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Police officer killed, protesters injured in Sudan after transitional power structure deal announced – National

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Police officer killed protesters injured in Sudan after transitional power structure deal announced National

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Violence flared in Sudan‘s capital Khartoum late on Monday after the military council and opposition groups said they had agreed to a power structure for the country’s transition following the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir last month.

Heavy gunfire was heard late into the evening, and the council said a military police officer had been killed and many protesters wounded. Local doctors said some were in serious condition.

The council accused armed groups unhappy with progress towards a political deal of opening fire at protest sites. Protesters said counter-revolutionaries linked to the former regime were inciting violence.


READ MORE:
Sudanese protesters seek to dismantle Islamist-dominated ‘deep state’ left by al-Bashir

Earlier, paramilitary forces patrolled the streets, using tear gas and gunshots to disrupt protests blocking roads.

The Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces opposition alliance were due to meet on Tuesday to discuss two key sticking points: the military-civilian balance of power in transitional bodies, and the length of the transition before elections.

Protesters are pushing for a civilian-led transition and have kept up demonstrations against the council since military officers on April 11 removed and arrested Bashir, who is now facing multiple criminal investigations.

WATCH: Crowds demand civilian rule in Sudan after Omar al Bashir’s ouster





On Monday morning, police and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) dismantled barricades and dispersed about 100 protesters who had blocked a road leading from Khartoum North to al-Mek Nimir Bridge and the centre of the capital.

For a second day demonstrators blocked Nile Street, a major avenue running south of the Blue Nile, placing burning branches and stones across the road, as well as several other streets north and south of the river.

Later, RSF men used gunfire to disperse protesters next to Blue Nile bridge and thick clouds of tear gas were fired near Jumhuriya Street south of the river, where the RSF were seen beating a rickshaw driver as they patrolled in vehicles armed with sticks and guns, witnesses said.


READ MORE:
Canadians should avoid all travel to Sudan amid ongoing military coup, feds warn

SIT-IN

Protesters demanding a swift handover of power to civilians have been camped at a sit-in outside the Defence Ministry compound in central Khartoum since April 6, as the military has negotiated with the opposition alliance over the transition.

Talks resumed on Monday, and both sides said they had produced agreement on the duties and authorities of sovereign, executive and legislative bodies.

“We discussed the structure of the transitional authority and agreed on it completely, and we also agreed on the system of governance in the transitional period,” said TMC spokesman Lieutenant General Shams El Din Kabbashi.

WATCH: Sudan’s protests claim more top-level officials





“We will continue tomorrow with talks on the ratio of participation on the sovereign level … and the length of the transitional period,” he said. “God willing, we will agree on these two points.”

The Sudanese Professionals’ Association, which leads the opposition alliance, has accused the TMC of expanding its powers as talks over the transition have stalled, threatening a campaign of civil disobedience to up pressure on the military.


READ MORE:
How one woman became the symbol of Sudanese protests

“The situation now on public roads, bridges and in neighbourhoods expresses the state of popular discontent with the procrastination and the consumption of time by the military council,” the SPA said on Monday.

The TMC has said it is not seeking power and is open to further dialogue. General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, head of the RSF and deputy head of the TMC, told a military meeting on Monday that the armed forces and RSF were working to protect “security and stability” in Sudan.

WATCH: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir ousted in military coup





Also on Monday, Sudan’s public prosecution said it had charged Bashir and others with incitement and involvement in the killing of protesters.

Earlier this month, the public prosecutor ordered Bashir to be interrogated on charges of money laundering and financing terrorism. There has been no comment from Bashir, who is in prison in Khartoum.



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Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

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Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

Contrary to the expectations of the people, the leadership of the Episcopal Conference of Mali (CEM) has termed the Tuesday, August 18 military coup in the West African nation as “regrettable” and “a big failure for our democracy” and called for a change of mentality if the country has to put an end to coups.

In an interview with ACI Africa Wednesday, August 19, made available to RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA, the President of CEM, Bishop Jonas Dembélé said that the governance challenges the country is facing can be managed through dialogue.

“The military coup that led to the ousting of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta is regrettable because we are in a state of law and democracy. This is the second time that Mali has had a military coup as a result of the way in which the country is governed. It is a big failure for our democracy even if there were reasons for it,” Bishop Dembélé told ACI Africa.

“It is true that our country has serious challenges including bad governance, the poor management of the economy, corruption, insecurity and so on,” Bishop Dembélé said and probed, “Why is it that we Malians have not managed to engage in dialogue to be able to discuss these problems and face up to these challenges responsibly?”

“Our leaders, our people lack transparency, they hate those who speak the truth and advocate for good governance. This mentality must change for our country to move on,” the Prelate told ACI Africa August 19.

Bishop Dembélé who is a frontline member of RECOWA-CERAO urged the military officials “to ensure a return to democracy as promised but most especially ensuring the new leadership of the country put the people first and tackle the security challenges facing the nation.”

Asked about the role of the Church in the current crisis, the 57-year-old Prelate noted, “For us the Catholic Church in Mali, our role is to preach peace; our role is to preach dialogue. We shall continue in this path of dialogue for peace just like Cardinal Jean Zerbo and some religious leaders initiated.”

“In a state of law, power is not in the hands of certain individuals but to the people. The anger of our people led to this crisis, but we must work for peace and reconciliation in Mali,” Bishop Dembélé said.

He continued in recollections, “The Bishops in Mali have always issued messages before every election in our country sounding the alert and inviting the government to organize transparent elections, ensure good governance and better management of resources.”
“But it seems our messages are never taken into consideration that is why we find ourselves in this situation today,” the Local Ordinary of Kayes Diocese told ACI Africa and added, “If the opinion of the Episcopal Conference of Mali is needed to mediate in bringing back stability and peace in the country, then we are ready.”

As a way forward, the Bishop urged the people of God in Mali to “seek the path to conversion” and to accept dialogue in the spirit of truth and honesty.
“We all want change in our

country, but this change can only be possible if individually we seek the path to conversion. It is for Malians be they Muslims or Christians or members of traditional religion, to do an examination of conscience and accept personal and community conversion in order to engage in sincere dialogue,” he said.

The Malian Prelate added, “Now there is this coup d’état to demand change we really wonder where change should come from. As long as we don’t change our behavior, our mentality, we will always have a repeat of the current situation.”

On Tuesday, August 18, President Keita announced his resignation and dissolved parliament hours after mutinying soldiers detained him at gunpoint, Aljazeera reported.
“For seven years, I have with great joy and happiness tried to put this country on its feet. If today some people from the armed forces have decided to end it by their intervention, do I have a choice? I should submit to it because I do not want any blood to be shed,” President Keita said August 18 during the televised address to the nation.

Rev. Fr. George Nwachukwu
RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA

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Harris accepts VP nomination

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Harris accepts VP nomination

Senator Kamala Harris formally accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday following a scathing speech by former President Barack Obama, who said the fate of the nation” depends entirely on the outcome of this election.”

Both Mr. Obama and Harris stressed the importance of voting, with Harris saying “we’re all in this fight together.” Harris sounded an optimistic note by highlighting her personal history and the promise of America, saying she was “so inspired by a new generation.”

“Make no mistake, the road ahead will not be not easy,” she said. “We will stumble. We may fall short. But I pledge to you that we will act boldly and deal with our challenges honestly. We will speak truths. And we will act with the same faith in you that we ask you to place in us.” She called Mr. Trump a “predator” in a speech that came after Mr. Obama issued his most forceful rebuke of his successor to date, saying Mr. Trump “hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t.”

“This president and those in power — those who benefit from keeping things the way they are — they are counting on your cynicism,” Mr. Obama said. “They know they can’t win you over with their policies. So they’re hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter.

That’s how they win. That’s how they get to keep making decisions that affect your life, and the lives of the people you love. That’s how the economy will keep getting skewed to the wealthy and well-connected, how our health systems will let more people fall through the cracks. That’s how a democracy withers, until it’s no democracy at all.”

Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton, speaking earlier in the night, both said they had hoped Mr. Trump would rise to the occasion. But they both stressed what they called his failures while in office, with Mr. Obama saying Mr. Trump has shown “no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.”

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Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

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Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

The Malian soldiers who forced President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to resign in a coup promised early Wednesday to organize new elections after their takeover was swiftly condemned by the international community.

In a statement carried overnight on state broadcaster ORTM, the mutinous soldiers who staged Tuesday’s military coup identified themselves as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People led by Colonel Major Ismael Wagué.

“With you, standing as one, we can restore this country to its former greatness,” Wagué said, announcing that borders were closed and that a curfew was going into effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m

The news of Keita’s departure was met with jubilation by anti-government demonstrators in the capital, Bamako, and alarm by former colonial ruler France and other allies and foreign nations.

The U.N. Security Council scheduled a closed meeting Wednesday August 19, 2020 afternoon to discuss the unfolding situation in Mali, where the U.N. has a 15,600-strong peacekeeping mission. Keita, who was democratically elected in a 2013 landslide and re-elected five years later, still had three years left in his term.

But his popularity had plummeted, and demonstrators began taking to the streets calling for his ouster in June.

West African regional bloc ECOWAS had sent mediators to try and negotiate a unity government but those talks fell apart when it became clear that the protesters would not accept less than Keita’s resignation.

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