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Sudan’s President Will Skip Saudi Meeting With Trump

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President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan — indicted by the International Criminal Court on charges including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity — will not attend a meeting in Saudi Arabia alongside President Trump, the Sudanese state news agency said on Friday.

A Saudi invitation to Mr. Bashir had outraged human rights advocates, who called it a breach of longstanding United States policy.

Mr. Trump is scheduled to arrive on Saturday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he will be the guest of honor at the meeting. His aides say he will give a major speech on American relations with the Islamic world, a counterpoint to President Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo.

The United States is not a member of the International Criminal Court, but it has long sought to ostracize defendants who defy the court’s arrest warrants, including Mr. Bashir, who has led Sudan for nearly three decades.

He was indicted in 2009 and 2010 on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur region of Sudan. In refusing to honor the indictments, he has come to symbolize impunity toward the court, which is based in The Hague.

The Sudanese state news agency SUNA said that Mr. Bashir would not attend the meeting “for personal reasons,” but it did not elaborate.

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Africa

Mugabe rejected Zambia asylum proposal during impasse

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Former president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, rejected an asylum proposal from neighbouring Zambia in the heat of the political crisis that led to his resignation on Tuesday, November 21, 2017.

Zambian leader Edgar Lungu is quoted by local media portal Zambia reports, as saying he had personally offered Mugabe, 93, shelter but the overture was rejected.

“I had talked to him [and said] that if the chips are down you can come here but he refused saying that his home was Zimbabwe and he will remain there.”

I had talked to him [and said] that if the chips are down you can come here but he refused saying that his home was Zimbabwe and he will remain there.

Lungu returned from Angola where regional political bloc, SADC, had met over the crisis. Presidents of Angola and South Africa cancelled a trip to Harare after Mugabe agreed to step down following pressure from the army, his party and ordinary Zimbabweans who flooded the streets.

The Zambian leader also tasked the Zimbabwe Defense Forces (ZDF) to return to the barracks now that Mugabe had stepped down so as to allow for the constitution to be the guiding law. Reports, however, indicate that army tanks had started withdrawing from their positions following news of Mugabe’s resignation.

Exiled president Emmerson Mnangagwa whose firing led to the army taking over on Wednesday returned to the country.

As new leader of the ruling ZANU-PF, he is expected to be sworn in as president to see out Mugabe’s tenure ahead of elections next year.

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Africa

Robert Mugabe resigns as president of Zimbabwe

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Jason Burke

Robert Mugabe has resigned as president of Zimbabwe with immediate effect after 37 years in power, the speaker of the country’s parliament has said.

The announcement came during a parliamentary hearing to impeach him and launches the nation into a new era as uncertain as it is hopeful.

The move caps an astonishing eight-day crisis, which started when the military took over last week in order to block the rise to power of Mugabe’s wife and her faction within the ruling Zanu-PF party then developed into a popular revolt against the ageing autocrat.

A letter submitted to parliament by the 93-year-old said his decision to resign was voluntary on his part.

Wild jubilation broke out among MPs when Jacob Mudenda, the speaker, told the parliament and cheers and celebrations spread through the streets of Harare.

Zimbabweans celebrate in Harare after the resignation of Mugabe. Photograph: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP
Impeachment proceedings against Mugabe began earlier on Tuesday as the ruling party, Zanu-PF, attempted to remove him from office.

Thousands of Zimbabweans had turned up outside parliament to urge on MPs, chanting, dancing and waving placards in Africa Unity square.

Though some still consider the former guerrilla a hero of the liberation struggle, many more reviled Mugabe as a dictator prepared to sacrifice the economic wellbeing of 13 million people to remain in power.

His fall will reverberate across a continent where hundreds of millions still suffer the authoritarian excesses of rapacious, ruthless rulers, are denied justice by corrupt or incompetent officials, and struggle to hold even elected governments to account.

The way is now clear for Emmerson Mnangagwa, the vice-president fired by Mugabe 13 days ago, to take power. He was appointed interim leader of the Zanu-PF at the meeting on Sunday.

The military has said it has no intention of staying in power and according to the constitution, Mnangagwa, as vice-president, should now take the place of Mugabe as head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Shortly before legislators met, Mnangagwa broke more than a week of silence to add his voice to those calling for the ageing leader to step down.

Until recently Mugabe’s vice-president and right hand man, Mnangagwa, 75, is a veteran of Zimbabwe’s liberation wars and a former spy chief who has close relations with the commanders who led the takeover.

Opposition leaders in Zimbabwe have called for the formation of an inclusive transitional government but risk being sidelined by the powerful army and Zanu-PF.

Mugabe has been under house arrest and key allies of his wife, Grace, removed from power since the military took charge last week.

The ruling Zanu-PF party, which at the weekend voted to make Mnangagwa its leader and demote Mugabe to a rank-and-file member, introduced the motion to impeach and the opposition seconded it.

Mugabe had refused to resign until the impeachment proceedings were underway.

The case for impeachment against Mugabe, foccused heavily on his age and the machinations of his wife for “usurping constitutional power”, leaving a man who is still respected as a hero of the liberation struggle against colonial rule as much dignity as possible.

Mnangagwa had said in a written statement released on Tuesday morning that he backed impeachment as an “ultimate expression of the will of the people outside an election.”

He had fled into exile earlier this month after being ousted from his position in government and Zanu-PF by a faction allied to Grace Mugabe. His supporters are widely believed to be behind the coup.

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Africa

Mo Ibrahim: What makes a good African leader? – The Stream

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Mo Ibrahim, the Sudanese-born British billionaire philanthropist made his fame and fortune by bringing mobile phone service to tens of millions of Africans across the continent. Now, he is known for the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, and its prize, considered the world’s largest, for good governance and leadership, awarded to departing African leaders that fit criteria established by the foundation.

Celtel International was founded in 1998 and went on to be a trailblazer in establishing communications on the African continent. The company is famous for never having paid a bribe, a story Ibrahim is fond of telling. Since he sold Celtel in 2005 for 3.4 billion, he has been focused on his foundation’s work and the annual index of African governance; an index with that measures political, social, and economic factors in all 54 countries. It is an ambitious tool, meant to increase accountability and provide Africans with information to ask questions of their leaders and governments.

The foundation’s prize was created as an incentive for African leaders to shun corruption, step down at the mandated time, and to provide departing African leaders with a livelihood after leading. The prize is not without some controversy, as some critics have said it’s akin to bribing a leader simply to do the right thing, or rewarding them just for doing their job. It awards $5 million USD over 10 years when the selected leader steps down, and $200,000 USD thereafter for life. But every year has not seen a laureate awarded. Since it began in 2006, only five individuals have been given the prize, and the prize has not been awarded for the last three years, highlighting the political challenges faced by some African countries.

The Stream meets with Ibrahim to discuss African governance, his foundation’s work, and the driving forces in Africa right now.

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