AU, China vow to build a Africa-China community with a shared future in new era

ADDIS ABABA— China is ready to continue to work with Africa as a development partner and build a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said during a meeting with African Union (AU) Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat.

Qin and Faki held the eighth China-AU Strategic Dialogue at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia on Wednesday.

China has taken the lead in supporting the AU’s membership in the G20, enhancing the representation and voice of African countries in the UN Security Council and other international organizations, and safeguarding the common interests of the vast number of developing countries, Qin said.

He added that China is willing to continue to play a constructive role in maintaining peace and security in Africa.

Faki said China stands with Africa in its struggle for national independence and liberation; it stands with Africa in its efforts to accelerate development and revitalization and to participate more in international affairs.

The AU values China’s strong support for Africa’s integration, connectivity and free trade zone construction and looks forward to working with China to promote the building of a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era, he said.

Both sides are confident in the prospects of China-Africa relations, stressing that they will maintain close high-level exchanges, enhance synergy in their development strategies and focus on pragmatic cooperation.

After the talks, Qin and Faki signed cooperation documents and jointly attended the completion ceremony for the China-aided project of the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters.

The Africa CDC will make a greater contribution to public health in Africa and the health and well-being of the African people and write a new, splendid chapter in the history of China-Africa relations, Qin said.

Qin made several proposals on developing China-Africa relations while addressing the ceremony.

FIRST, Qin called for enhancing in-person interactions and connectivity of ideas.

“We will encourage Chinese companies and people to come to Africa for investment and tourism. We will provide more facilitation to restore two-way personnel exchanges at a faster pace,” he said. “African political leaders, AU Commission officials at various levels and Africans in the political, business and academic circles are most welcome to visit in due course. China supports South Africa in its rotating BRICS (the bloc comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) presidency and supports Uganda in hosting the Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement.”

SECOND, to further deepen the friendly relations between China and the AU. China will continue to work with African countries and the AU Commission to forge strong synergy between Belt and Road cooperation, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and Agenda 2063 of the AU, the African Continental Free Trade Area and the development strategies of African countries, he said.

Qin said China is the first country to support the AU in joining the G20 and will encourage the G20 to take robust steps toward supporting the AU and African countries to play a greater role in the global governance system.

THIRD, to upgrade and elevate China-Africa cooperation. He said Africa’s needs are the priorities in China-Africa cooperation. China will continue to expand trade with Africa, promote high-quality development of China-Africa financing and investment cooperation, and boost the new dynamics in health, green development, the digital economy and other sectors.

China makes no empty promises, still less presses others against their own will, Qin said, adding that when the Africa CDC headquarters is handed over to China’s African friends, it will be wholly run and managed by the AU without any interference from China.

Qin also called for standing firm in defending the unity and cooperation of developing countries.

“We should boost the representation and voice of developing countries, especially those of African countries, in the UN Security Council and other international organizations, pool greater strength for the cause of global development and security, and work together to make the global governance system more just and equitable,” he said.


German, French Ministers Call for African Permanent Seats on UNSC

The foreign ministers of France and Germany have voiced support for Africa to receive two permanent seats on the powerful U.N. Security Council.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said she and French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna added their support to an African push for permanent seats on the Security Council.

Baerbock spoke after she and Colonna met with African Union Chairperson Moussa Faki at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa.

“As European partners and I, as a German foreign minister, we see that the world in 2023 is not the same than that after World War Two, and therefore we are supporting two permanent seats for the African continent,” Baerbock said.

African leaders have for years called for a permanent seat on the powerful U.N. body.

Outgoing African Union Chairman Macky Sall, also the president of Senegal, reiterated that demand at the September U.N. General Assembly.

He said Africa should also have a seat in the G-20 group of the world’s largest economies.

U.S. President Joe Biden backed both efforts at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington last month.

Currently, the Security Council has five permanent members — Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States. Other countries are elected to the Council for two-year terms by the U.N. General Assembly.

Having permanent seats on the Security Council would for the first time give African countries veto power over U.N. resolutions.

Meanwhile, Baerbock said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine underscored the importance of relations between the European Union and the African Union.

“As Russia is attacking the European peace order this needs more support from our friends,” Baerbock said. “We need you and we need Africa in defending our European peace order.”

Baerbock on Thursday made a visit to a World Food Program warehouse storing donated Ukrainian grain and condemned Moscow for using food as a weapon of war.

She was referring to Russian forces blocking some Ukrainian grain exports as the Horn of Africa suffers through a record drought that has tens of millions struggling with hunger.

The two foreign ministers also met with Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Thursday and called for accountability for atrocities committed during the war in the northern Tigray region.

Rights groups accuse all sides of committing rapes, torture, and extra-judicial killings during the two-year war.

The EU suspended some support for Ethiopia over the abuses and says accountability in the war is a condition for normalizing relations.

French Foreign Minister Colonna’s visit will include a grant of about 30 million U.S. dollars to aid people affected by the war.

The foreign ministers are in Addis to support a November peace deal between Ethiopia’s federal government and Tigray authorities.

Since the agreement, Ethiopia has restored the flow of humanitarian aid and some basic services to Tigray, while Eritrea has withdrawn its forces from parts of the region.

On Tuesday, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front began turning over heavy weapons to the Ethiopian army.

Source: Voice of America

U.S. ambassador calls on non-signatories to join Sudan political process

U.S. Ambassador to Sudan, John Godfrey, called on the holdout groups to join the framework agreement in order to restore a civilian transitional government ending the October 25, 2021 coup.

On Friday Godfrey issued welcomed the launch of the final phase of the political process in Sudan. He also hailed the involvement of women and representatives of different regions in the conference on the dismantlement of the former regime.

He further called on the non-signatory groups to join the “Sudanese-led” process which will pave the way for the resumption of international economic support to the country.

“We urge all parties to engage in good faith dialogue and to ensure that women, youth, and representatives from all over Sudan participate in shaping their country’s future,” said the U.S. diplomat

“The door remains open for non-signatories to the framework agreement to participate in the process,” he stressed.

The U.S. QUAD group supported the efforts of the Trilateral Mechanism to facilitate the process. Also, they held a series of meeting with the military component, and political groups including Darfur groups that refuse to join the process to convince them to participate in the discussions.

Recently, the non-signatory welcomed an Egyptian call to hold talks in Cairo.

Minni Minnawi; leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement, saying they believe that this call “will contribute to bring positions closer and remove artificial differences”.

However, the signatory political forces declined the call and urged Egypt to persuade the non-signatories to join the process.

Besides the two Darfur groups that refuse to join the political process, there are the Sudanese Communist Party and the Baath factions.

The Forces for Freedom and Change say they are keen to bring into the process the SLM of Minni Minnawi and the Justice and Equality Movement led by Girbril Ibrahim because they are signatories of the Juba peace agreement.

Source: Sudan Tribune

South Darfur fires destroy homes, crops – victims appeal for aid

South Darfur witnessed two extensive fires this week, which destroyed large quantities of crops. Locals call for urgent intervention and aid. A huge fire broke out in Antikina village in Katila on Wednesday. Witnesses said the fire destroyed four houses and crops such as sorghum, fava beans, and sesame.

They called on the South Darfur government to intervene to provide shelter for “the families who have lost everything and are left in the open”.

On Monday, another massive fire broke out in El Tabaldiya neighbourhood in Ed El Fursan and caused significant damage to more than 15 homes.

Ibrahim Mahmoud, a resident of the neighbourhood, told Radio Dabanga that the fire destroyed large quantities of crops as well. He, too, appealing to the government and humanitarian organisations to intervene urgently and meet the immediate needs of those affected.

Source: Radio Dabanga

Sudan’s judiciary probes misuse of public funds

Sudan’s judiciary has opened an internal investigation concerning corruption charges under the guise of a training course for more than 20 judges in a Gulf state.

The investigation was decided after reports on social media on January 7, revealed the misuse of public funds through the organization of fake courses abroad.

According to claims, the judiciary gave the green light before contacting its counterpart in the Gulf state or the Sudanese embassy in that country to verify the identity of the institute and the seriousness of the course.

The presidency of the judiciary imposed an obligation of secrecy on the investigation and set up a committee to probe the irregularities that accompanied the organization of the course.

Sudan Tribune learned that the proposal for the course was made by one of the judges.

Multiple sources claimed that the judge received a commission to approve the course at a private and newly established institute in the capital of the Gulf state without observing the required procedures.

The delegation included a group of appeals judges.

The judiciary officials confirmed to Sudan Tribune that a committee has been formed to investigate the judge who proposed the session and the officials who approved it.

They further mentioned that the selection of trainees for such courses in the judicial authority is based on personal relationships.

A former member of the Empowerment Removal Committee who worked on the dismantlement of the judiciary confirmed to Sudan Tribune that the selection for the external courses is done through certain groups without following any regulation

“The course was fake. How a Supreme Court Judge or Appeal is trained. It’s a matter of petty cash and money. There is a group of the former regime that has been doing what they want, as they control everything and has not been dismantled,” he stressed.

He pointed out that only 17% or 15% of the judiciary staff members supporting the revolution, and the rest are “affiliated with the Islamic Movement and the dissolved National Congress Party.”

The leadership of the judiciary is accused of nominating certain judges even in the internal courses (English language – administration) to qualify only those who are affiliated with a certain political and tighten control over the judicial system.

The judiciary has an institute for the judiciary and legal sciences, which is tasked with training judges. The authority also signed cooperation agreements with several countries for training and sharing of experiences.

Article 83 of the Judicial Authority Law provides for the establishment of a technical body for training, and the set up of regulations and guidelines governing its activities.

In September 2021, the Empowerment Removal Committee tasked with the dismantling of the former Islamist regime dismissed 17 judges, including 7 Supreme Court judges and 5 appeals.

The sacked judges have been reinstated by the Supreme Court.

Several reinstated judges were part of the false training course also they got new vehicles after their restoration.

During a conference on the dismantlement of the Islamist regime held between 9-12 January, Ismail Al-Taj a Sudanese judge and leading member of the Forces for Freedom and Change called to not involve the judiciary in the challenges against the decisions of the reformed ERC, according to the official news agency SUNA on January 10.

Source: Sudan Tribune

Man dies in North Darfur family drama, several robberies reported

A North Darfur man has died following what appears to be a family drama, allegedly at the hands of ‘one of his relatives’. Two robberies have also been reported in North Darfur.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga from Ammar Jadeed in Saraf Omra, North Darfur, a listener reported that a man was killed on Wednesday, allegedly by one of his relatives.

On the same day, in the same region, three gunmen on a motorcycle robbed the passengers of a rickshaw on their way from Saraf Omra to Birkat Seira.

One of the victims told Radio Dabanga that one of the gunmen fired at the rickshaw, after which it stopped. “They then robbed us of our belongings. Relatives of mine chased the perpetrators, seized them, and handed them to the Saraf Omra police station.”

Yesteday, Mohamed Yagoub and Abdelhamid Ibrahim were attacked by three men carrying Kalashnikovs when they were on their way on a donkey cart from Um Laota to Kabkabiya.

When they refused to hand over their belongings, they shot Yagoub in his thigh and fled.

North Darfur has seen frequent robberies in past months, causing residents to protest.

Source: Radio Dabanga