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.

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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Omicron Restrictions, Iran Nuclear Talks Resume, Thai Monkey Festival

👋 Kaixo!*

Welcome to Monday, where the Omicron variant prompts new restrictions and border closures, talks on Iran’s nuclear deal resume in Vienna and Thailand’s monkey festival is back. We also take you on an international journey into the wonderfully weird world of microstates.

[*Kie-sho, Basque]

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Sudan Prime Minister Reinstated, Peng Shuai’s Call, No Shuffling Adele

👋 မင်္ဂလာပါ!*

Welcome to Monday, where Sudan's ousted prime minister has been reinstated after a deal with the military, Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai says she is safe and well in a video call and a Venezuelan orchestra sets a new world record. We also look at the sons of two of the 20th century's most ruthless strongmen now running for president.

[*Mingalabar - Burmese]

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Why This Sudan Coup Is Different

The military has seized control in one of Africa's largest countries, which until recently had made significant progress towards transitioning to democracy after years of strongman rule. But the people, and international community, may not be willing to turn back.

This week the head of Sudan's Sovereign Council, General Abdel Fattah El Burhan, declared the dissolution of the transitional council, which has been in place since the overthrow of former president Omar el-Bashir in 2019. He also disbanded all the structures that had been set up as part of the transitional roadmap, and decreed a state of emergency.

In essence, he staged a palace coup against the transitional authority he chaired.

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In The News
Anne-Sophie Goninet, Jane Herbelin and Bertrand Hauger

Sudan Chaos, Un-Royal Wedding, Tesla’s Trillion

👋 你好*

Welcome to Tuesday, where violence erupts after Sudan's military coup, Australia finally gets onboard with climate change goals, and Harrison Ford stars in Raiders of the Lost Credit Card. From Bogota, we also see what the capture of drug kingpin Otoniel means for Colombia, a country long stained by cocaine trafficking.

[*Nĭhǎo - Mandarin Chinese]

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In The News
Anne-Sophie Goninet, Jane Herbelin and Bertrand Hauger

Sudan Coup, Drug Lord Busted, Bulls Are Back

👋 Здравейте!*

Welcome to Monday, where an apparent coup is underway in Sudan, Colombia's most-wanted drug lord gets caught, and Michael Jordan's rookie sneakers score an auction record. We also focus on a report that the Thai government is abusing the country's centuries-old law to protect the monarchy from criticism (lèse-majesté) to target pro-democracy activists and protesters.

[*Zdraveite - Bulgarian]

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Geopolitics
Nasr Eddin al-Tayib

War In Ethiopia's Tigray Region Casts Long Shadow Over Sudan

With a humanitarian crisis looming along the Sudan border, Ethiopian refugees pine for news of those they were forced to leave behind.

SUDAN-ETHIOPIA BORDER — After seizing the capital of the northern state of Tigray last weekend, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared the military incursion his forces launched at the beginning of November against the rebellious region a victory.

However, it has been anything but a victory for the civilian population of Tigray that has borne the heavy brunt of the fighting and been forced into displacement en masse. Tigray is home to an estimated six million people and is the seat of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), which has consistently challenged the rule of Abiy since he ascended to office in 2018.

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Geopolitics
Roger-Pol Droit

Why Sudan Should Matter To Us All

Beyond the geopolitical ramifications, what's happening in Sudan is our problem too. Between the violence from those in charge and the meaning of citizen movements, the stakes couldn't be higher.

-Analysis-

PARIS — The situation in Khartoum over the past couple of days has marked the beginning of a major crisis, whose stakes extend well beyond the borders of Sudan. For two basic reasons, we must all care. The most visible one is geopolitics: This pivotal African country stands at a crossroads where Russian, Chinese and American interests, as well as direct spheres of influence of Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia intersect, and potentially openly clash. Then, there is also our continent, Europe, and its tendency at procrastination, now facing the situation in the context of immigration.

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Geopolitics
Jean-Philippe Rémy

The Women At The Forefront Of The Sudanese Revolution

“Kandakas” are leading the protests in Sudan, asking for more recognition and space in society.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who has been in power for nearly 30 years, was ousted and arrested on April 11. Defense Minister Awad Ibn Ouf announced the army had decided to oversee a transitional period of two years before holding elections. Protests against Bashir, who took power in 1989 through a military coup, lasted several months.Le Monde correspondent Jean-Philippe Rémy talks to the women who seek more than just an end to Bashir's regime.

KHARTOUM — Sitting on the edge of the sofa with her back straight so as not to touch the backrest, her hands flat on her legs, her dress pulled down, she embodies the archetypal well-behaved Sudanese girl. Her mother, slumped on a nearby chair, keeps a watchful eye and seems satisfied. With just one look into Alia's eyes, you understand what really drives her. She is like a volcano that chooses how it will erupt: calmly, slowly, but with all the fire of the earth.

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Migrant Lives
Sam Mednik

In South Sudan, A Tailor's Tales Of Fleeing War — Over And Over

Peter Koang has been displaced three times since the war in South Sudan began. Each time, he managed to salvage his sewing machine, which now brings him a rare bit of stability at a time of fragile peace.

NYAL — Tracing his worn fingers over a rundown sewing machine, Peter Koang steadied a piece of fabric under the needle. He pressed his foot to the pedal as a skirt began to take shape.

"This is all I have left," the 47-year-old tailor said of the device.

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Sources

Watch: OneShot — On Revolution Road

During the 2011 war in Libya, NOOR photographer Yuri Kozyrev wound up in the wrong place at the right time. His image of the moment a rebel position was targeted by a missile attack, on March 11, 2011 in the oil-refining town of Ras Lanuf, would win the World Press Photo first prize in Spot News, singles category.

On Revolution Road — ©Yuri Kozyrev/NOOR / OneShot

From World Press Photo:

The uprising against the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi had grown out of clashes with authorities in the east-Libyan city of Benghazi, in mid-February. Anti-Gaddafi sentiment was strongest in the east of the country, and Benghazi came to be seen as the rebel stronghold. Ras Lanuf had fallen to anti-government forces on 4 March, during their initial advance west, towards the capital Tripoli. After heavy bombardment by land, sea and air, Gaddafi's forces retook the city on 10 March, and began pushing the rebels back. For some days it appeared that even Benghazi would be retaken. Gaddafi's counter-advance was halted after NATO planes began bombing Libyan military targets, following a UN resolution on 17 March. Rebel forces began moving west again and by the end of the month had recaptured Ras Lanuf, though they would not permanently occupy the city until late August. ​

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Sources
Edouard de Mareschal

South Sudan, Where Famine And Ethnic War Feed Each Other

After becoming the world's newest country by separating from Sudan, the nation of South Sudan faces a grave food crisis brought on by ethnic and religious conflict.

BENTIU — When an armored truck rumbled into her village in the summer of 2014, Betty Sunday froze. The militiamen jumped out of the vehicle, weapons in hand, and began bursting into homes. Some of the soldiers looked well shy of 16 years old. The gunshots rang out, and women screamed. Betty does not know how many were raped.

"I fled into the bush with my son and husband," she recalls.

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LA STAMPA
Massimo Russo

After Cyber Attack, "Hacking Team" Founder Speaks Out

After a devastating leak and allegations of working with oppressive regimes, the Milan technology firm's founder responds to the critics.

MILAN — After weeks of silence, the day of truth has arrived. David Vincenzetti, the 47-year-old founder of the infamous Milanese technology firm Hacking Team, agreed to finally give his perspective on the devastating cyber attack on his company's servers.

Hacking Team rose to prominence by producing Galileo, a suite of surveillance technologies that allow governments to intercept and decrypt data. More than 40 countries in the world use the product to infiltrate and monitor the communications of terrorists, traffickers and criminals. But the firm has attracted controversy for dealing with non-democratic clients — the governments of Sudan, Libya and Ethiopia, for example — who use the technology to crack down on opposition.

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Geopolitics
Vincent Defait

Rage And Refuge On Ethiopia-South Sudan Border

BUREBIEYSix months ago, the brown water of the Baro River was flowing peacefully between South Sudan and Ethiopia, and the town of Burebiey was just another dot on the map in western Ethiopia.

But now, we are standing at a key crossing point for refugees of a spreading civil war. Throughout the day, boats move back and forth between the two sides of the river. On one side are South Sudan and its civil war. On the other side Ethiopia and the promise of peace, food and shelter.

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Geopolitics
Jean-Philippe Rémy

Living Among The Dead After A Massacre In South Sudan

BOR — Apart from the birds of prey gliding in the hot air, everything is as motionless as the corpse with the mummified face. It is a man, judging by his clothes, and he had curled up in a hole no bigger than a basin, hoping to be invisible in the grass.

He had clearly perished in a failed last-ditch effort to escape the ongoing manhunt along the banks of the Nile River just outside the village of Bor in December. Rebel soldiers fighting against the regime of President Salva Kiir in the South Sudan capital of Juba were responsible for the blood bath.

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