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Archive for Sudan

Newsline: Sudan releases man found guilty of killing U.S. diplomat

A Sudanese man facing the death penalty in connection to the killing of an American diplomat in 2008 has been released, his brother told Reuters on Monday. Abdelraouf Abuzeid, who was found guilty in the killing of U.S. diplomat John Granville, was released by the country’s high court two years after a financial settlement was reached between the Sudanese government and Granville’s family, his brother said. The U.S. State Department said it was aware of reports of Abuzeid’s release. “Our embassy is engaging government officials to obtain more information. We call for full accountability for the murders of John Granville and his Sudanese colleague Abdelrahman Abbas Rahama,” a State Department spokesperson said. (https://neuters.de/world/sudan-releases-man-found-guilty-killing-us-diplomat-family-2023-01-30/) The spokesperson added that Abuzeid remains listed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by Washington. He has been so designated since 2013. Granville and Abdelrahman Abbas Rahama were both employees of the U.S. Agency for International Development. They were killed by gunmen in Khartoum in 2008.

Newsline: US ambassador arrives to post in Sudan following 25-year freeze

The first US ambassador to Sudan in 25 years arrived in the country on Wednesday in the latest sign of improved relations between the two nations after the United States removed Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. Relations between the US and Sudan were tense during the three-decade rule of former President Omar al-Bashir. During Bashir’s time in power, the US imposed withering sanctions on Khartoum. “I am delighted to arrive in Sudan,” said John Godfrey, the new US ambassador to Sudan, in a tweet on Wednesday. “I look forward to deepening relations between Americans and Sudanese and to supporting the Sudanese people’s aspirations to freedom, peace, justice, and a transition to democracy.” (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/8/24/us-ambassador-arrives-to-post-in-sudan-following-25-year-freeze) The US embassy said in a statement that Godfrey “also looks forward to advancing priorities related to peace and security, economic development, and food security”. Godfrey’s arrival came as Sudan struggles to address widespread unrest and an economy that has been hard-hit since a military coup led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan last year. Relations between Washington and Khartoum started to thaw under the now-deposed transitional government led by former Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. Hamdok took office following Bashir’s April 2019 removal, which took place after large protests against his rule.

Newsline: Sudan summons Chadian ambassador over cross-border attack

Sudan summoned the Chadian ambassador to Sudan on Saturday to protest what it called a cross-border attack by Chadian armed groups that killed at least 18 Sudanese civilians, official SUNA news agency reported. During the meeting, Sudanese acting Foreign Minister Ali Al-Sadiq demanded Chad arrest the assailants and return the hundreds of stolen camels as soon as possible, according to SUNA. (https://www.bignewsnetwork.com/news/272645486/sudan-summons-chadian-ambassador-over-allegedly-deadly-cross-border-attack) The Chadian ambassador said his country “will not allow whatever may disturb this relationship to happen.” A day earlier, Sudan’s Transitional Sovereign Council said Chadian armed groups killed 18 Sudanese civilians and stole 220 camels in an attack in a border village in Sudan’s West Darfur State on Thursday, the sovereign council said in a statement.

Newsline: Sudan appoints first ambassador to U.S. for decades

Sudan has appointed its first ambassador to the United States for almost a quarter of a century, its foreign ministry said, in a move to normalize relations after decades of antagonism. Both countries pledged to improve ties after the fall of veteran Islamist ruler Omar al-Bashir in an uprising a year ago. The Sudanese foreign ministry said it had chosen Noureldin Sati, a veteran diplomat, as ambassador in Washington and that U.S. authorities had approved his nomination. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-sudan/sudan-appoints-first-ambassador-to-u-s-for-decades-idUSKBN22G2HC) A State Department representative declined to provide any insight on plans to appoint its own ambassador to Sudan and said it did not have specific information on the timing for that, but called the December decision to exchange ambassadors “a historic step.” Both countries had for almost a quarter of century appointed only charge d’affaires, a diplomatic rank under an ambassador, to run their embassies in Washington and Khartoum. In December, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the two countries would exchange ambassadors. The U.S. ambassador would be nominated by President Donald Trump and needs to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Newsline: Sudan Shuts Down its Cairo Embassy after Angry Protesters Storm it

Sudan has indefinitely shut down its embassy in Cairo after it was stormed on Tuesday by Sudanese nationals who were left stranded in Egypt following a lockdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Sudan declared on Monday a state of health emergency and closed all airports, ports and land crossings over fears on the spread of the coronavirus. It only opened its main airport for 48 hours to enable the return of nationals from abroad. The decision excluded flights from Egypt, angering dozens of Sudanese, who protested outside their embassy in Cairo, demanding financial aid, Egyptian sources said. Charge d’Affairs at the Sudanese Embassy Khalid Ibrahim told Sudan News Agency, SUNA, in a phone call that the embassy was working on resolving the problems of members of the Sudanese community when some nationals exploited the situation by storming the mission and trying to set it ablaze. (https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/2212481/sudan-shuts-down-its-cairo-embassy-after-angry-protesters-storm-it) It was then that the Sudanese Foreign Ministry decided to shut it down, he said.

Newsline: US, Sudan to Exchange Ambassadors for First Time in 23 Years

The United States and Sudan will exchange ambassadors for the first time in more than two decades, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday. The announcement came as Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was on his first visit to Washington. “This decision is a meaningful step forward in strengthening the U.S.-Sudan bilateral relationship, particularly as the civilian-led transitional government works to implement the vast reforms,” Pompeo said in a statement. (https://www.voanews.com/usa/us-sudan-exchange-ambassadors-first-time-23-years) Pompeo said the two countries would begin “the process of exchanging ambassadors after a 23-year gap.” During his Washington visit, Hamdok sought support for Sudan’s transition toward democracy after strongman Omar al-Bashir was ousted this year after 30 years of rule. Hamdok hopes to secure Sudan’s removal from the U.S. “state sponsor of terrorism blacklist,” on which Sudan has been listed for more than 25 years.

Newsline: Career diplomat turned Sudan’s first female foreign minister

Asma Mohamed Abdalla, a seasoned diplomat who was sacked decades ago by now ousted leader Omar al-Bashir, has become Sudan’s first female foreign minister as the country transitions to civilian rule. Born in 1946, Abdalla was sworn in on Sunday as a member of the country’s new 18-member cabinet, the first since Bashir was overthrown by the army in April. Bashir, who had seized power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989, was deposed following months of nationwide protests against his ironfisted rule. Dressed in a white traditional Sudanese tobe and wearing spectacles, Abdalla took the oath as foreign affairs minister at the presidential palace along with 17 other ministers. The swearing-in ceremony was held in the presence of members of the joint civilian-military ruling sovereign council, including its chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. Abdalla, whose studies were partly in the United States, was one of the first three women to join Sudan’s foreign ministry as a diplomat after graduating from Khartoum University in 1971 with a degree in economics and political science. But she was sacked in 1991 by the then administration of Bashir, who had seized power two years before in a coup. (https://news.yahoo.com/abdalla-career-diplomat-turned-sudans-first-female-foreign-101500987.html) Abdalla’s appointment is part of new Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s plan to have a government made up of technocrats and one that reflects gender balance.

Newsline: U.S. Supreme Court to mull punitive damages against Sudan over embassy bombings

The U.S. Supreme Court on June 28 agreed to hear a bid to reinstate $4.3 billion in punitive damages against Sudan in a lawsuit accusing it of complicity in the 1998 al Qaeda bombings of two U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people. The justices took up an appeal by hundreds of people hurt and relatives of people killed in the bombings as they seek to reinstate the punitive damages that a lower court in 2017 ruled could not be levied against Sudan in addition to about $6 billion in compensatory damages imposed in the litigation. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-sudan/u-s-supreme-court-to-hear-bid-to-revive-punitive-damages-against-sudan-over-embassy-bombings-idUSKCN1TT20W) Twelve Americans were among the dead in the Aug. 7, 1998, attacks, with thousands of other people wounded. The damages were imposed by default because for most of the litigation Sudan did not appear before a lower court to defend itself against allegations that it harbored and provided support to the Islamist militant group al Qaeda, which led to the bombings.

Newsline: Sudan’s foreign ministry summons British ambassador

Sudan’s foreign ministry summoned the British ambassador in Khartoum to protest his remarks on political developments in the country, Sudan’s state news agency (SUNA) reported. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sudan-politics-britain/sudans-foreign-ministry-summons-british-ambassador-agency-idUSKCN1TD2BX) Britain’s ambassador Irfan Siddiq tweeted last week after attempts to disperse Sudan’s protest sit-in: “No excuse for any such attack. This. Must. Stop. Now”. The spokesman of Sudan’s foreign ministry said to SUNA that the ministry protests the repeated tweets of the ambassador, and that it contradicts “the established diplomatic norms”.

Top U.S. diplomat for Africa to travel to Sudan to urge talks

The U.S. top diplomat for Africa will visit Sudan this week to meet with a transitional military council and the country’s civilian opposition to urge talks, the State Department said on Monday. Talks between the two collapsed last week when security forces stormed a sit-in that had been the focal point of Sudan’s protest movement for nearly two months.Tibor Nagy, the U.S. assistant secretary for Africa, will also discuss a political solution for Sudan during a visit to Ethiopia, whose Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has tried to mediate between the military council and protest movement. (https://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Top-US-diplomat-for-Africa-to-travel-to-Sudan-to-urge-talks-592098) “He will call for a cessation of attacks against civilians and urge parties to work toward creating an enabling environment … for talks to resume,” the State Department said, adding that Nagy will later travel to Mozambique and South Africa.