World Tour: Protests in Sudan, and fighting in Libya

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: World Tour with Africa correspondent Onize Ohikere.

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: Protests in Sudan—We start today here in Africa.

AUDIO: [Sound of Sudan streets]

Protesters in Sudan celebrated the first day of the Muslim Ramadan holiday by eating together in the streets of Khartoum. They have held daily demonstrations for weeks to call for a new government.

AUDIO: [Sudan protesters chanting]

The military ousted President Omar al-Bashir last month after 30 years in office. But then leaders formed a transitional military council to run the country. That move angered protesters who took to the streets again to demand immediate elections.

The African Union and the United Nations both back calls for civilian rule. The AU has given the military 60 days to make the transition.

Ebola in Congo—Next we go to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Health workers there say Ebola continues to spread despite efforts to contain it. The highly contagious virus has now killed more than 1,000 people.

Michael Ryan handles emergency response for The World Health Organization. He blamed the outbreak on continued fighting in the region and suspicion of health workers.

RYAN: Communities, especially in North Kivu and Ituri where there are large groups of support opposition parties, need to be assured that all parties are supporting the public health response and that Ebola should not become further politicized in this process.

The outbreak in Congo is now the second deadliest on record. An outbreak in West Africa that ended in 2016 killed more than 11,000 people and created a global panic.

Fighting in Libya—Next we go north to Libya.

AUDIO: [Libian gunfire]

Fighting for control of the country has intensified in recent weeks. The so-called Libyan National Army is nearing the country’s capital of Tripoli.

Libya descended into chaos after the ouster of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. Since then rival militias have ruled the country.

Fresh fighting broke out on April 5th. More than 400 people have died since then. And more than 50,000 have fled their homes. Maria do Valle Ribeiro works for the United Nations in Libya.

RIBEIRO: Of course it’s very difficult to be optimistic, and that’s why we continue to call for a respect of civilians, we continue to call for humanitarian pauses, but we most of all continue to hope that the situation can return to a more peaceful settlement of the crisis.

World leaders are split on whether to support the internationally recognized government or the Libyan National Army.

President Donald Trump spoke by phone with militia commander Khalifa Hifter last month. Egypt, Russia, and France have also sent Hifter aid.

But critics fear the military commander will return the country to autocratic rule if he comes to power.

Turkish election—Next we go to Turkey. Opposition leaders there protested the Electoral Commission’s Board’s decision to overturn mayoral election results in Istanbul.

AUDIO: [Turkish opposition protests]

The opposition CHP Party initially won that election. Its leader called the decision to nullify the results a massacre of the law.

But President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to claim organized corruption and irregularities interfered with the election results.

ERDOGAN: [Speaking]

The surprise loss in Istanbul was a big defeat for Erdogan’s ruling AKP Party. It has held power in Istanbul for 25 years.

The city will hold new mayoral elections on June 23rd.

Egyptian burial ground discovered—And finally, we end today back in Africa. This time in Egypt.

AUDIO: [Sound of Egyptian archeologists]

Archeologists there have discovered new tombs that are almost 4,400 years old. The well-preserved, colorful wooden coffins contain top officials from Egypt’s Fifth Dynasty.

Zahi Hawass is Egypt’s former minister of Antiquities. He hopes ongoing discoveries of artifacts from Egypt’s history will bring more visitors.

HAWASS: I am really happy to see that tourism is back because of archaeology.

The newly discovered tombs are near the country’s famed pyramids on the Giza plateau just outside Cairo.

That’s this week’s World Tour. For WORLD Radio, I’m Onize Ohikere reporting from Abuja, Nigeria.

(AP Photos/Salih Basheer) A group of protesters chant revolutionary slogans against military rule at the sit-in outside the military headquarters, in Khartoum, Sudan, Thursday, May 2, 2019. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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