Daily Archives: April 7, 2019

Activists: 5 Killed in Protests Against Sudan’s President

CAIRO Security forces killed at least five protesters in fresh anti-government marches on Saturday in Sudan, in what organizers said was among the largest turnouts in three months.

The demonstrations began in December over price hikes and food shortages, and quickly escalated into calls for President Omar al-Bashir’s resignation, posing one of the biggest challenges yet to his nearly 30-year rule.

Security forces have responded to the protest movement with a fierce crackdown, killing at least 60 people according to Physicians for Human Rights, a New York-based rights group. The latest deaths raised the tally to at least 65 since protests began.

The government has said that 32 people have been killed, but hasn’t updated its tally in weeks.

The rallies are being led by the Sudanese Professionals Association, an umbrella group of independent professional unions.

Sarah Abdel-Jaleel, a spokeswoman for the SPA, told The Associated Press that four people were killed in the capital city of Khartoum and another protester was killed in the neighboring city of Omdurman.

Stone-throwing protesters clashed with security forces using tear gas, live ammunition and batons to disperse tens of thousands of people gathered outside the military’s headquarters and a presidential residence in Khartoum, according to the organizers.

The Sudan Doctors Committee, an SPA affiliate, said that dozens had been wounded in rallies across the country, many of them by live ammunition.

The state-run SUNA news agency on Saturday quoted police spokesman General Hashim Abdel-Rahim as saying that one person was killed “during disturbances in Omdurman.” He called the protests “illegal gatherings.”

Al-Bashir has offered little in the way of concessions, beyond calling for a national dialogue and asking parliament to postpone constitutional amendments that would allow him to seek a new term in next year’s elections.

Source: Voice of America

Rwanda’s President Leads Ceremonies Marking Genocide Anniversary

KIGALI Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has led commemorations marking the 25 anniversary of the genocide that killed hundreds of thousands of people with a stern warning to those with plans to destabilize the country.

For those from here or from outside who think our country has not seen enough of a mess and want to mess with us, in defense of those children you saw and our nation, I want to say, we will mess up with them big time, Kagame told thousands of people gathered to remember those killed in 1994. We claim no special place, but we have a place to claim. The fighting spirit is alive in us. What happened here will never happen again.

In the lead up to 25th genocide commemoration, tensions have been mounting between Rwanda and Uganda.

Rwanda accused Uganda of supporting groups opposed to the government in Kigali. Uganda rejects those accusations.

A frequent guest to commemoration events, Uganda President Yoweli Museveni was absent this time. He was represented by his foreign affairs minister Sam Kuteesa.

We are the last people in the world who should succumb to complacency. The suffering we have endured should be enough to keep our fighting spirit alive, said Kagame.

The commemoration began with lighting of the flame and laying of wreaths at the Kigali Genocide memorial where close to 250,000 remains were buried. In all, about 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered by ethnic Hutu extremists.

Honore Gatera, coordinator of Kigali memorial center said the flame they were lighting was a symbol of courage and resilience that Rwanda has shown for the past quarter of a century.

Young Rwandans, aged 25 years and representing the new generation of Rwanda, handed over the flame that will burn for the next 100 days to Kagame. One of them said This is a light of remembrance, the light of life.

President Kagame thanked countries who have been with Rwanda through its journey of reconstruction.

On a day like this, when language fails, the first words that come, are words of gratitude. To you, the friends by our side on this heavy day, including the different leaders present, we say thank you, he said. In 1994, there was no hope, only darkness. Today, light radiates from this place.

President Paul Kagame also paid tribute to foreigners who helped survivors and later died too.

Joining us today are families from other countries, whose husbands, fathers, sisters, and aunts were claimed by the same deadly ideology, said Kagame. The only comfort we can offer is the commonality of sorrow, and the respect owed to those who had the courage to do the right thing.

A notable absentee at the commemoration was French President Emmanuel Macron, whose country stands accused of aiding the genocide. Macron proposed an annual day of commemoration for the Rwanda genocide on Sunday, according to AFP.

A Rwandan-born Member of Parliament Herve Berville who was orphaned in the 1993 violence led the French delegation.

Belgium, which colonized Rwanda. was represented by Prime Minister Charles Michel, who admitted part of responsibility of Belgium in the 1994 genocide.

Michel said genocide was a failure of the international community. He said he was moved by the courage, resilience and empathy of the Rwandan people.

In a tweet, British Prime Minister Theresa May wrote, Today I am reflecting on the thousands of lives lost in the Rwandan genocide 25 years ago. This was a tragedy and it remains as important as ever to make sure such atrocities are not repeated.

Sunday’s ceremonies marked the beginning of 100 days commemoration.

Source: Voice of America