This is our last Weekly News Digest, a selected compilation of recent stories we publish each Saturday during Summertime. Today: Sudanese human rights defender Dr Amin Mekki Madani has died; Darfur United Men’s Team in Los Angeles; El Jareeda and El Tayyar newspapers confiscated; Conflict in South Sudan; Peter Biar Ajak arrested in South Sudan; This Is Congo – The movie; Mass killings and gang rapes of Muslim Rohingya; Ugandan singer Bobi Wine freed on bail. En français : La candidature à la présidentielle de Jean-Pierre Bemba invalidée; Togo : Programme Education avec La Chaîne de l’Espoir; Les ‘ boat people‘ de Tunisie.
Sudanese human rights hero Amin Mekki Madani dies – Radio Dabanga
Dr Amin Mekki Madani, a prominent Sudanese human rights defender and head of the Sudan Civil Society Initiative, died today. Madani was one of the civil society leaders who wrote critical letters to the AU high-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) ahead of meetings in Addis Ababa that discussed alternatives for a solution to Sudan’s multiple crises. The civil society leader was kept in detention by the Sudanese authorities for months in 2015 after joining the Sudan Appeal, a political communiqué calling for regime-change.
Sudan: Online activist held incommunicado over a month: Ahmed Al-Dai Bushara Joudah – Amnesty
Ahmed Al-Dai Bushara Joudah, a journalist and social media activist, was arbitrarily arrested on 16 July in Omdurman, Sudan by National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) agents. He is currently being held without charge at the NISS detention centre in Khartoum North. He has been denied access to a lawyer and family. He is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment while in detention.
August 2018 Heart of Nuba Update – Operation Broken Silence
In October 2016, Operation Broken Silence launched the Heart of Nuba Campaign alongside of the Take Heart Foundation. This online fundraising movement focuses solely on supporting Mother of Mercy Hospital in the war-torn Nuba Mountains of Sudan. This is a brief update about the hospital and your progress so far.
Please keep supporting Dr. Tom! 'The needs will likely increase this upcoming year as other institutional donors have dropped out to take on other projects. We have many plans for the future but can't do anything without financial support' #Nuba #Sudan @TheHeartofNuba https://t.co/2AkwH78vVT
— MagkaSama Project (@MagkaSama) August 30, 2018
Islamic Movement: ‘Regime has made Sudanese wealthy’ – Radio Dabanga
The secretary-general of the Sudanese Islamic Movement has claimed that the government led by President Omar Al Bashir has turned the Sudanese into wealthy people. Several people found his speech “provocative, especially in this time of hardship”. Secretary-General of the Islamic Movement party El Zubair Ahmed El Hassan said that the current government have created a “much better economic situation” and “created many opportunities for citizens, including a number of Islamists”. El Zubair held a speech on Sudanese television. He claimed that poverty rates have not increased in Sudan and said the rates have decreased “very much”.
Darfur United Hosts Players From Across The United States – Darfur United
“No matter what happens, you’re always part of our family.” This statement was among the final sentiments given by Darfur United Head Coach Mark Hodson upon the conclusion of tryouts for the Darfur United Men’s Team (DU) this past weekend. Interested Darfuri players from seven states and five countries contacted DU staff to inquire about participating in the two-day event. 19 players arrived in Los Angeles on Friday evening. Several will join the Darfur United roster in the coming days.
— Darfur United (@DarfurUnited) July 31, 2018
— iACT (@iact) July 28, 2018
Two newspapers seized following National Assembly meeting – Radio Dabanga
The Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) confiscated all copies of El Jareeda and El Tayyar newspapers on Monday morning. The move comes days after discussions between the newspapers and Sudan’s National Assembly. The security service did not provide an explanation for the confiscation of the two titles.Editor-in-chief of El Jareeda newspaper, Ashraf Abdelaziz said: “The confiscation is the tenth one in August and they have resulted in great losses for the newspaper.” Abdelaziz pointed out that the confiscations happened in spite of a “positive atmosphere” that prevailed during a meeting between the Sudanese National Assembly and heads of newspapers last week. The meeting was held ahead of Eid El Adha, in order to create a charter of honour for the press that would be signed by the concerned parties.
Agreement signed in Khartoum to resolve conflict in South Sudan – Radio Dabanga
On Tuesday the government of South Sudan, political parties, and a group of former political prisoners signed the final agreement with the initial letters to resolve the conflict in South Sudan. The signing ceremony occurred at the Academy of Strategic and Security Studies in Soba, where the chief negotiator represted the government of South Sudan and the presidential advisor for security affairs, Tut Gulawak, Deng Alor represented the former political prisoners. Joseph Okilo represted the political parties, alongside a representative of civil society organisations signed the agreement. The representative of the SPLM headed by Riek Machar and the Sawa group withdrew.
Freedom for Peter Biar Ajak – Change.org
Peter Biar Ajak was arrested in South Sudan on July 28. Peter is a youth advocate for peace and a friend and inspiration to many who know him around the world. He is currently being held without charge at the notorious South Sudanese prison known as the Blue House. His friends at universities, human rights institutions, media organisations and others around the world are calling for his release.
Elections en RDC : l’exclusion de Bemba fait craindre un retour de la violence – Afrikarabia
La République démocratique du Congo (RDC) n’en finit pas de s’enfoncer dans la crise politique. Après avoir été reportée par deux fois, l’élection présidentielle de décembre pourrait se tenir sans l’un des principaux opposants au camp présidentiel. L’ancien vice-président Jean-Pierre Bemba, récemment acquitté par la Cour pénal internationale (CPI), a vu sa candidature à la présidentielle invalidée par la Commission électorale (CENI) ce samedi dans la nuit.
— Christophe RIGAUD (@afrikarabia) August 25, 2018
— Radio Okapi (@radiookapi) July 31, 2018
#RDC: Forces de sécurité ont lancé gaz lacrymogènes+tiré à balles réelles pour disperser milliers des partisans de l'opposant Jean-Pierre Bemba, blessant au moins deux personnes par balle. Autorités doivent mettre un terme à l’usage excessif de la force. https://t.co/hNoWaPtLWm pic.twitter.com/61GYRIqGmS
— Ida Sawyer (@ida_sawyer) August 28, 2018
— CIVICUS (@CIVICUSalliance) August 28, 2018
This Is Congo review: Dir. Daniel McCabe (2018) – Critical Popcorn
Sometimes I feel we’re falling into a modern life that’s losing touch with the bigger issues in the world around us, enveloping ourselves into social media meltdowns and technological distractions. And while it’s true that our own lives are important, This Is Congo is an absolute must-watch in terms of both awareness and importance. Congo is one of those countries you’ve possibly heard about on the news, or have some distant awareness about. As recently as the beginning of May 2018, two tourists were kidnapped from the Virunga National Park but were miraculously released without being killed
Daniel McCabe's #ThisIsCongo is available now in the UK, Ireland, US and Canada to watch on iTunes – The @Dogwoof documentary is a highly-immersive, unfiltered look into one of the longest conflicts in the world, an intense must-watch: https://t.co/oRFVXM39tL (@This_Is_Congo) pic.twitter.com/GNi7f7patH
— CriticalPopcorn (@CriticalPopcorn) August 31, 2018
U.N. calls for Myanmar generals to be tried for genocide, blames Facebook for incitement – Reuters
Myanmar’s military carried out mass killings and gang rapes of Muslim Rohingya with “genocidal intent”, and the commander-in-chief and five generals should be prosecuted for the gravest crimes under international law, United Nations investigators said.
U.N. says Myanmar military had 'genocidal intent' against Rohingya, says commander-in-chief and five generals should be prosecuted for gravest crimes under international law: https://t.co/5zHvZRoPh8 via @ReutersTV pic.twitter.com/fXFX4AkCZs
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) August 27, 2018
Uganda: Who Is Bobi Wine and Why Is He Creating Such a Fuss? – AllAfrica
Ugandan singer turned politician Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, known as Bobi Wine, is at the centre of a storm in the East African nation. Ssentamu has been arrested and charged with treason in a civilian court – shortly after a military court dropped a charge of illegal possession of firearms and released him from custody. The 36-year-old uses his politically charged songs to call for change in the country that President Yoweri Museveni has led for more than three decades. The Conversation Africa asked Jimmy Spire Ssentongo to try and make sense of what’s happening.
— VOA Africa (@VOAAfrica) August 27, 2018
#FreeBobiWine: Protests mount over torture and arrest of a young political force in Uganda https://t.co/btNQOex4By "In our new Africa, there is no room for brutality, we cherish each other. Let us debate disagreements, not crush opponents." pic.twitter.com/wHZ26SqlXQ
— Global Voices (@globalvoices) August 29, 2018
— RFI Afrique (@RFIAfrique) August 31, 2018
Togo : Programme Education – La Chaîne de l’Espoir
Dans ce contexte de pauvreté, l’éducation est une charge financière lourde à supporter et place les enfants en situation de vulnérabilité face aux déscolarisations précoces. L’action mise en œuvre vise à développer un environnement sain, protecteur et motivant dans nos onze écoles partenaires afin d’améliorer les conditions d’apprentissage des élèves. L’accompagnement de l’enfant en situation de vulnérabilité est mis en œuvre par des actions concrètes qui ont un impact direct sur le bien-être et le développement de l’enfant. Ces actions sont développées en partenariat avec les institutions d’enseignement primaire et secondaire publiques togolaises.
Tunisie : Des « boat people » pas comme les autres ! – Marsad
La Tunisie a ses « boat people », et ils sont de plus en plus nombreux à tenter de gagner les rives méridionales de l’Europe, toujours au péril de leur vie. Cette migration, naturellement clandestine, a ses codes, ses itinéraires, sa bourse, et ses passeurs. L’influent journal « Wall Street Journal » (WSJ) vient de faire une immersion dans cet univers tel qu’il s’organise sur les îles Kerkennah, devenues un « point de rassemblement pour les passeurs qui envoient de jeunes Tunisiens en Italie ». Ils naviguent de nuit sur des bateaux de pêche, espérant trouver un emploi et une nouvelle vie sur les rives du Vieux continent.