South Asia and Beyond

Understanding The World’s Second-Largest Continent

 Understanding The World’s Second-Largest Continent

President Biden Okays Sanctions On Sudan Warring Chiefs, Backers

The US government has authorised the imposition of sanctions on Sudan’s warring chiefs, declaring that the violence since April 15 constitutes an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” In an Executive Order on Thursday, President Joe Biden revisited previously lifted sanctions on Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism and humanitarian atrocities, freezing any Sudanese assets on US soil and directing the Treasury Secretary to determine warmongers and spoilers of the peace to be sanctioned. The order also directed that “any foreign person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to be responsible for, or complicit in, or to have directly or indirectly engaged or attempted to engage in” assisting warring factions, looting or harming civilians will have their assets frozen and barred from transacting with US entities and proscribed individuals barred from stepping on US soil.

Source: The East African

Ethiopia Arrests Dozens for Alleged Coup Plot

Ethiopian officials have arrested dozens of journalists, activists and campaigners as part of “decisive measures” against what they call extremist forces. The group of 47 people were detained for “executing a terrorist act” and allegedly attempting to overthrow the government in Amhara. According to state media, the joint task force said the group, which consists of academics, media owners, and activists based in Amhara and other regions as well as Addis Ababa, was found to be operating covertly. The statement indicated that the group was suspected of attempting to rally people on the basis of religion, ethnicity, and political radicalism to ensure that they should rule the country by promoting the idea that the public is currently under extreme government oppression.

Source: All Africa

Economic Commission: 45 African Ministers Call For IMF reform

Reform dominated the conversation at yet another spring meeting of the World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in March. Representatives of 45 African ministries of finance, planning, and economic development met with African Union (AU) representatives, along with those from the AfDB, and Afreximbank for the 55th session of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). Pointing out that Covid-19, followed by the war in Ukraine, and escalating climate emergency had badly affected the countries’ economies, African ministers of finance, planning and economic development called for decisive changes to the International Monetary Fund. The Group underscored the need to leverage key organizations and platforms to advance the global financial architecture reform agenda. These include: the Global Sovereign Debt Roundtable – a joint initiative by the Indian G20 presidency; the IMF and the World Bank.

Source: The Africa Report

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Germany Set To Absorb 250,000 Kenyan Workers In New Deal

A deal between Kenya and Germany could see Berlin open its doors for 250,000 Kenyans to work there to meet the European nation’s huge labour requirements, said President William Ruto on Friday. President Ruto was speaking from State House, Nairobi during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The European country will absorb more professional, skilled and semi-skilled Kenyans under the agreement. To enable this, Nairobi urged Berlin to review and ease immigration laws to enable Kenyans find employment in Germany. Further, they agreed to establish a twin institutions’ framework for pairing Kenyan technical and vocational training (TVET) colleges with selected TVET colleges in Germany, with the goal of facilitating the labour migration from Kenya to Germany upon graduation.

Source: The Nation

Large Number Of Children Killed In Sudan, Says UN

The UN warned on Friday that large numbers of children were dying in the Sudan conflict, pointing to reports indicating that seven children were being killed or injured every hour. “As feared and as warned, the situation in Sudan has become fatal for a frighteningly large number of children,” James Elder, spokesman for the UN children’s agency UNICEF, told reporters in Geneva. He said the agency had received reports from a trusted partner — not yet independently verified by the UN — that 190 children were killed and 1,700 injured in just the first 11 days of the conflict that began on April 15. Elder pointed out that those numbers had been gathered from health facilities in Khartoum and the Darfur region.

Source: Africa News

US Diplomats, Academics Call For Sanctions Against Tunisia

President Kais Saïed needs to face “real costs to democratic backsliding” in the increasingly authoritarian Tunisia, according to nearly two dozen former U.S. diplomats and academic experts calling for—among other things—economic sanctions and a hold on a controversial US$1.9 billion International Monetary Fund loan. Saïed was elected as a reformer in 2019 who promised to protect Tunisia’s evolving democracy. But the last two years have seen the arrest of opposition political leaders, including Ennahda leader Rached Ghannouchi, and mounting concern from the international community.

Source: Africa Times