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Sudan still boils four months after Al-Burhan’s coup; 84 killed so far

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The dust is yet to settle four months after Sudanese dictator, General Abdel al-Fattah al-Burhan organised a coup to overthrow a regime he has dictated to since 2019, and retained his powers as de facto leader of Sudan.

Demonstrations continue to trail the “self coup” despite the deadly crackdown with protesters calling for the end of military rule of General Al-Burhan.

A self-coup is a form of coup in which a nation’s leader, despite having come to power through legal means, dissolves or renders powerless the national legislature and unlawfully assumes extraordinary powers, not granted under normal circumstances.

One of the protesters was shot dead on Monday during a march by thousands against last year’s coup, thus taking the total number of people killed to at least 84 since General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan led the October 25 military takeover.

The protester killed on Monday was shot in the head in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman, according to the Sudanese Doctors’ Committee.

The shooting happened as thousands of demonstrators tried to cross the bridge across the Nile linking the city to Khartoum.

“Tear gas canisters will not stop us!” said Taqwa Mohammed, a demonstrator near Khartoum’s presidential palace, where the ruling Sovereign Council is based along the Nile River.

The Northeast African country has a long history of military coups that dates back to 1957. More recently, the country experienced a coup in 2019 that ousted the military junta of Omar-al-Bashir which had been in power for over 30 years. There was also a report of an aborted coup in September 2021 and a “self coup” later in October of the same year that brought in Head Sovereignty Council, Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan.

In the case of General Abdel al-Fattah al-Burhan’s coup, the dictator had been the head of the eleven-member Sovereignty Council of Sudan which was the collective head of state of  Sudan from 20 August 2019 when it was created by the August 2019 Draft Constitutional Declaration.

Al-Burhan displaced the council in the infamous 25 October 2021 self coup.

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Senegalese opposition condemns President Sall’s ‘slow’ election date announcement

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The opposition presidential contenders in Senegal have claimed that the government is taking too long to announce a new date for the poll, following a court ruling that declared a 10-month postponement to be illegal.

This occurs just a few days after President Macky Sall pledged to comply with the Constitutional Council’s position that the election be held as soon as feasible following the parliament’s resolution to reschedule the election—which was initially set for February 25—was overruled by the court.

The situation in one of the more stable democracies in coup-hit West Africa led to violent public protests and threats of authoritarian overreach, and Sall came under intense pressure both domestically and internationally to accept the council’s decision.

However, no new date has been announced, which has angered opposition candidates who want the election to happen before Sall’s term expires on April 2.

In a joint statement released late on Tuesday, sixteen out of the nineteen presidential candidates bemoaned the “inexplicable slowness” with which the council’s decision was implemented.

It was their contention that Sall’s tardy return to electoral duty demonstrated his reluctance to initiate a process that would result in a transfer of power. A request for response from the presidency was not answered.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Justice Minister Aïssata Tall Sall said that there was room for discussion over the expiration of Sall’s mandate on April 2.

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South Africa wants Israel’s ‘occupation’ of Palestinian territories declared illegal

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South Africa is back at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over Israel’s role in the ongoing Hamas war. On Tuesday, Johannesburg asked the World Court to issue a non-binding legal opinion that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories is illegal.

South Africa argued that the proclamation would help efforts to reach a settlement as its representative opened the second day of hearings at the court in the Hague.

Vusimuzi Madonsela, South Africa’s ambassador to the Netherlands told the judges that “a clear legal characterization of the nature of Israel’s regime over the Palestinian people can only assist in remedying the ongoing delay and achieving a just settlement.”

Palestinian delegates asked the U.N.’s top court on Monday to declare Israel’s occupation of their territory illegal, adding that the advisory opinion of the court might help bring about a durable peace and a two-state solution.

Israel sent a written statement claiming that an advisory opinion would be detrimental to reaching a negotiated settlement with the Palestinians, despite not being present at the hearings.

The most recent wave of violence in Gaza, which was sparked by Hamas’s attacks on Israel on October 7, has exacerbated the region’s long-standing grievances and harmed attempts to find a peaceful solution.

The ICJ’s fifteen-member panel was tasked with “occupation, settlement and annexation … including measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and from its adoption of related discriminatory legislation and measures.”

It is anticipated that the judges will take about half a year to respond to the request, which also asks them to evaluate the implications of the occupation’s legal standing.

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