Editor’s Note: January 07, 2019

What if Sudan’s Bashir is ousted?

Fresh protests demanding the resignation of Sudan’s longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir took place across the country over the weekend. Deadly anti-government protests have rocked the country in recent weeks following a hike in bread prices.

The unrest is seen as the biggest threat to the autocrat’s 30-year rule to date. While few would mourn Bashir’s demise, celebrations could be short-lived.

The catalyst for the protests is the unravelling of Sudan’s economy, which has struggled since the country lost the bulk of its oil reserves when South Sudan seceded in 2011.

This has exposed a lack of structural reform and economic diversification, reaching crisis point in the last 12 months. Inflation has hit 70% amid a dire foreign exchange shortage, while Sudan’s currency has lost 85% in value.

The lifting of U.S. sanctions in 2017, efforts to secure external funding, and a belated reform drivehave proven ineffective.

Bashir’s status as a wanted war criminal and Sudan’s continued inclusion on Washington’s list of state sponsors of terrorism have not helped, but the urgent need for structural reform would not depart with him. A messy transition or efforts to cling to power would only make things worse.

Sudan finds itself between the proverbial rock and a hard place.

From The Continent

Preliminary results from Democratic Republic of Congo’s December 30 presidential election have been delayed beyond  a January 7 deadline, with the electoral commission citing logistical problems. The delay is likely to fuel fears of vote rigging and renewed violence around the already tense poll. More: Al Jazeera


A group of soldiers in Gabon calling themselves the ‘Defense and Security Forces of Gabon’ have seized the country’s national radio station in an apparent coup attempt against the government of president Ali Bongo Ondimba. The group, lead by Lieutenant Kelly Ondo Obiang, has called for ‘national restoration’ in the country, which has been ruled by Bongo’s family for half a century. More: Africanews

The Daily Stat

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The number of workers Zimbabwe is laying off from its youth ministry, part of government efforts to reduce the size of its civil service and cut public spending. More: Reuters

The Global Perspective

Somalia’s has said global shipping giant Maersk is planning to start serving the port of Mogadishu. Long plagued by conflict and instability Somalia is inching toward re-engaging with international business and donors under president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who took office in February 2017. More: Anadolu Agency

Zambia’s Konkola Copper Mines , majority owned by Vedanta Resources, has suspended operations at its Nchanga mine amid growing tensions between miners and the government over the introduction of higher taxes. This is part of efforts by Africa’s second-biggest copper producer to shore up public finances. More: Reuters

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