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Sudan’s strongman fired at least six ambassadors, including the envoys to the U.S., the European Union and France, after they condemned the military's takeover of the country, a military official said Thursday. The diplomats pledged their support for the now-deposed government of Prime Minister Abddalla Hamdok.

Also fired by Gen Abdel-Fattah Buran late Wednesday were the Sudanese ambassadors to Qatar, China and the U.N. mission in Geneva, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief media. The state-run Sudan TV also reported the dismissals. The ambassadors were fired two days after Burhan dissolved the transitional government and detained the prime minister, many government officials and political leaders in a coup condemned by the U.S. and the West.

The military allowed Hamdok to return home Tuesday after international pressure for his release. Burhan said the military forces were compelled to take over because of quarrels between political parties that he claimed could lead to civil war. However, the coup also comes just weeks before Burhan would have had to hand over the leadership of the Sovereign Council, the ultimate decision-maker in Sudan, to a civilian, in a step that would reduce the military's hold on the country. The council has military and civilian members.

Hamdok's government ran Sudan's daily affairs. The coup threatens to halt Sudan’s fitful transition to democracy, which began after the 2019 ouster of long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir and his Islamist government in a popular uprising. The takeover came after weeks of mounting tensions between military and civilian leaders over the course and pace of that process. Ali bin Yahia, Sudan’s envoy in Geneva, was defiant after his dismissal.

“I will spare no efforts to reverse the situation, explain facts and resist the blackout imposed by coup officials on what is happened my beloved country,” he said in video comments posted online. Nureldin Satti, the Sudanese envoy to the U.S., said Tuesday he was working with Sudanese diplomats in Brussels, Paris, Geneva and New York to “resist the military coup in support of the heroic struggle of the Sudanese people” to achieve the aims of the uprising against al-Bashir.

Earlier this week, a group of over 30 Sudanese diplomats in and outside Sudan condemned the military’s takeover in a joint statement, saying that the ambassadors in Belgium, Switzerland and France had pledged their continued allegiance to the Hamdok government. The Ministry of Culture and Information, still loyal to Hamdok, said in a Facebook post that the ambassador to South Africa is also part of this group. In another development, Burhan fired Adlan Ibrahim, head of the country’s Civil Aviation Authority, according to the official.

Adlan’s dismissal came after the resumption of flights in and out of Khartoum’s international airport resumed Wednesday. It was not immediately clear if Ibrahim's dismissal was linked to the reopening of the airport or whether the decision was made before then. The airport remained open Thursday morning. The country’s Civil Aviation Authority initially said flights would be suspended until Saturday, the day of a planned mass protest against the coup, but then reopened the airport Wednesday. Protesters, meanwhile, took to the streets of Khartoum and its twin city of Omdurman late Wednesday in continued demonstrations against the coup amid heavy security across the capital.

By Thursday morning, security forces had cleared several makeshift stone barricades that protesters had set up in a few residential neighborhoods. No casualties were reported, but a young man died in a Khartoum hospital late Wednesday of wounds sustained in Monday’s protests, according to activist Nazim Siraj. This raised to seven the number of protesters killed since Monday. More than 140 people have been wounded since the military’s takeover, according the activist.

1 of 2 People protest in Khartoum, Sudan, two days after a military coup, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021. The coup threatens to halt Sudan's fitful transition to democracy, which began after the 2019 ouster of long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir and his Islamist government in a popular uprising. It came after weeks of mounting tensions between military and civilian leaders over the course and pace of that process. (AP Photo/Marwan Ali) MARWAN ALI AP Source: Miami  Herald

 

 

Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s remarks on Zimbabwean teachers at the inaugural Rwanda Zimbabwe Trade and Investment Conference on Wednesday, have set social media on fire with some professionals showing interest in working in the tiny central African nation.

A video clip captured by the Rwanda Broadcasting Authority’s Rwanda Television, circulating on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp, shows Kagame telling Zimbabweans that he is interested in hiring the country’s teachers.

Zimbabwean teachers are currently demanding salary increases of up to US$580. An ordinary family of six in Zimbabwe now needs ZWL$39,924 to cover its monthly expenses, according to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT).

Kagame is quoted by Rwanda TV as saying, “I heard the presentations made to us, very important things we can do together, what each country offers so on and so forth. I want to emphasize one thing. I think there is a deputy CEO of RDB (Rwanda Development Board) who mentioned in passing what Zimbabwe can offer in the area of education. He talked about equipment or something.

“Before equipment, I want people,” said Kagame amid applause from the audience, adding that “I think Zimbabwe can offer us good teachers. So please work on that as a sense of urgency … You can find whatever number you find of quality teachers. I think we can absorb.”

VOA Zimbabwe Service could not reach the Zimbabwean delegation in Kigali, led by Foreign Affairs Minister Frederick Shava, and local teachers’ unions.

ZIMSTAT reported Thursday that the Food Poverty Line (FPL) for one person in August 2021 was ZWL$4516.52. It increased to ZWL$4734.33 in September 2021 while the Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL) for one person stood at ZWL$6,653.65 in the same month, a 4.8% increase from the month of August, which was ZWL$6,350.25.

Zimbabwe’s education is highly rated worldwide. According to Africa Check, which identifies important public statements, interrogates the best available evidence and publishes fact-checking reports to guide public debate, ZIMSTAT’s labour force survey estimated that 97% of people over 15 were literate in 2011. “This figure is based on the percentage of people in this age group that had completed Grade 3 of schooling.”

Africa Check further notes that the country’s 2011 Demographic and Health Survey estimated that 96% of men aged 15 to 54 and 94% of women aged 15 to 49 were literate. “This figure was calculated from a nationally representative household survey but it only applied to certain age groups. Respondents were considered literate if they had attended secondary school (generally aged 15 and older) or could read a whole sentence or part of a sentence in a reading test.”

Africa Check said to evaluate Zimbabwe’s literacy rate in Africa, it consulted the most recent global literacy list produced by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, released in June 2013.

Africa Check said UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics estimated that 83.6% of Zimbabweans aged 15 and older were literate in 2011. “This estimation was based on Zimbabwe’s 2011 Demographic and Health Survey results.”

Africa quotes a senior statistician and policy analyst at UNESCO, Nicole Bella, as telling the organization that they had “made some re-estimations to include older age groups which typically have much lower literacy levels”.

According to Africa Check, the organization doesn’t consider people who can only read part of a sentence to be literate so they were excluded, unlike in the Demographic and Health Survey. - Gibbs Dube/Bathabile Masuku, Voice of America

 

The Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS) in partnership with the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) is set to visit the flood-affected people in parts of Unity State.

For nearly two weeks the two institutions were mobilizing journalists and well-wishers to contribute clothes and shoes to help both those affected by floods and violence in the country. They will transport nearly 10 journalists to cover the general flood situation in parts of the country.

In an interview with Radio Tamazuj, the President of the Union of Journalists of South Sudan Mr. Patrick Oyet Charles said: “As a Union of Journalists for South Sudan together with Community Empowerment for Progress Organization, we came with this initiative to make sure that journalists and any well-wishers contribute clothes, shoes, whatever they can contribute so that we take theses donations to the people affected by the floods." 

The two institutions said their partnership mission in solidarity with the victims of the floods in Bentiu begins this month followed by another visit to Tambura-Yambio.

“Our first point of contact is to take these donations to Unity State and that does not mean we are stopping there, we are also planning to go to other areas like Tambura where people are affected by violence. We believe that it is us as South Sudanese people to help one another first then we can go out and ask other people to help us,” Oyet added.

He also urged other partners to extend their help to assist the victims of floods and violence in the country.

“We also call upon all groups that can help in any way to do so because these are our people and it is our duty to help in whatever way we can help. Today it is those people who are affected by floods, and tomorrow it might be you and we also will need to lobby for help,” he said.

UJOSS President Patrick Oyet Charles said, it is time for all South Sudanese to begin thinking of helping one another in all situations in the country.

Okech Francis, a journalist working for Bloomberg is among those who will cover the flood situation and he says he would use his story for creating awareness on the risks of the environmental population due to spills of oil in the oil-rich Bentiu.

"We want to look at how the floods have aggravated the environment pollution problem, and then the story will try to create awareness on how huge this problem is, and what its effects will be on the community in the oil-producing areas and South Sudan at large," Francis said.

Both UJOSS and CEPO believe the solidarity mission is a call to all stakeholders and will help attract more responses to the humanitarian situation created by floods and violence in the country. - Radio Tamazuj

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