. The country’s secretive detention system has held more than 9,000 people. Some of them had been detained for protesting against the military, while others were not given clear reasons for their arrests. Since February, security forces have killed more than 1,200 people, including an estimated 131 or more who were tortured to death.

From The WorldHaiti’s rival gangs hold a firm grip on fuel supply, testing life at every level

A man balances his motorbike tank on his head as he waits outside a gas station in hopes of filling his tank, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Oct. 23, 2021. The ongoing fuel shortage has worsened, with demonstrators blocking roads and burning tires in Haiti’s capital to decry the severe shortage and a spike in insecurity.

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Matias Delacroix/AP

Haiti is running out of gas — which is being called “liquid gold.”
And the capital has been brought to the brink of exhaustion due to fuel shortages.

Gangs, a powerful force in Haiti, are blockading fuel supplies at the ports, which are located in areas they control, driving residents of Port-au-Prince to a desperate search for gasoline and diesel. The World’s Monica Campbell reports from the capital.

A new law in France aims to protect indie bookshops against outsized Amazon competition

Sylvia Whitman, the proprietor of the English and American literature Shakespeare and Co. bookstore, checks her messages on her phone in Paris, Nov. 5, 2020.

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Francois Mori/AP

Amazon often offers cheap books with fast and free delivery options, making it hard for independent bookstores to compete. The new law regulating delivery fees will put a bit more power back into the hands of indie shops.

Bright Spot?

🚀 Would you hop on a hoverbike — a $680,000 one? If your answer is yes, you might want to check ALI Technologies’ XTurismo Limited Edition electric hoverbike now available to order in Japan. It can fly for 40 minutes at up to 60 miles per hour on a single charge! It’s just perfect for a short commute. But here is the catch: Current traffic regulations in Japan do not allow hoverbikes to fly over roads. The makers of the vehicle hope this can be of use for rescue teams when needing to reach areas difficult to access.

A Japanese startup company has launched a hoverbike for a whopping 77.7 million yen, or about $680,000. The XTurismo Limited Edition can fly for roughly 40 minutes with a top speed over 60 mph. pic.twitter.com/fMJOFTE58l

— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 27, 2021In case you missed itListen: Haiti fuel shortage intensifies

People push and shove as they try to get their tanks filled at a gas station in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sept. 22, 2021. In addition to kidnappings, gangs are blamed for blocking gas distribution terminals and hijacking supply trucks, which officials say has led to a shortage of fuel. 

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Rodrigo Abd/AP

Haiti is running out of fuel. The severe fuel shortage has intensified because gangs are blockading fuel supplies at ports located in areas controlled by them. And we hear from Osama, who grew up in the West Bank during the first and second intifadas. A chance encounter with a group of Jewish people made him question his own prejudices and he now works for peace. Plus, a court in Madrid has ruled that a couple, now separated, will have joint custody of their dog. The ruling recognized the people as “co-carers” so that Panda, the dog, will now alternate between two homes.

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Israel approves nearly 3,000 new Jewish settlement homes in the West Bank

Israel approves nearly 3,000 new Jewish settlement homes in the West Bank

By
The World staff

Palestinian laborers work building new houses in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Bruchin near the Palestinian town of Nablus, Oct. 25, 2021.

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Ariel Schalit/AP

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Israel
A day after the Biden administration issued its strongest condemnation yet of Israeli settlement construction, an Israeli committee approved 2,800 new settlement homes in the West Bank. More than half of the housing units got final approval by the Defense Ministry’s higher planning council before building starts. The US State Department on Tuesday said that it was “deeply concerned” about Israel’s plans to advance the new settlement homes, including many deep inside the West Bank. Protests erupted in May when the Israeli government tried to evict families from the East Jerusalem Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Israeli settlements are prohibited under the fourth Geneva Conventions and remain an obstacle to a two-state solution to the conflict.

India
India’s Supreme Court has ordered an independent probe into spying claims revealed in the Pegasus Papers in July. The country’s top court appointed an independent committee to look into the allegations that the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi used the Israeli military-grade spyware Pegasus to snoop on sitting members of Parliament, judges, journalists and activists. The move came in response to multiple petitions filed by those who were targeted. The ruling says that the state does not get a free pass every time national security is raised.

Brazil
A commission in Brazil has voted in favor of recommending criminal charges against President Jair Bolsonaro. The group was investigating the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the majority of senators voted in support of a 1,288-page report looking into the crisis. The senate panel backed the call for charges against Bolsonaro that include crimes against humanity, after the deaths of 600,000 from coronavirus, the second-highest number of deaths after the United States. The findings will be sent to the chief prosecutor, who is a Bolsonaro appointee. The president maintains that he is not guilty of the accusations. And there is still no guarantee that the vote will lead to actual criminal charges.

From The WorldAn upcoming vaccine drive in Afghanistan is an ‘unprecedented opportunity’ to eradicate polio, UN official says

A health worker administers a vaccination to a child during a polio campaign in the old part of Kabul, Afghanistan, June 15, 2021. UN agencies are gearing up to vaccinate all of Afghanistan’s children under 5 against polio after the Taliban agreed to the campaign, the World Health Organization said on Oct. 19, 2021.

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Rahmat Gul/Ap

Next month, UN agencies in Afghanistan will restart a nationwide vaccination drive that’s been on hold for more than three years, due to conflict and security threats.

UNICEF and the World Health Organization recently reached an agreement with the Taliban, allowing the vaccinations to resume and permitting Afghan women vaccine workers to take part in the drives, as well.

Sudanese protester to military: ‘Our numbers are too big to be ignored’

A pro-democracy protester flashes the victory sign as thousands take to the streets to condemn a takeover by military officials, in Khartoum, Sudan, Oct. 25, 2021.

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Ashraf Idris/AP

On Tuesday in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, calls for civil disobedience came blaring from a loudspeaker attached to a mosque. One voice urged citizens not to go to work to punish the military for betraying the revolution.

Dalia Abdel-Moneim, a Khartoum resident, joined The World’s host Carol Hills to discuss the situation in the nation’s capital as people took to the streets after the military seized power. She said the city is tense after all businesses and shops closed. 

“It’s literally a major strike,” Abdel-Moneim said. “Anyone who’s out on the street is either going to try and get supplies or just trying to get to family or something. But the city is pretty much dead, and that’s, I think, the case throughout the whole country.”

Double Take

In a rare ruling, a Spanish judge has granted joint custody of a dog.  Panda will now alternate between both parties of a separated couple for a month at a time. The lawyer who brought the case to court called this a “pioneer ruling,” since her client was recognized by the court as “co-carer” of Panda instead of a “co-owner.” The judge said the evidence, which included the dog’s adoption contract, veterinary bills and photographs, revealed an affective relationship worthy of legal guardianship.

Spain grants joint custody of dog in rare ruling https://t.co/SqZFzsI9uZ

— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) October 27, 2021In case you missed itListen: Protesters defy military coup in Sudan

Pro-democracy protesters flash the victory sign as they take to the streets to condemn a takeover by military officials, in Khartoum, Sudan, Oct. 25, 2021.

Credit:

Ashraf Idris/AP/File 

Demonstrators have taken to the streets of Khartoum, Sudan, in an attempt to bring down the top military generals who seized power Monday. And, we hear from Dean Issacharoff, who could hardly wait to join the Israeli army at age 18. The beatings of Palestinians made him question his allegiances, but when he spoke out against the attacks, the military turned against him. Also, later this month, the United States will challenge a UK judge’s ruling on Julian Assange’s extradition to the US. The judge originally rejected the extradition over concern for Assange’s mental health.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Iran faces widespread gas station outage, believed to be a cyberattack.

Iran faces widespread gas station outage, believed to be a cyberattack.

By
The World staff

A gas station is empty because the gas pumps are out of service in Tehran, Iran, after a widespread outage of a system that allows consumers to buy fuel with a government-issued card, Oct. 26, 2021.

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Vahid Salemi/AP

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Iran
A widespread network outage, believed to be caused by a cyberattack, has affected gas stations across Iran, shutting down a government system that manages fuel subsidies, and leaving angry motorists stranded in long lines at shuttered stations. No group has claimed responsibility for the outage. The semiofficial ISNA news agency reported that  those trying to buy fuel with a government-issued card through machines received a message reading “cyberattack 64411.” Most Iranians rely on the subsidies to fuel their vehicles, particularly amid the country’s economic problems, and an economy that’s been buckling under US sanctions. The use of the number “64411” mirrors an cyberattack in July targeting Iran’s railroad system that also saw the number displayed. Israeli cybersecurity firm Check Point later attributed the train attack to a group of hackers that called themselves Indra, after the Hindu god of war.

Sudan
A day after a military coup in Sudan, protesters burned tires and blocked roads with makeshift barricades in the capital Khartoum. The takeover came after weeks of mounting tensions between military and civilian leaders over the course and pace of Sudan’s transition to a democratic system, which has made slow progress since the ousting of former President Omar al-Bashir in 2019. Sudan’s top general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan maintains that the military ousted the government to avoid civil war. The US had removed Khartoum from a list of state sponsors of terrorism last year, and recently voiced support for civilian rule sending in the top regional envoy, Jeffrey Feltman, to dissuade the military leadership from seizing power, but the generals made their move three hours after Feltman’s departure.

Egypt
Egypt has ended its state of emergency for the first time since 2017, saying that it’s no longer needed. Since the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in 1981, Egypt has been under a continuous state of emergency with the exception of a few years following the 2011 revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak. It was reinstated after the bombings of two Coptic churches by an ISIS affiliate that killed more than 40 people and wounded dozens more in April 2017. The state of emergency had granted the government sweeping authority to quash protests, detain dissidents and control everyday life in the most populous Arab country. Prominent Egyptian activist Hossam Bahgat said the decision would stop the use of emergency state security courts, though it would not apply to some high-profile cases already referred to such courts.

From The WorldIsraeli designation of 6 NGOs as terrorist organizations ‘criminalizes’ civil society work, media consultant says

Shawan Jabarin, director of the al-Haq human rights group, at the organization’s offices in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Oct. 23, 2021.

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Majdi Mohammed/AP

Israel’s defense minister has designated six Palestinian rights groups — al-Haq, Addameer, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, Defense for Children International-Palestine and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees — as terrorist organizations. Israel says the groups are connected to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which has been behind attacks in the past.

The announcement brought swift condemnation. The US State Department said it was never notified of the decision, and human rights campaigners say the terror designations are baseless. Activists called on the international community on Saturday to help reverse Israel’s unprecedented decision.

Nour Odeh, a media consultant based in Ramallah, who is a former spokesperson for the Palestinian Prime Minister’s Office, discussed the move with The World’s Carol Hills.

In China, jump roping is a popular competitive sport. Skill level also affects kids’ grades.

A man and woman twirl a jump rope for a girl at a park in Beijing, Oct. 31, 2015.

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Mark Schiefelbein/AP

In China, where classrooms can have upwards of 40 students, jump rope is a relatively inexpensive sport. It doesn’t take up much space so it’s become a popular measure of student fitness. And it’s not just a requirement — it impacts your final grade.

Double Take

A “long-awaited victory.” That’s what Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called a decision by a Dutch court which ruled that a collection of archeological objects from the disputed Crimean Peninsula should be returned to Ukraine, as they are “part of the cultural heritage of the Ukrainian state.” Crimea loaned the artifacts to the Allard Pierson museum in Amsterdam before Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. Russian officials and lawmakers have vowed to appeal.

🇳🇱🇺🇦 In what Kyiv hailed as a “victory”, a Dutch court ruled a trove of cultural treasures from Crimea should be handed to the Ukrainian government. https://t.co/IkrKLmeJm2

— euronews (@euronews) October 26, 2021In case you missed itListen: Sudan’s military takes power in coup

In this frame taken from video, the head of the military, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, announced in a televised address that he was dissolving the country’s ruling Sovereign Council, as well as the government led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, in Khartoum, Sudan, Oct. 25, 2021. 

Credit:

Sudan TV via AP

Sudan TV/AP

The armed forces in Sudan have detained the country’s prime minister along with other top officials and dissolved the joint civilian-military government that was steering the country toward democratic reform in an apparent military coup. And Afghanistan will restart nationwide polio vaccinations after more than three years. The new Taliban government agreed to assist the campaign and will allow women to participate as front-line workers. Also, jump-rope contests are popular entertainment on Chinese TV. Now, parents are sending their kids to jump-rope cramming schools for another reason — gaining an edge on their test scores.

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Protests erupt across Sudan against military coup

Protests erupt across Sudan against military coup

Tensions came to a critical point on Monday when armed forces detained Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, Cabinet Affairs Minister Khalid Omer Yousif and other top civilian leaders.
 

By
Halima Gikandi

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Thousands of pro-democracy protesters take to the streets to condemn a takeover by military officials in Khartoum, Sudan, Oct. 25, 2021. Sudan’s military seized power Monday, dissolving the transitional government hours after troops arrested the acting prime minister and other officials. 

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Ashraf Idris/AP

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Across Sudan, people have taken to the streets to protest a military coup that threatens their hopes for a democratic future.

For two years, the country has been run by a tense and volatile power-sharing agreement between civilian and military leaders that was established after former dictator Omar al-Bashir was ousted from power.

Tensions came to a critical point on Monday when armed forces detained Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, Cabinet Affairs Minister Khalid Omer Yousif and other top civilian leaders.

Related: After the revolution, a secular Sudan?

“We still don’t know any news about the whereabouts of the prime minister, his wife, five of the ministers and a number of political leaders who were arrested in the early hours of this morning,” said Yousif’s adviser, Abdelmoniem el-Jack, over the phone from Khartoum.

Jack, who is currently in hiding, said the military takeover was driven by three contested issues with the civilian leaders: unification of armed forces, reclaiming of economic resources controlled by the military, and justice for victims of violence during the 2019 revolution and the genocide in Darfur.

Related: Sudan’s troubled attempt at education reform

In a national TV address on Monday, Gen. Abdul-Fattah al-Burhan, who chaired the Sovereign Council, announced they were dissolving the government and declared a state of emergency.

“Usually, when a coup happens in Sudanese history, they always come like this. … They say given the economic situation, [the] political insecurity that’s happening, we’ve decided to take over the reins of power.””

Jihad Mashamoun, Sudanese political analyst, United Kingdom

“Usually, when a coup happens in Sudanese history, they always come like this,” observed Jihad Mashamoun, a Sudanese political analyst based in the United Kingdom. 

“They say given the economic situation, [the] political insecurity that’s happening, we’ve decided to take over the reins of power.”

Indeed, Sudan has been in a near-constant political and economic crisis since the 2019 revolution.  

The civilian-led government has been largely unable to address the high prices of basic goods, high unemployment and ongoing political instability in parts of the country. 

Related: After the revolution, Sudanese women ask what’s next? 

“This has all been rather carefully constructed by the military who have sought to portray the government as unable to do the job of responding to the needs of the Sudanese population and have used that as a pretext now to take control of Sudan’s fragile transition.”

Jonas Horner, senior Sudan analyst, International Crisis Group

“This has all been rather carefully constructed by the military who have sought to portray the government as unable to do the job of responding to the needs of the Sudanese population and have used that as a pretext now to take control of Sudan’s fragile transition,” said Jonas Horner, senior Sudan analyst at the International Crisis Group.

But the military appears to have made a major miscalculation about how the people would respond to them taking over power.

“They did not anticipate that people would go out and protest,” Mashamoun said. “They anticipated that the people would just be calm because they got tired of the economic crisis.”

Instead, the opposite has been true. The resounding support for civilian leadership has been on display on the streets of Khartoum as peaceful protesters marched outside the army headquarters.

“All the streets were blocked by stones and people refusing this thing from the military and refusing to be governed by the military people.”

Aymen Sayeed, protester, Khartoum, Sudan

“All the streets were blocked by stones and people refusing this thing from the military and refusing to be governed by the military people,” said demonstrator Aymen Sayeed over the phone from Khartoum. 

“Give the power back to the people,” he added via text message to The World after the phone connection disconnected.

While the internet and telecommunication services have largely been cut off, trickles of information have come through on social media, shedding light on the scale of civilian mobilization but also the deadly response by armed forces.

In a social media post, the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said at least three people had died and more than 80 people had been injured.

Jack, the government adviser, says the international community must act against the leaders of the military coup.

“There is a need for whole isolation from the international and regional community against General Burhan, General Hemeti, and all those who are involved in this coup.”

Abdel-moniem El-Jack, adviser to Cabinet Affairs Minister Khalid Omer Yousif

“There is a need for whole isolation from the international and regional community against Gen. Burhan, Gen. [Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo] Hemeti, and all those who are involved in this coup,” said Jack, who called on the United Nations Security Council to sanction the leaders and for the African Union to suspend Sudan’s membership.

In light of the coup, the United States said it was pausing $700 million in emergency economic support for Sudan that was meant to support the country’s democratic transition.

Sudan’s military seizes power, dissolves transitional government

Sudan’s military seizes power, dissolves transitional government

By
The World staff

Thousands of pro-democracy protesters take to the streets to condemn a takeover by military officials in Khartoum, Sudan, Oct. 25, 2021.

Credit:

Ashraf Idris/AP

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Sudan
After dissolving Sudan’s transitional government and placing acting Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok under house arrest, the military seized power in Sudan. Thousands took to the streets in Khartoum, and at least 12 protesters were wounded in demonstrations, according to the Sudanese Doctors Committee. The head of the ruling council, military officer Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, announced a state of emergency across the country and said that the military needed to protect the country’s safety and security, which the 2019 transitional government failed to do. In just a few weeks, Sudan’s military was expected to hand leadership of the Sudan’s ruling council to civilians. The military takeover comes two years after countrywide protests forced Omar al-Bashir,  who ruled Sudan for 30 years, to step down.

UN greenhouse gas report
Just days before the start of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization released a report that says that climate-heating gas levels in the atmosphere hit record highs in 2020, despite the coronavirus-related lockdowns, and that greenhouse gas concentrations increased at the fastest rate in the past 10 years. In a worrisome development, the report also points out that parts of the Amazon are no longer a carbon sink due to deforestation and low humidity levels in the region. The UN climate conference, running from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12, marks an important opportunity for concrete commitments to reach targets set out in the 2015 Paris climate accord.

China
China is expanding its COVID-19 vaccination program to include children between the ages of 3 and 11. About 76% of China’s population has been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. Authorities maintain a zero-tolerance policy toward outbreaks and continue with mass testing of residents and targeted lockdowns. On Monday, the National Health Commission reported 35 new cases of local transmission detected over the past 24 hours, four of them in Gansu province, leading to the shutdown of all tourist sites. The Beijing marathon, with an expected attendance of 30,000 people this upcoming weekend, has been postponed until further notice as the country seeks to control localized outbreaks ahead of the February Winter Olympics.

From The WorldNetflix hit ‘Squid Game’ exposes the growing resentment between rich and poor, psychiatrist says

Members of the South Korean Confederation of Trade Unions wearing masks and costumes inspired by the Netflix original Korean series “Squid Game” attend a rally demanding job security in Seoul, South Korea, Oct. 20, 2021.

Credit:

Ahn Young-joon/AP

The new Netflix psychological thriller series “Squid Game” is intense and brutal — but it’s also fiction. Why does it have such far-reaching impact around the world? Psychiatrist Jean Kim discusses the history of the Koreas and how it affects today’s popular culture with The World’s host Marco Werman.

Foragers in Catalonia embrace a new mushroom-hunting season after last year’s strict lockdown

Pep González, a longtime mushroom forager, on a hunt for mushrooms in the forest.

Credit:

Lucía Benavides/The World

This year, mushroom-hunting season is more anticipated than ever after last year’s strict quarantine measures kept most people in their own municipalities for the entire winter. The tradition is particularly strong in the northeast region of Catalonia.

Double Take

A rare coin that was worth just pennies in the 17th century when it was minted in New England could now sell for around $300,000. The coin, found in Boston, is set to go on auction in London next month. It’s been called the “star of the collection” by the auctioneer’s coin specialist James Morton. 💰

Rare silver coin made in Colonial New England could fetch $300,000 at auction https://t.co/TrqAql6Qz9

— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) October 21, 2021In case you missed itListen: Israeli prime minister takes his first trip to Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speak during their meeting in Sochi, Russia, Oct. 22, 2021. Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett Friday for their first meeting, hailing friendly ties between the two countries. 

Credit:

Evgeny Biyatov/Sputnik/Kremlin Pool Photo/AP

Over the past decade, the Israeli government has been cozying up to Moscow. On Friday, new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett traveled to Russia for the first time and met with President Vladimir Putin at a resort in Sochi, Russia, to discuss Israel and Russia’s “special relationship.” Also, the Netflix series “Squid Game” is a dark comedy about a competition that emerges from Korean culture, but has widespread appeal. We speak to a psychiatrist who explains why the new show resonates so far and wide beyond South Korea. And, since the summer, Belarus strongman Alexander Lukashenko has been sending Syrian and Iraqi migrants across its borders into EU countries such as Lithuania, Latvia and Poland. The Lukashenko regime has also continued to clamp down on political dissent, this week raiding one of the few independent news outlets, Novy Chas.

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Two years after revolution, Christians in Sudan evaluate gains

Two years after revolution, Christians in Sudan evaluate gains

Sudan’s new government is working to provide protections for religious minorities. Sudanese Christians are trying to figure out what it means for them. 

By
Halima Gikandi

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A priest conducts a service at the St. Matthew’s Catholic Cathedral in Khartoum, Sudan.

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Mohamed Noureldin Abdallah/The World

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Sunday morning Mass is about to begin at the St. Matthew’s Catholic Cathedral in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan.

The century-old St. Matthew’s is one of the country’s oldest and largest churches.

As worshippers enter the main building, they kneel in front of the altar and make cross signs in front of their chests.

Related: Sudan’s troubled attempt at education reform

A youth choir, accompanied by electronic keyboard music, begins to sing and the congregation stands.

“I have so many memories in this church … because of so many things that I experienced growing up in Sudan as a Black woman and as a Christian young woman in Sudan during the Bashir regime.”

Elizabeth Achu, St. Matthew’s Catholic Cathedral, attendee

“I have so many memories in this church,” Elizabeth Achu, a 31-year-old economist, said after the service, adding that it has been a refuge for her since she was a child “because of so many things that I experienced growing up in Sudan as a Black woman and as a Christian young woman in Sudan during the Bashir regime.”

St. Matthew’s Catholic Cathedral in Khartoum, Sudan.

Credit:

Mohamed Noureldin Abdallah/The World

For years, Sudan was criticized by the US and other Western countries for its treatment of religious minorities, especially Christians. Christians in Sudan have endured hate speech and some reported forced conversions. Also, it was illegal for Muslim women to marry non-Muslim men while churches were vandalized and burned down.

Today, Sudan is still overwhelmingly Muslim, but there is a substantial Christian minority. Now, the new government, trying to gain recognition on the international stage, is working to provide protections for religious minorities.

Many Sudanese Christians welcome the changes, while others say it’s too late. And still others say the country has a long way to go to demonstrate acceptance of them and other religious minorities.

Although Achu grew up in Khartoum, her family roots are in the predominantly Christian south.

In 2010, the southern region voted to become the world’s youngest country, South Sudan, in part because of years of violent conflict and oppression of Christians by a predominantly Muslim and Arab central government.

Related: After the revolution, a secular Sudan?

She too spent some time in South Sudan but returned to Sudan for work opportunities.

Her family background and Christian faith have often made her feel singled out in Sudan.

“I can just remember some kinds of things that were being said while you were in public transport, people looking at you and telling you, ‘Oh you’re kafir,’ [infidel,] you know, like you’re someone who’s going to hell because you’re not Muslim, you’re not covering up your hair.” 

Elizabeth Achu, St. Matthew’s Catholic Cathedral, attendee

“I can just remember some kinds of things that were being said while you were in public transport, people looking at you and telling you, ‘Oh you’re kafir,’ [infidel,] you know, like you’re someone who’s going to hell because you’re not Muslim, you’re not covering up your hair,” Achu said.

Now that she’s older, Achu said that she’s forgiven people and moved on. She’d rather think about the positive changes that have come to Sudan since President Omar al-Bashir was ousted in 2019.

After the revolution, Sudan’s Minister of Religion Nasr Eddin Mofarah recognized Sudan’s multireligious heritage — and welcomed those who left the country to return, including Christians, and Jews, most of whom left decades ago to escape persecution.

Related: Sudan signs pact on normalizing ties with Israel

Last year, Sudan repealed a highly criticized apostasy law, and made it illegal to even accuse someone of being an “infidel” — or nonbeliever.

The new government has also declared Christmas a national holiday.

“Now, we have neighbors who walk in and say, ‘Oh, happy Christmas,’ or “happy Easter.” Before, they used to think this is haram [forbidden by Islamic law],” Achu said. “I now have Sudanese friends my age who come with me to church.”

A place to pray, worship

Copt Wagdi Adil works at an antique shop in the Atenay neighborhood of Khartoum, home to many Copts, a Christian ethno-religious community mainly located in Egypt but also scattered throughout Libya, Sudan and Australia.

Even after the separation of the south, Christian communities can be found across Sudan, including the Coptics in Khartoum, and Christians of various denominations in the Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile.

Adil said he is happy to see the government be more welcoming to religious minorities.

Under Bashir, the country was subject to sharia law, which meant strict adherence to Islamic laws and customs around drink, dress, marriage, finances, land ownership and other aspects of daily life.

The new government now allows non-Muslims to drink alcohol, noted Adil, who said he was once whipped dozens of times for drinking in public.

Related: From Sudan, Ethiopian refugees tell their stories

The country’s rigidity prior to the revolution “definitely stopped a lot [of tourists] from coming because most foreigners want to have freedoms,” Adil said.

But for some Christians in Sudan, the changes are too late.

A man sits outside his antique shop in Atenay neighborhood of Khartoum, Sudan.

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Mohamed Noureldin Abdallah/The World

That’s evident at St. Matthew’s, whose congregation has shrunk since 2010 when many Christians left the country to form South Sudan.

“You can see the church is not really full, like, not even half full. So, a lot of Christians are not here anymore because most of them are South Sudanese, and they’re not in Sudan anymore,” Achu said. “The number has decreased a lot. And with that, of course, the effect of Christianity also diminishes.”

While some estimate that more than 90% of Sudan is Sunni Muslim, many Christian leaders caution that there are few official surveys of the religious makeup in Sudan.

Regardless, being a minority means having less political power, said Simon Suleiman, a Christian lawyer with the Sudan Council of Churches.

“After the revolution, there’s an atmosphere of freedom. But change on the ground is slow. Festivals or celebrations are not enough for Christians to feel that there is real change.”

Simon Suleiman, Christian lawyer with the Sudan Council of Churches

“After the revolution, there’s an atmosphere of freedom. But change on the ground is slow,” said Suleiman, who was born in the Nuba Mountains. “Festivals or celebrations are not enough for Christians to feel that there is real change.”

He would like to see the government take more concrete steps to embrace Christians — appointing more Christians into government; bringing Christianity into public schools alongside Islam; increasing representation of Christians on TV and radio; and returning church properties seized under the Bashir regime.

Rev. Mata Budrus Komi, a Nuban pastor at a Lutheran church in the Omdurman suburb of Khartoum, also wants the government to issue building permits for new churches, and return seized properties.

Komi said the former regime rarely gave permission to build new churches, even though most neighborhoods in Sudan have their own mosques.

Many churches built without permission were destroyed — “Especially the Lutheran church of Sudan. We have three churches destroyed and burned,” Komi said.

He spoke from his church, which has been meeting at a house since 1997.

Inside the modest compound is a dusty courtyard surrounded by benches and a small, cluttered office. “Merry Christmas” is written in large letters on a wall. Outside, children laughed and played.

Aspects of life under Bashir, that were hard on Christians, are still evident in other everyday ways, too.

A woman walks into St. Matthew’s Catholic Cathedral in Khartoum, Sudan.

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Mohamed Noureldin Abdallah/The World

Back at St. Matthew’s, Achu wrapped her pink scarf around her head like a hijab so she could blend in on the streets as she headed home.

“I encounter a lot of men, Sudanese men, old men who still hold [these kinds] of perceptions of women covering up themselves,” Achu said. “And looking at South Sudanese who are residing here as foreigners or why are you here? So, it makes me more comfortable, covering up.”

But, she said she’s confident social attitudes will change.

“I believe this generation of Sudanese people are so different than the ones that we grew up in,” Achu said. “They accept us the way we are.”

Sudan’s troubled attempt at education reform

Sudan’s troubled attempt at education reform

For decades under the dictatorship of Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s school curriculum was infused with Islamic ideology. As the new government set out to change that, an intense debate has grown over the future of Sudan's school curriculum.

By
Halima Gikandi

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Sudanese students are seen during the first day of school in Khartoum after schools reopened across the country following a break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Feb. 1, 2021.

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Omer Erdem/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

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In a widely circulated video from early this year, a Sudanese imam named Muhammed al-Amin Ismail delivers an emotional Friday sermon at a mosque in Khartoum.

Ismail, holding up a sixth-grade history textbook, turns to a page on the European Renaissance revealing a picture of Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam” masterpiece.

“They justify the depiction of God in human form!” he decries and begins to sob loudly.

Related: After the revolution, a secular Sudan?

Islam is generally averse to idolizing God and religious figures as human beings.

“Close the school and cancel all the classes!” he declares and blasts Omar al-Garrai, then-director of Sudan’s National Centre for Curriculum and Educational Research. He’s the government official whom he blames for the offensive content. 

For decades under the dictatorship of Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s school curriculum was infused with Islamic ideology. The new government that came to power in Sudan in 2019 following popular protests set out to change that.

Garrai was put in charge of that effort and sought to “de-Islamicize” the country’s education system. Conservative Muslims have taken issue with some of the changes that Garrai implemented — and it has grown into an intense debate over the future of the country’s school curriculum.

The role of religion in education

While the majority of Sudanese are Muslim, not everyone agrees on how religion should factor into education.

“The Muslim Brotherhood, which are supporters of the overthrown regime … whenever they have a problem, they go to the mosques,” Garrai told The World from his office at the Al-Khatim Adlan Center For Enlightenment in Khartoum.

The Society of Muslim Brothers, better known as the Muslim Brotherhood, is a transnational Sunni Islamist organization that was founded in Egypt, with widespread influence in Sudan. 

Garrai has been at political and ideological odds with conservative Islamists since his school days at the University of Khartoum.

Related: Sudan signs pact on normalizing ties with Israel

As a follower of the Republican Brotherhood — a modernist, Islamic movement that espouses gender equality and social justice — he opposed efforts to Islamicize the country in the 1980s.

In 1985, the Republican Brotherhood’s leader Mahmoud Muhammad Taha was hanged for apostasy after opposing Islamic law.

In 1990, Garrai fled Sudan, eventually landing in the United States and going on to study education and curriculum development.

He returned to Sudan during the 2019 protests that eventually led to Bashir’s ouster, and was soon offered a job to reform Sudan’s school materials by Mohammed el-Amin el-Tom, Sudan’s minister of education from 2019 to 2020.

“We wanted a curriculum that would help liberate their minds, show them that there are others, other cultures, other perspectives.” 

Mohammed el-Amin el-Tom, Sudan’s minister of education from 2019 to 2020

“We wanted a curriculum that would help liberate their minds, show them that there are others, other cultures, other perspectives,” Tom said.

In other words, a school system that reflected the values of the uprising: freedom and equality.

“But we don’t decide for them. We should not try to indoctrinate,” like the previous regime, he added.

Tom knew Garrai’s affiliation with the Republican Brotherhood would make him a target of more conservative Islamists.

Still, he said that Garrai was widely seen as the most qualified person to take on the herculean task of reforming an outdated education system that was infused with religiosity — and poised to become the latest ideological battleground over the country’s future.

Curricular shifts 

For Garrai, the central goal became “to purify the curriculum from all negative Islamic ideas.”

Students are seen at their classroom in Khartoum, Sudan, Feb. 1, 2021.

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Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Subjects such as language, science and math, Garrai said, were filled with religious references that either counteracted learning or encouraged violent rhetoric.

That meant removing religious verses from school subjects other than religion.

Related: From Sudan, Ethiopian refugees tell their stories

For many non-Muslims, the obligation to memorize religious verses at school was a burden and yet another sign of exclusivity.

“That reduced my marks in education,” said Kazam Rahman Kabazi, a young Christian who runs the Kush Youth Organization, a skills-building nongovernmental organization in Khartoum.

Like many of the Christian youths with whom The World spoke, he supports Garrai’s efforts to de-Islamicize school lessons.

“I didn’t learn about my Christian religion at school.” 

Kazam Rahman Kabazi, Kush Youth Organization

“I didn’t learn about my Christian religion at school,” he added, speaking from a small church in Omdurman.

After traveling across Sudan to meet with educators, Tom and Garrai created a 64-person committee to review the school textbooks from kindergarten through sixth grade.

But when the new curriculum was released in late 2020, the two men quickly faced criticism from all sides — not only from religious conservatives in line with Bashir’s regime but even from moderates who had supported the uprising against him.

A group of young men stand outside of the Haj Yousif Mosque in Khartoum, Sudan.

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Mohamed Noureldin Abdallah/The World

The debate continues

At the sprawling Haj Yousif Mosque in Khartoum, worshippers young and old washed their feet before prayer.

Related: Tensions mount at Sudan-Ethiopia border as refugees flee Tigray conflict 

School is out, but children of all ages have been sent here for their religious education.

Sheikh Abdelrahman Hassan Ahmed Hamid is the head of the mosque — and a leading Sufi Sheikh in Khartoum. Hamid says he was harassed and monitored by security officials for being critical of the Bashir regime.

“They wanted us to defuse people, to tell them not to go to the streets, and to tell people that disobeying your leader is haram [forbidden by Islamic law].” 

Sheikh Abdelrahman Hassan Ahmed Hamid, Haj Yousif Mosque 

“They wanted us to defuse people, to tell them not to go to the streets, and to tell people that disobeying your leader is haram [forbidden by Islamic law],” he said.

Sufi Sheikhs have a social duty to fight oppression, he added.

But Hamid took issue with some of the fast-paced social changes by the transitional government.

Young men sit in Haj Yousif Mosque studying Islamic text in Khartoum, Sudan.

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Mohamed Noureldin Abdallah/The World

Earlier this year, he and other religious leaders went to Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s office and called on him to fire Garrai.

Their grievances ranged from the inclusion of the “Creation of Adam” painting in the textbooks to controversial revisions to 19th-century Sudanese history to reducing the number of Quranic and Hadith verses that children were required to memorize.

“He can’t just mold kids’ brains from one person. This is the future of the kids.”

Sheikh Abdelrahman Hassan Ahmed Hamid, Haj Yousif Mosque 

“He can’t just mold kids’ brains from one person,” Hamid said, referring to Garrai. “This is the future of the kids.”

Among regular Sudanese, opinions were mixed.

“There are a lot of good changes in the Garrai curriculum,” said Mohammed Hassan Mohammed, a pharmacist with three school-aged children who prayed at the mosque. “I agree with separating the Quranic studies from the sciences.”

But he said Garrai shouldn’t have touched the religion course itself.

People sit on benches in Green Park at dusk in Khartoum, Sudan.

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Mohamed Noureldin Abdallah/The World

Mustafa Abdel Abrahim, a 20-year-old architecture student, also has mixed opinions about the education reforms.

He sat on a bench with his friends in Green Park in Khartoum, a recreational ground full of families and youngsters.

“To learn about the European history is a good thing,” Abrahim began. “But it’s bad to bring controversial things to kids.” 

Children play near a water fountain in Khartoum, Sudan.

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Mohamed Noureldin Abdallah/The World

A system in disarray

Despite dozens of educators being behind the material changes, Garrai was at the center of the controversy.

Garrai said he received hundreds of death threats after a number of imams publicly called him an “infidel” — an accusation that is now considered illegal and punishable by law after the reversal of Sudan’s apostasy law.

“I sued them,” Garrai added, eyes defiant.

Still, as the backlash grew, the prime minister called for a review of the new curriculum, effectively pausing the teachings in the middle of the school year.

For Garrai, who felt unsupported by the government, that was the last straw.

“Your government has chosen to side with the defunct regime. I chose the side of the people.”

Omar al-Garrai, former director of Sudan’s National Centre for Curriculum and Educational Research

“Your government has chosen to side with the defunct regime. I chose the side of the people,” he wrote in a scathing public resignation letter to the prime minister in January.

He sees it as a major win for conservative Islamists, moderates and other opponents competing to shape Sudan’s future.

Since then, Garrai hasn’t been replaced and amid other reshuffling, there’s no minister of education at the moment, either.

Garrai’s absence has also left Sudan’s education system in disarray, effectively trapping students across the country in a limbo between a restrictive Islamic past and aspiringly modern, if not secular, future.

“There was confusion and conflict. Some of the schools studied with the old curriculum. Others with the new curriculum. So, people were so confused. Some even studied with both,” said Mohammed, the parent.

Other schools simply ripped out the controversial pages and carried on with class. And that’s where things stand today — as students and parents prepare for the next school term that begins in August — there’s still no consensus about how and what Sudanese students will be learning. 

After the revolution, a secular Sudan?

After the revolution, a secular Sudan?

The Nuba rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) are negotiating with the transitional government, and reviving an age-old issue in Sudan: secularism, or the separation between religion and the state.

By
Halima Gikandi

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A vendor sells his wares outside of the Grand Mosque in Khartoum, Sudan.

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It’s more than 100 degrees in Khartoum, but that hasn’t stopped hundreds of people from gathering in an open field to watch athletes wrestle each other to the sandy ground.

Many of the young wrestlers, and the audience for that matter, come from the Nuba Mountains, where this style of wrestling originates.

While people are here to enjoy the weekend sport, the politics of home are not far from their minds. Few can forget how the Nuba Mountains area has been in armed conflict with Sudan’s central government for decades.

Wrestlers circle each other at a match in Khartoum, Sudan.

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Halima Gikandi/The World

“Those people ruled us for 30 years in the name of religion, in the name of Islam.”

Mansoor Dawood, Muslim wrestler from Nuba

“Those people ruled us for 30 years in the name of religion, in the name of Islam,” said Mansoor Dawood, a Muslim wrestler from Nuba.

The Nuba Mountains in Sudan’s South Kordofan region is made up of predominantly Black African tribes who are religiously diverse — consisting of Christians, Muslims and animists alike. Mixed families are common.

Related: Ethiopia’s federal government announces ceasefire as Tigray forces make gains in the region

For years, Nuba rebels fought against the aggressive regime of former President Omar al-Bashir, which pushed a strict Islamic and Arab version onto a diverse country. In 1993, he declared a holy war (jihad) against the region — calling them enemies to Muslims and Arabs.

But the 2019 uprising that saw Bashir removed from power has brought a chance for peace for people in the Nuba Mountains, and other conflict areas.

Sudanese protesters chant slogans during a rally outside the army headquarters in Sudan’s capital Khartoum, April 20, 2019.

Credit:

AP/File photo

The Nuba rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) are negotiating with the transitional government, and reviving an age-old issue in Sudan: secularism, or the separation between religion and the state.

Related: Self-declared state of Somaliland celebrates 30 years of independence

“As a guy from [the] Nuba Mountains, I support that,” Dawood said. “We need secularism in Sudan, so we can get out of that nonsense,” he added, referring to the violent military campaign against the Nuba.

For many Nubans, regardless of their religion, the issue of secularism is personal, says professor Guma Kunda Komey, a Christian Nuban who, until recently, was an official peace adviser to Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

“They all see the people killed and bombarded. They were actually victimized under the name of Islam. And of course, it has nothing to do with Islam. But it was the politicization of Islam.” 

Guma Kunda Komey, professor

“They all see the people killed and bombarded. They were actually victimized under the name of Islam. And of course, it has nothing to do with Islam. But it was the politicization of Islam,” he explained.

He says SPLM-N is using the opportunity of Sudan’s transition period to address what is sees as Sudan’s fundamental vice, and a barrier to national unity.

Earlier this year, the government and SPLM-N signed a principles agreement, declaring that Sudan has no state religion.

Guma Kunda Komey speaks during a meeting at his office.

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Mohamed Noureldin Abdallah/The World

The declaration was essentially a baseline for future negotiations, which recently stalled in June. Still, it signals a pivotal shift from the mindset of the previous regime, Komey said.

“The state of mind [that] the majority are Muslim in Sudan, and therefore, the governing system should be based on Islam, is something governing all parties,” but climaxed under Bashir, he said.

Related: In the wake of Chadian President Idriss Déby’s death, a transitional military council will lead the country

The consequences of these policies, which failed to account for Sudan’s diversity, came to a head 10 years ago, when Christians in the south voted to secede and form South Sudan.

“One of the main reasons that actually separated the country [of] South Sudan was the unwillingness of the previous regime to repeal Sharia law from the country. That would actually have saved the country.”

Guma Kunda Komey, professor

“One of the main reasons that actually separated the country [of] South Sudan was the unwillingness of the previous regime to repeal Sharia law from the country. That would actually have saved the country,” he argued.

Many people from Nuba fear there’s a risk of other parts of the country breaking away, or of ongoing conflict, if Sudan is not able to take religious ideology out of government affairs.

As a government peace adviser, Komey said he brought in experts from Turkey, Nigeria and other countries with large or majority-Islamic populations (but secular constitutions) to meet with members of Sudan’s government.

“That actually opened minds that Sudan, which is majority Muslim, can still go secular without endangering people,” he said.

But in Sudan’s public sphere, secularism remains a provocative and emotional word for ordinary people.

“The meaning of secular has become corrupted in Sudanese politics, because it is equated with the anti-religion movement,” Komey explained.

People gathered for Friday prayers at the Grand Mosque in Khartoum, Sudan.

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Mohamed Noureldin Abdallah/The World

Indeed, at the Grand Mosque in downtown Khartoum, secularism is a hot-button and divisive issue. Some support it, others don’t.

“Because we are Muslims, we all accept Islam. They can negotiate but they can’t decide. As Muslims, we won’t accept it,” said Sadiq Mohammed Ali, a businessman who prays there.

“Sudanese people are Muslim,” Ali said. “We’ll die to protect Islam.”

Related: Hundreds remain missing after Cabo Delgado attack

Ali adds that if the former government made mistakes, they should correct them — not change the system altogether.

He argues that only an elected government has the power to do that, not the transitional one, which is meant to steer the country to elections in a few years.

“Any issue regarding the future direction of the country should be left to a government mandated by the people.”

Hassan Elhaj Ali Ahmed, political scientist at the University of Khartoum

“Any issue regarding the future direction of the country should be left to a government mandated by the people,” said professor Hassan Elhaj Ali Ahmed, political scientist at the University of Khartoum.

He argued that the transitional government is going down a slippery slope by trying to “de-Islamicize” the country so quickly.

“Are we going to see a complete overhaul of our education system? Our judicial system? Our economic system?” Ahmed said.

Indeed, since 2019, the new government has pushed fast-paced social, legal and economic reforms, taking the mass popular protests against Bashir as a mandate to uproot elements of his reign.

But Ahmed warns that if the government makes too many changes on social and identity issues, they risk a backlash from religious conservatives.

“We have some aspects of society where there is a great influence of religion still going on. And people in Sudan, significant people, are religious by nature,” he said.

Oddisee – Rights & Wrongs (feat. Olivier St. Louis) (The Iceberg Album)

[Verse One: Olivier St. Louis]
Two halves sittin’ on a one sided saw
Roundabouts is how we get round it all
It ain’t enough to have fair space between you and the hierarchy
Wanna fight for some equality
But what about if you the boss
And the boss always pays the cost
How you feel about your pocket, now
You could never have it all and make everyone feel 10 feet tall The rise and the fall must occur to all

[Hook: Olivier St. Louis]
What’s right or wrong
What’s right or wrong
What’s right or wrong (x2)

[Verse Two: Oddisee]
I would kill to save life
Do you see a hero or you’d rather read me rights
My neighborhood is getting nice
Safe to walk at night
I can’t afford to pay the price
Sudan we eat a lot of lamb
Latins like the chicken but what’s better over rice
I think I’m giving out advice
But all you hear is judgement on the way you live your life Paper that we read not the same
Yours framing me for the blame
Mine see you cause all the shame
We can’t agree on a thing
We are both beyond the games
But we still play
Should I fear what’s on the way
Bigger gear push on the breaks
One man’s heart is another man’s brain
Forever then the question will remain

[Hook: Olivier St. Louis]
What’s right or wrong
What’s right or wrong
What’s right or wrong (x2)

Czarface – All In Together Now (A Fistful Of Peril Album)

[Verse 1: Inspectah Deck]
I don’t do it like everyone else
Check our pro, boy
The flow grab your soul like the devil himself
Always knew that I was headed for wealth
Young gun salute, the triple O, so the presence is felt
And this is for my diehard day ones
Who came from the same place I came from
Where you get your name from?
I earn my stripes, I write that
E, turn the flame type of shit that will burn for life, yeah
It’s levels to this here, your’s under mine
Cool J with the flow, ladies love the shine
I’m hotter than Sudan in the summertime
Verbal mind, now you must be out your fucking mind
Right, living it up, make the honnies hot
Boss, I listen up when the money talk
And never paid a thought to the dummy talk
Funny talk, that’s hating what you love me for

[Hook: Inspectah Deck]
All in together now
All in together now
All in together now
All in together now

[Verse 2: Esoteric]
You lack the minerals and vitamins native to my environment
I’m on the new level, true rebel, vibin’ it
I’m loyal, I’m royal, and boy, it’s a requirement
I’m more savage than below average, you don’t have it
New wins for the team, and that’s a no [?]
Pro status don’t met us, but crack your whole carriage
And I’m allowing the proud legally swing
The crown that I wear’s a cow beef with the king
I’m technologically advanced, leaving a slang
Genius intellect, flexing on the demons to cling
I’m daily deadly, but I don’t know who gave it away
It’s safe to say that it’s my victims, pray for my prey
Something is ain’t fun, the work is A1
I had a dangerous name since day one like James Gunn
But I ain’t licking wounds, cause I know where the pain’s from
So if you need a pic, you just allow me to paint one

[Hook: Inspectah Deck]
All in together now
All in together now
All in together now
All in together now