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Sudan economy collapse if deal not reached soon

ECONOMIC concerns were among the initial sparks for the protests, which broke out in December when the government announced it would triple the price of bread. Everyone is alert and waiting. If this state of tension and uncertainty continues, the econo...

US backs Sudan transition deal fearing state collapse

SUDAN's sovereign council of soldiers and civilians will lead Sudan for 3 years. Sudan situation is still fragile, there are still spoilers out there. The fact that Hemeti remains in power is problematic. Money from Saudi Arabia that used to go to the RSF would now back the transition. RSF forces have fought as ground troops for the Saudi-led coalition in their war against the Houthis in Yemen. US backs Sudan transition deal for fear of state collapse. Full story here below.
From The Financial Times
By ADRIENNE KLASA in London 
Published: Thursday 11 July 2019 
Title: Sovereign council of soldiers and civilians will lead country for 3 years
Photo: Sudan's Rapid Support Forces are feared by demonstrators © AP
The US has thrown its weight behind the power-sharing deal struck between Sudan’s military leaders and civilian groups, fearing that the alternative was a descent into state failure and violence.
“The situation is still fragile; there are still spoilers out there,” Tibor Nagy, US assistant secretary of state for African affairs, said in London. The deal was “absolutely a step forward” he added. 
“Out of all the scenarios out there some of the outcomes could have been extremely negative. We could have had the Somalia [or] Libya model, which is the absolute last thing that either Egypt or Ethiopia needed,” he added.
Mr Nagy had just returned from Sudan, where he met the political and military factions that unseated Omar al-Bashir in April after months of protest. Mr Bashir had been in power for three decades. Sudanese officials and activists credit US pressure, along with Gulf countries and regional negotiators, with bringing the two sides to an agreement.
While the US supported the political transition, Mr Nagy said it would not become involved in the details of any agreement between the ruling transitional military council and civilian groups. “Our goal is to achieve this transition that is acceptable to the Sudanese people, [but] it’s not for us to get into the sausage making,” he said.
The power-sharing deal, which is expected to be signed this week, grants five of the 11 seats on a “sovereign council” to civilians. Another five seats will go to the military. The final seat will go to a consensus appointment. The council, which will rule Sudan during a three-year transition period, will be led at first by a military representative before switching to a civilian.
The deal is a muted victory for protesters who had been campaigning for an immediate transition to democratic civilian rule.
Their hopes though of a bloodless revolution were shattered when Rapid Support Force (RSF) troops raided encampments and hospitals on the night of June 3, killing more than 100 people, according to protesters.
The US has called for an independent investigation into the killings but is separating that from any political settlement. That approach, however, has been criticised because the commander of the RSF, Lieutenant General Mohamed Hamdan, known as Hemeti, remains an important figure in the ruling military council.
“The fact that Hemeti remains in power is problematic. As commander of the RSF for all these years he’s implicated in serious crimes, not only in Khartoum but in Darfur” and elsewhere in the country, says Jehanne Henry, associate director in the Africa division of Human Rights Watch. “Until there’s accountability, the peace will not hold.”
Mr Nagy said the crackdown was “a separate issue. It’s very important for us not to get into [accusing] this person, that person. We have to focus on the outcome because that’s the most important thing for Sudan”.
Gulf allies, who have provided funding and support to Lt Gen Hamdan and the RSF, have also backed the deal, Mr Nagy said, while money from Saudi Arabia that used to go to the RSF would now back the transition. RSF forces have fought as ground troops for the Saudi-led coalition in their war against the Houthis in Yemen.

But Mr Nagy admitted the deal could still fall apart. He said there were fears that supporters of Mr Bashir could try to restore the old regime to power or that an unstable Sudan could allow radical groups to flourish. The return of the Muslim Brotherhood, a Sunni Islamist organisation with links across the Arab world that briefly held power in Egypt is 2012, was “definitely is a concern”, he said.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019. All rights reserved.
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World: Education in Danger Monthly News Brief, May 2019

Source: Insecurity Insight
Country: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Israel, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Saudi Ar...

Sudan militia chief Hemeti hires Canadian lobbying group for $6m to influence US, Russia, Saudia Arabia, UN, AU, Libya in favour of TMC

Article from The Financial Times.com
By TOM WILSON in London 
Published at FT.com on Sunday 20 June 2019

Sudan militia chief hires Canadian lobbying group for $6m
US filings show boom in such contracts between N American outfits and African governments
Photo: Soldiers wait for the arrival of Lieutenant General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo before a meeting in Aprag village, 60 km from Khartoum, Sudan © Reuters
A feared militia commander in Sudan has hired a Canadian lobbying group he hopes will secure a public meeting with US president Donald Trump, support from Libya’s military leader and free wheat from Russia in return for an upfront fee of $6m
The consultancy agreement, signed in May by Montreal-based Dickens & Madson and Lieutenant General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo of Sudan’s ruling military council, was published on June 17 by the US Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. It is the latest in a series of eye-catching lobbying contracts between North American companies and authoritarian African governments.s military leader and free wheat from Russia in return for an upfront fee of $6m.
For decades, lobbying outfits have served the interests of US businesses and foreign governments willing to pay for introductions and influence. Those companies are expanding their services, promising not only access in Washington but also mediation and dealmaking with third-party governments all over the world.
Matthew Page, a former Department of State official, said lobbying contracts between Washington groups and African states were proliferating because there was a belief that the Trump White House was more susceptible to external influence than previous administrations.
“This is a reflection of the changed political realities in Washington where the dynamics within the Trump administration are fundamentally different in terms of influence peddling,” Mr Page, who is now an associate fellow at Chatham House, a UK think-tank, said. “African governments have always had these types of lobbying firms helping them out but in the Trump era these firms can be more effective.”
Foreign governments, individuals and companies spent almost $1bn on US lobbyists in 2017, according to figures compiled by the Washington-based website OpenSecrets.org, a non-profit organisation which tracks money in US politics.
Services rendered have included securing press coverage for Cameroon’s 82-year-old autocrat Paul Biya, defending officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo from targeted sanctions or blocking the investigation of war crimes in South Sudan.
In Sudan, Dickens & Madson said they would attempt to influence US policy in favour of the transitional military council and help secure funding and equipment for the Sudanese army.
Lt Gen Hamdan and his fellow military officers seized power in April, toppling Omar al-Bashir, a long-term US enemy, following months of government protests. After promising to hand power to civilian rulers, the generals have demurred and in June turned their guns on the people, killing more than 100 civilians in a night-time raid on a pro-democracy sit-in.
The lobbying contract was signed on May 7, before the raid. But even then, Dickens & Madson faced an uphill battle to build US confidence in Lt-Gen Hamdan. Better known as Hemeti, the soldier who is second-in-command in the transitional military council and Sudan’s de facto leader, rose to national prominence as the head of a feared paramilitary group known as the Rapid Support Forces.
Members of the RSF have been accused of widespread human rights abuses in Darfur, western Sudan.
The lobbying group’s contract extends further than Washington. It will also push the interests of the Sudanese transitional military council in Russia, Saudi Arabia, the UN, the African Union and “any other mutually agreed upon country or countries,” according to the filings.
In Russia, the company aims to arrange “private meetings...with senior Russian and other political figures” and to secure aid shipments of wheat, diesel and animal feed.
In Libya, the goal is to win funding for the transitional council from military leader General Khalifa Haftar - another Dickens & Madson client - in return for Sudanese military support for the Libyan National Army.
Other objectives include meetings with Middle Eastern heads of state, US investment in Sudan’s oil industry and even the negotiation of an economic union between Sudan and neighbouring South Sudan, which seceded in 2011.
When contacted by the Financial Times, a spokesperson for Dickens & Madson said the company’s president who signed the agreement, former Israeli intelligence officer Ari Ben-Menashe, was travelling and could not be immediately reached for comment.

Thank you for reading Sudan Watch.

U.S. envoy, Saudi diplomat discuss efforts to end Sudan’s crisis

June 29, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan Donald Both and Saudi State Minister for African Affairs Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Qattan discussed the ongoing efforts to settle the Sudanese crisis and to ensure a peaceful power transfer in the east African country.
The official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on Saturday said the meeting discussed means to bolster "security and stability, in (Sudan)".
Speaking to the media after the meeting, Al-Qattan warned of the risk of expansion of (...)

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Saudi Arabia & UAE do not interfere in Sudan’s internal affairs: TMC

June 23, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Lt-Gen Yasir al-Atta, the Deputy head of the political committee of the Transitional Military Council dismissed reports about Saudi and Emirati meddling in Sudan's internal affairs.
"Sincerity and honesty Saudi Arabia and the UAE have not and will not dictate political or security conditions or anything else," he said al-Atta said in a press conference held in Khartoum on Sunday.
"They are friendly countries that we have offered them a white hand and now they are (...)

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Saudi Arabia says its support goes for Sudanese people

June 16, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Saudi Arabia is very interested in Sudan's political stability and keen to support the Sudanese people said Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) who voiced his concern about the rising tensions in Sudan after 3 June.
MBS made his statements about Sudan in an interview with the London based Asharq al-Awsat published on Sunday after allegations that his country and the United Emirates are encouraging the military council not to hand over power to the opposition (...)

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Sudan’s junta reiterates support to Saudi Arabia

May 31, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan's military junta Friday has announced its support for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates against "irresponsible" threats in the Arabian Gulf and the southern Red Sea regions.
Saudi Arabia's King Salman told an emergency Arab summit on Friday that decisive action was needed to stop Iranian “escalations” following attacks on Gulf oil assets.
The summit discussed the implications of drone strikes on oil installations in the kingdom and attacks on four (...)

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SPA calls on Saudi Arabia to support Sudan’s inspiration for civil rule

May 26, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) Sunday called on Saudi Arabia to support the aspiration of the Sudanese people to establish civil rule in the country during the transitional period.
At its request, the SPA foreign relations committee met the Saudi ambassador to Khartoum on Sunday and asked him that the kingdom supports "the choices of the Sudanese people to establish a transitional civilian authority," said the statement.
The request comes after (...)

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World: Education in Danger Monthly News Brief, April 2019

Source: Insecurity Insight
Country: Algeria, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Cuba, Gabon, Kenya, Libya, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic,...

Saudi Arabia: Desert Locust situation update 14 May 2019

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Country: Iran (Islamic Republic of), Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Yemen

A second generation of spring breeding is underway in Saudi Arabia and Iran

As a result of unusually good ecological conditions, a second generation of breeding is expected to cause a further increase of locusts in the spring breeding areas of Saudi Arabia and Iran.

In Saudi Arabia, spring breeding started earlier than normal this year and is also more distributed throughout the interior: along the eastern side of the Asir Mountains (March–present), in central areas between Riyadh and Hail (February–present), in the northeast between Jubail and Kuwait (March–present), and along the western edge of the Empty Quarter between Wadi Dawasir and Riyadh (April–present). A second generation of breeding is underway in central areas with egg-laying in the last week of April and hatching that may have already started. Ground and aerial teams treated 16,430 ha on 1-10 May.

In Kuwait, late instar hopper groups and bands were seen near Al Wafra and the Saudi Arabia border since the last week of April. Many of these started to fledge about a week ago and are likely to form groups of immature adults and perhaps a small swarm if not controlled. The infestations are likely to have originated from breeding that occurred in March along inaccessible border areas by swarms that moved enroute from Saudi Arabia to the southern coast of Iran. Control operations have treated 50 ha since 28 April. A few swarms may also appear from adjacent areas of Saudi Arabia.

In Jordan, an immature swarm arrived in the south near Al Jafr on 4 May that was controlled the next day. On 5 May, another immature swarm flew over the same area and reached Tafilah (south of Amman) where it was treated by air. In all, control operations treated 460 ha. The swarms are likely to have originated from breeding areas in Saudi Arabia and migrated during a brief period of southerly winds. A few more swarms could appear during periods of southerly winds, and perhaps reach southern areas of Syria or Israel.

In Yemen, locals reported several immature and mature swarms moving in the highlands between Dhamer and north of Sana'a during the past week. These swarms originated from breeding several months ago in the Empty Quarter. A ground survey is underway in the interior between Marib, Ataq and Shabwah where so far scattered adults and a few groups have been seen. Egg-laying is in progress in a few areas, and hatching is likely by the end of May with hopper groups and small bands forming in June.

In Iran, hopper and adult groups and a few hopper bands are present along parts of the coast from west of Bandar Lengeh to the Pakistan border and in the Jaz Murian Basin of the interior. A second generation of spring breeding started in late April with substantial hatching this past week that will cause more hopper groups and bands to form, which could give rise to new adult groups and swarms starting about mid-June if not controlled. Intensive control operations treated more than 18,000 ha so far in May. There is a risk that a few adult groups or small swarms could appear from Arabia at times.

In Pakistan, small-scale breeding continues in coastal areas of Baluchistan where limited control was carried out against a few hopper groups. Hoppers will start to fledge and become immature adults at the end of May and continue to about mid-June. At that time, local infestations could be supplemented by adult groups and small swarms arriving from Iran.

The longer-term outlook suggests that there is a moderate risk of a few swarms migrating after mid-June from the spring breeding areas to the summer breeding areas along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border and also the interior of Sudan. The scale of the migration depends on the success of current survey and control operations. Therefore, all affected-countries should maintain these operations and report on time. FAO DLIS will continue to monitor the situation closely and keep all countries informed.

ADFD to deposit US$250 million into Central Bank of Sudan

April 28, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The United Arab Emirates and Sudan signed an agreement to inject $250 million in Sudan's central bank as part of a previously-announced $3 billion grant by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
On 21 April, Saudi Arabia and UAE announced a joint $3 billion worth of aid, throwing a lifeline to Sudan after the fall of President Omer al-Bashir after four-month protests against his regime.
The agreement which was announced by the official news agency WAM, was (...)

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