Connect with us


At Least 180 Dead as Sudan Descends Into War Between Army and Paramilitary



As a power struggle between two generals sparks a nationwide conflagration, ordinary people are trying to survive the constant gunfire and explosions.

Airstrikes Rock Khartoum

Mortar rounds and artillery fire continued to pound Sudan’s capital Khartoum Monday as warplanes reportedly soared overhead and residents hid inside.

The death toll from the fighting, which kicked off Saturday morning, has surpassed 180, according to a statement by United Nations envoy Volker Perthes.

Over 1,800 people are also wounded, he said, as both sides in the conflict use tanks and other heavy weapons in densely populated urban areas. Casualty figures may be much higher, however, because many bodies in the streets around central Khartoum are out of reach.

At least six hospitals in the city have shut down because they were damaged by fighting, ran out of fuel, or were forced to evacuate, Atiya Abdalla, secretary of the Sudan Doctors’ Syndicate, reportedly said.

Violence engulfed many areas of the country outside Khartoum, with the military and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) battling for control over key installations.

Satellite photos released by Maxar Technologies showed smoke rising from the Khartoum International Airport, the railway authority, the Energy and Defense Ministries, and the general command of the Sudanese army.

Gunmen have reportedly looted hospitals, government offices, compounds, and warehouses belonging to aid groups and the U.N. in the region of Darfur.

On Sunday, the U.N. World Food Program said it was temporarily pausing operations in Sudan after three of its staffers there were killed,

At least 88 students and staffers have been trapped in the engineering college library at Khartoum University for the past three days, one of the students said in a video posted Monday.

“They do not have food or water,” he said, showing a room full of people sleeping on the floor.

A Power Struggle Between Generals

The current conflict is being waged between two former allies: Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, Sudan’s effective president and commander of the armed forces, and Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, leader of the RSF paramilitary group, which is roughly 100,000 strong.

Together, the generals ousted Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s authoritarian president for three decades, from power in 2019 after months of pro-democracy protests in the streets.

A joint civilian-military government followed al-Bashir, but in October 2021 the army ended the power-sharing agreement in a coup that saw Sudan’s prime minister arrested. Since then, the country has been ruled by a council of generals, with Burhan and Dagalo at its head.

Under international pressure, Burhan and Dagalo had recently agreed to a framework agreement with political parties and pro-democracy groups, but the signing was repeatedly delayed as tensions rose over the integration of the RSF into the armed forces and the future chain of command.

Last week, RSF forces reportedly redeployed around the country, a move seen as a threat by the military, and tensions culminated with the weekend’s violence.

The Sudanese military enjoys support from Egypt, while the RSF has forged close ties with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, whose war in Yemen it sent thousands of troops to, as well as Russia.

Both generals blamed each other for starting the conflict, demanded the other surrender, and refused to negotiate a resolution. Both men also have a record of human rights abuses and anti-democratic behavior, though they each claim to represent the pro-democracy movement in Sudan.

The U.S., U.N., and E.U. have called for an end to the violence, but Western nations have enjoyed limited leverage over Sudan since the country’s 2021 coup isolated it from much of the international community.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, however, have also called for a truce.

See what others are saying: (CNN) (Al Jazeera) (The Washington Post)


95-Year-Old Woman Dies After Police Tases Her in Nursing Home



The officer involved was suspended with pay and charged with assault.

A 95-year-old Australian woman whom police tasered in a nursing home last week has reportedly died from her injuries.

Clare Nowland, who had dementia and required a walking frame to stand up and move, was living at the Yallambee Lodge in Cooma in southeastern Australia.

At about 4:15 a.m. on May 17, police and paramedics responded to a report of a woman standing outside her room with a steak knife.

They encountered Nowland, then reportedly tried to negotiate with her for several minutes, but she didn’t drop the knife.

The five-foot-two, 95-pound woman walked toward the two officers “at a slow pace,” police said at a news conference, so one of them tasered her.

She fell to the floor and reportedly suffered a fractured skull and a severe brain bleed, causing her to be hospitalized in critical condition.

Nowland passed away in a hospital surrounded by her family, the New South Wales police confirmed in a statement today.

After a week-long investigation, the police force also said that the senior constable involved would appear in court next week to face charges of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and common assault.

NSW police procedure states that tasers should not be used against elderly or disabled people absent exceptional circumstances.

Following the incident, community members, activists, and disability rights advocates expressed bewilderment and anger at what they called an unnecessary use of force, and some are now questioning why law enforcement took so long to prosecute the officer involved.

See what others are saying: (Reuters) (The New York Times) (CNN)

Continue Reading


U.K. Police Face Backlash After Arresting Anti-Monarchy Protesters



London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that some of the arrests “raise questions” and “investigations are ongoing.”

The Public Order Act

A controversial protest crackdown law in the U.K. is facing criticism after dozens of anti-monarchy protesters were arrested during the coronation ceremony in London over the weekend.

The law, dubbed the “Public Order Act” was passed roughly a week ahead of the coronation for King Charles III. It gives police more power to restrict protesters and limits the tactics protesters can use in public spaces. It was condemned by human rights groups upon its passing, and is facing a new round of heat after 52 people were arrested over coronation protests on Saturday.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said protesters were arrested for public order offenses, breach of the peace and conspiracy to cause a public nuisance. The group said it gave advance warning that its “tolerance for any disruption, whether through protest or otherwise, will be low and that we would deal robustly with anyone intent on undermining the celebration.”

It is currently unclear how many of those arrested were detained specifically for violating the Public Order Act, however, some of those arrested believe the new law was used against them.

“Make no mistake. There is no longer a right to peaceful protest in the UK,” Graham Smith, the CEO of anti-monarchy group Republic tweeted after getting arrested. “I have been told many times the monarch is there to defend our freedoms. Now our freedoms are under attack in his name.”

An Attempt to “Diminish” Protests

During a BBC Radio interview, Smith also said he believes the dozens of arrests were premeditated. 

“There was nothing that we did do that could possibly justify even being detained and arrested and held,” Smith claimed. 

“The whole thing was a deliberate attempt to disrupt and diminish our protest.”

Yasmine Ahmed, the U.K. Director of Human Rights Watch, also tweeted that the arrests were “disgraceful.”

“These are scenes you’d expect to see in Russia not the UK,” she wrote. 

When asked about the controversy, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told reporters officers should  do “what they think is best” in an apparent show of support for the Metropolitan Police. 

For his part, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he is looking into the matter.

“Some of the arrests made by police as part of the Coronation event raise questions and whilst investigations are ongoing, I’ve sought urgent clarity from Met leaders on the action taken,” Khan tweeted.

See what others are saying: (The Guardian) (CNN) (The Washington Post)

Continue Reading


Foreign Nationals Make Mad Dash out of Sudan as Conflict Rages



The conflict’s death toll has surpassed 420, with nearly 4,000 people wounded.

As the 10-day-long power struggle between rival generals tore Sudan apart, foreign governments with citizens in the country scrambled to evacuate them over the weekend.

On Sunday, U.S. special forces landed in the capital Khartoum and carried out nearly 100 American diplomats along with their families and some foreign nationals on helicopters.

An estimated 16,000 Americans, however, remain in the country and U.S. officials said in a statement that a broader evacuation mission would be too dangerous.

Christopher Maier, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity warfare, said in a statement that the Pentagon may assist U.S. citizens find safe routes out of Sudan.

“[The Defense Department] is at present considering actions that may include use of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to be able to observe routes and detect threats,” he said.

Germany and France also reportedly pulled around 700 people out of the country.

More countries followed with similar efforts, including the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Canada, China, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Indonesia.

Yesterday, a convoy carrying some 700 United Nations, NGO, and embassy staff drove to Port Sudan, a popular extraction point now that the airport in Khartoum has closed due to fighting.

Reports of gunmen prowling the capital streets and robbing people trying to escape, as well as looters breaking into abandoned homes and shops, have persuaded most residents to stay indoors.

Heavy gunfire, airstrikes, and artillery shelling have terrorized the city despite several proposed ceasefires.

Over the weekend, the reported death toll topped 420, with nearly 4,000 people injured, though both numbers are likely to be undercounted.

See what others are saying: (The Guardian) (The New York Times) (The Washington Post)

Continue Reading