World Al-Burhan says Sudan, Qatar to reactivate agreements
Corruption claims spark new concerns about aid to South Sudan
Months-long investigation uncovers allegations of corruption and reports that the government was bullying aid workers.Heeding the warnings, the European Union, the United States and the World Bank chipped in more than $100m for the COVID-19 response, while the International Monetary Fund has given some $200m in loans.
On his first visit to Doha as the head of Sudan’s ruling council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has said his country and Qatar had agreed to reactivate several bilateral agreements.
Al-Burhan arrived in the Qatari capital on Wednesday to discuss a range of bilateral issues, including trade and regional issues. It was his first trip to the Gulf state since former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was removed by the military in April 2019. Some arrangements between the two countries had been suspended after the fall al-Bashir’s government.
US urges de-escalation between Sudan, Ethiopia
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday pressed for an easing of tensions between Sudan and Ethiopia as fears grow of a spillover from the bloody Tigray conflict. In a telephone call with Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, Blinken raised "the need to de-escalate tensions between Sudan and Ethiopia over the Al-Fashaqa border area, including recent commitments to engage in dialogue to resolve the issue," State Department spokesman Ned Price said. The fertile area claimed by both countries has seen a rise in skirmishes as Sudan sends in troops, which Ethiopia has described as an invasion.
On Thursday, al-Burhan met Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the Amiri Diwan, the emir’s office, and held separate talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani at the Sheraton Doha Hotel.
“We have more than 36 agreements and protocols signed between both countries,” al-Burhan told reporters afterwards. “We agreed to activate these agreements next week or the week after the Qatari delegation will visit Sudan,” added al-Burhan, who heads transitional sovereign council that is tasked with leading the country to elections late next year.
“This will be from the government and businessmen. We have our mechanisms to support this path.”
Al Jazeera’s Dorsa Jabbari, reporting from Doha, said there seemed to be an appetite for both countries to strengthen their ties.
Egypt’s el-Sisi warns ‘all options open’ after dam talks fail
Latest round of talks between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia concluded with no resolution to long-running disputes over GERD.Delegations from the three countries met in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the about, the current chair of the African Union (AU), in an attempt to break the deadlock in negotiations. The talks concluded on Tuesday with no resolution to long-running disputes about the operation and filling of the dam’s reservoir.
“Qatar currently has … about $3.8bn worth of investments [in Sudan], and there is certainly a desire from the Sudanese government to try to increase that in the coming weeks,” she said.
Jabbari said al-Burhan was asked about a number of other issues, including Sudan’s relationship with Israel after the normalisation of ties between the two in October 2020.
“He said Israel’s issues with Sudan is entirely an internal matter and that he will not comment on it,” Jabbari said.
Al-Burhan also touched upon the continuing dispute between Ethiopia and downstream neighbours Sudan and Egypt over a massive dam built by the former on the Blue Nile, describing it as one of his most pressing concerns.
“The Renaissance Dam is a problem. Talks and negotiations have been done for a long time. We had dialogues and we had meetings with Ethiopia and Egypt … But all these mediations haven’t reached yet a real solution,” al-Burhan said.
Sudan pays $335 mn for US victims in terror delisting deal
Sudan has paid $335 million as agreed to compensate victims of past anti-US attacks as part of a deal that removed the struggling country from the US terror blacklist, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday. The transitional, civilian-backed government provided the funds for survivors and victims' families from attacks including the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania by Al-Qaeda, which was backed by Sudan's thenThe transitional, civilian-backed government provided the funds for survivors and victims' families from attacks including the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania by Al-Qaeda, which was backed by Sudan's then dictator.
His comments came two days after the latest round of negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam – held this week in the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the current chair of the African Union (AU) – concluded with no resolution to long-running differences about the operation and filling of the dam’s reservoir.
A major sticking point that the parties failed to resolve centered on the role of mediators in the dispute.
Egypt and Sudan want the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations – in addition to the AU – to play a role in overseeing the negotiations. Ethiopia has rejected the demand and wants the talks to be led solely by the African bloc.
“I am telling our brothers in Ethiopia, let’s not reach the point where you touch a drop of Egypt’s water, because all options are open,” Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said on Wednesday. “We have witnessed the cost of any confrontation,” he added, referring to past regional conflicts.
Sudanese Minister of Irrigation Yasser Abbas said all options are open to Khartoum, in accordance with international law, to deal with the dispute. Abbas stressed the failure to reach a fair agreement on the dam threatens regional security and peace.
Death toll rises from fighting in Sudan’s West Darfur: UN .
The United Nations says 56 killed and thousands of people have fled after days of tribal clashes in El Geneina.Thousands are fleeing the fighting, which has seen a power station in the state capital El Geneina destroyed, at least one rocket-propelled grenade hit a key hospital, and another smash into a UN compound, the UN said on Tuesday.