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Current Affairs 12 April 2019 Digest 2: Sudan crisis explained, Namami Gange felicitated at Global Water Summit

Sudan's Defense Minister Ahmed Awad Ibn Awf said the 75-year-old leader has been arrested and three-decade rule of Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir has ended.

Apr 12, 2019 10:42 IST
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Story 1: Sudan Crisis: Explained

Sudan's long-time president Omar al-Bashir has been removed from office and arrested following months of protests against Bashir's regime. With this act three-decade rule of Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir has ended on April 11, 2019.

In a television address, Defense Minister Ahmed Awad Ibn Awf said the 75-year-old leader has been arrested and put in a safe place. The army general also announced the dissolution of the government, the suspension of the 2005 constitution, along with a three-month state of emergency. He also said Sudan’s airspace will be closed for 24 hours. He added that elections would be conducted at the end of the transitional period.

How the coup happened?

  • Protests started against al-Bashir on December 19, 2018 when government stopped subsidies on wheat and fuel.
  • People started protests against government and its policies. In next few weeks situation turned violent and engulfed the capital Khartoum and major metropolitan areas like Omdurman.
  • Government took a strong action against protesters by cracking down on protestors, shutting the internet and social media outlets, cutting electricity and water services, and dispersing protestors using tear gas. Officials have said 49 people have died in protest-related violence.
  • In February, al-Bashir acknowledged the demands of protestors and delayed constitutional amendments that would have allowed him to run for the presidency again next year.
  • He also declared a yearlong state of emergency and dissolved both central and state governments.
  • All these actions by al-Bashir provoked the protests across country; Sudanese women, musicians, artists, and the country’s global diaspora all played a crucial role in calling for al-Bashir to step down.

Viral picture of Alaa Salah

An image of a young Sudanese woman, Alaa Salah, protesting in the country's capital, Khartoum, went viral this week. The impressive photo of 22-year-old architecture student Alaa Salah, pictured standing above the crowd atop a car, pointing to the sky and dressed in white, has become a symbol of hope for many women and girls in Sudan.

 Omar al-Bashir’s controversial regime

  • On 30 June 1989, Colonel Omar al-Bashir led a bloodless military coup. The new military government suspended political parties and introduced an Islamic legal code on the national level.
  • On 16 October 1993, al-Bashir appointed himself President and disbanded the Revolutionary Command Council. The executive and legislative powers of the council were taken by al-Bashir.
  • In the 1996 general election he was the only candidate by law to run for election. Sudan became a one-party state under the National Congress Party (NCP).
  • The United States subsequently listed Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism. The US bombed Sudan in 1998, targeting a pharmaceutical factory.
  • On 9 January 2005, the government signed the Nairobi Comprehensive Peace Agreement with the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) with the objective of ending the Second Sudanese Civil War.
  • The United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) was established under the UN Security Council Resolution 1590 to support its implementation.
  • In 2013 after al-Bashir promised he would not seek re-election in 2015. He later broke his promise and sought re-election in 2015.
  • On December 19, 2018, massive protests began after a government decision to triple the price of goods at a time when the country was suffering an acute shortage of foreign currency and inflation of 70 percent.
  • al-Bashir, who had been in power for more than 30 years, refused to step down, The government retaliated by arresting more than 800 opposition figures and protesters, leading to the death of approximately 40 people.
  • The protests continued up until the overthrow of his government on April 11, 2019, when President al-Bashir was arrested and a three month state of emergency was enacted

Present Status

Protests are still going on in Sudan despite 30-year rule of Omar al-Bashir replaced by military-led transitional council. Protesters are looking for democratic government in the country as they believe military rule completely phased out. Protesters said that just five or six people have been replaced by another five or six people and regime remained the same.

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Story 2: Namami Gange awarded at Global Water Summit in London

India's flagship programme, National Mission for Clean Ganga or Namami Gange was felicitated with the coveted Public Water Agency of the Year award at the Global Water Summit on April 9, 2019 at London.

The coveted Global Water Awards are presented by the Global Water Intelligence at the Global Water Summit, the major business conference for the water industry worldwide. The Global Water Awards recognise excellence across the entire international water industry and reward those initiatives in the water, wastewater, and desalination sectors which bring remarkable improvements in the lives of people.

Namami Gange programme and its achievements

  • The Namami Gange programme is an integrated mission for Ganga rejuvenation. It has a comprehensive multi-sectoral intervention with multi-stakeholder involvement and adopts a basin based approach which includes Ganga and its tributaries.
  • The Namami Gange Mission aims at providing comprehensive and sustainable solutions for major pollution hot spots along the stretch of 97 towns and 4,465 villages on the Ganga stem.
  • This mission is not only constructing new infrastructures but also rehabilitating the old and dilapidated Sewage Treatment Plant (STPs) as well as ensuring Operation and Maintenance (O & M) of all assets hence created.
  • In Namami Gange programme, a total of 289 projects have so far been sanctioned at a cost of Rs 28,377 crore out of which 87 projects have been completed.
  • As many as 151 sewerage projects, 112 on the main stem of the Ganga and 39 projects on the tributaries, at a sanctioned cost of Rs 23,158.93 crore has been approved for the creation of 3,732 million liters per day (MLD) new Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) capacity, 1114 MLD rehabilitated STP capacity and laying approximately 4971.01 km sewerage networks.
  • Till date, 37 projects of pollution abatement have been completed, which has resulted in laying 2,565 km sewer networks and of 575 MLD of STP capacities in the Ganga basin. 63 projects are under execution and 51 are under various stages of tendering. 35 projects are expected to be completed in 2019 and 65 by 2020.
  • The 10 cities including Haridwar, Kanpur, Varanasi, Prayagraj and Kolkata which contribute more than 64 per cent of the pollution in Ganga have been comprehensively covered in all aspects under the Mission. Kanpur has been the hotspot of major pollution on the Ganga stem.

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