Sudan’s Prime Minister survives assassination attempt

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The FINANCIAL — Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok survived an attempt to kill him with a car bomb targeting his motorcade in Khartoum. Hamdok survived the ordeal and was moved to a “safe location.” There was no immediate government comment and no one claimed responsibility for the attack so far.

Hamdok was moved to a safe location after an explosion on Monday targeted his convoy, state television said. Members of Hamdok’s office confirmed to Al Jazeera that the prime minister is “in a safe place”. “The prime minister’s convoy was attacked … just as he was heading to his office,” Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan, reporting from Khartoum, said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, Al Jazeera reported.

Footage posted online showed two white, Japanese-made SUVs vehicles used Sudan’s top officials parked on a street, damaged with widows broken. Another vehicle was badly damaged in the blast, according to ABC News.

Hamdok was appointed Prime Minister last August, after pro-democracy protests forced the military to remove the autocratic President Omar Al Bashir and replace it with a civilian-led government. Nearly a year after al-Bashir’s ouster, the country faces a dire economic crisis. Inflation stands at a staggering 60% and the unemployment rate was 22.1% in 2019, according to the International Monetary Fund. The government has said that 30% of Sudan’s young people, who make up more than half of the over 42 million population, are without jobs, Gulf News wrote.

Hamdok recently confirmed the government will cooperate with the International Criminal Court’s efforts to prosecute those wanted for war crimes and genocide in connection with the Darfur conflict in Sudan in the 2000s. Transitional authorities announced in February that they agreed to hand over al-Bashir to the ICC along with other former officials wanted by the ICC. Sudan’s transitional government is under pressure to end wars with rebel groups as it seeks to rehabilitate the country’s battered economy, attract much-needed foreign aid and deliver the democracy it promises, according to New Haven Register.

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for Sudan to be removed from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism, as Khartoum slowly returns to the international fold. “It is time to remove Sudan from the list of state supporters of terrorism, and to mobilise massive international support to enable Sudan to overcome its challenges,” the UN chief said on Sunday during an address at the annual African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Al Jazeera wrote.

The US Treasury Department has said that removing Sudan from a list of state sponsors of terrorism is only a matter of time, a statement from Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s office said Sunday. Hamdok held talks with a delegation from the US Treasury in Khartoum. The statement said the PM stressed that the US is a strategic partner, and reiterated the keenness of Sudan’s transitional authorities to achieve comprehensive peace and improve the country’s economic situation. Marshall Billingslea, the US Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing, told Hamdok that removing Sudan from the terrorism list is a matter of time, said the statement. Sudanese Foreign Minister Asma Abdalla also urged the US delegation to remove Sudan from the list to enable it to deal with funding institutions and help it make financial transfers. The Treasury delegation’s visit came as foreign affairs committee leaders at the US Congress introduced legislation to support Sudan’s democratic transition. he Sudan Democratic Transition, Accountability, and Financial Transparency Act of 2020 (H.R.6094) would support a civilian-led democratic transition, promote accountability for human-rights abuses, and encourage fiscal transparency in Sudan, Asharq Al-Awsat wrote.

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