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Sudanese military leaders promise to release political detainees ahead of dialogue to ease tensions

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The Sudanese military junta has promised to release political detainees in the next “two to three days” to create an atmosphere for dialogue in the country following months of unrest that has left many dead.

According to a statement on Saturday by the military leader Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the move is aimed at setting up a peaceful atmosphere for dialogue and to contribute with others to achieve reconciliation and create steps to ease tensions in the country six months after a military coup.

“We have started procedures to release political detainees within two or three days.

“We are embarking on a difficult period and we must all present concessions for the sake of our country,” he said, noting the deteriorating economic and security situation in the country as reasons for the concessions.

Gen. Al-Burhan who is also the head of the country’s ruling Sovereign Council, said he has had a meeting with the attorney-general and chief justice to “study the legal situation of the detainees and expedite procedures” for their release.

He added that the military is ready “to step down and hand over power to civilians in the event of an agreement between the political forces.”

Al-Burhan, along with other military leaders, on October 25, 2021, staged a coup ending a two-year power-sharing arrangement with a civilian political coalition following the ouster of long term dictator Omar al-Bashir.

Since the coup where the military dismissed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s transitional government and declared a state of emergency,
Sudan has been in turmoil with civilians throbbing the streets in protest.

At least 94 people have been killed in security crackdowns on protesters and dozens have been arrested and detained.

Politics

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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