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El Espectador, July 19th

Tuesday's edition of Bogota daily El Espectador reports on the Colombian Constitutional Court approving a measure to hold a national referendum on the recently signed peace agreement with the Marxist rebels, FARC.

Above the headline "Green light for a referendum," is a rather giddy photograph of Constitutional Court President Maria Victoria Calle, and her colleague Magistrate Luis Ernesto Vargas on Monday, announcing the decision.

"There is a green light for us, the Colombian people, to approve the peace deal with our votes," Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said.

If the referendum passes, the rebels would be expected to disarm and form a left-wing political party — although a small faction has vowed to keep fighting — and help with demining operations, a key point in a country with the second highest number of land mine victims in the world after Afghanistan.

Last month, after four years of talks, and a half-century of civil war, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) signed with the government negotiators a historic peace agreement in Havana.

The war started in 1964 when the FARC first took up arms to fight for land reform and greater equality. Three attempts to negotiate peace have thus far failed and about 220,000 Colombians have died in the fighting with millions more uprooted from their homes.

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Geopolitics

In Sudan, A Surprise About-Face Marks Death Of The Revolution

Ousted Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was the face of the "stolen revolution". The fact that he accepted, out of the blue, to return at the same position, albeit on different footing, opens the door to the final legitimization of the coup.

Sudanese protesters demonstrating against the military regime in London on Nov. 20, 2021

Nesrine Malik

A little over a month ago, a military coup in Sudan ended a military-civilian partnership established after the 2019 revolution that removed President Omar al-Bashir after almost 30 years in power. The army arrested the Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and, along with several of his cabinet and other civil government officials, threw him in detention. In the weeks that followed, the Sudanese military and their partners in power, the Rapid Support Forces, moved quickly.

They reappointed a new government of “technocrats” (read “loyalists”), shut down internet services, and violently suppressed peaceful protests against the coup and its sabotaging of the 2019 revolution. During those weeks, Hamdok remained the symbol of the stolen revolution, betrayed by the military, detained illegally, unable to communicate with the people who demanded his return. In his figure, the moral authority of the counter-coup resided.

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