SUDAN USHERS A NEW ERA
The bloody and oppressive regime that characterized Omar-al-Bashir’s rule came to an end in April 2019, and soon after that the country erupted in chaos with a death toll over 100 as the military tried to stop thousands of demonstrators who had been demanding that the Transitional Military Council (TMC), which has ruled the country since troops ousted longtime President Omar al-Bashir in April, making way for a civilian-led interim body.
After a three-month tussle, the Alliance for Freedom and Change, the umbrella organization representing the pro-democracy protesters, and the Transitional Military council have reached somewhat of a consensus for a power sharing deal.
The deal was inked between Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, deputy chief of the Transitional Military Council (TMC), and Ahmed al-Rabie, who represented the Alliance for Freedom and Change umbrella group. They will lead the country jointly through an 11-member sovereign council. The council will collectively act as the head of state, with a power split among five civilian leaders and five members of Sudan’s armed forces. The TMC will rule for 21 months, with the Alliance for freedom for the next 18 months.
Heads of states, prime ministers and dignitaries from several countries, including Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and South Sudanese President Salva Kiir attended the ceremony.
The new regime gives the transitional military government “limited powers,” and that most decisions would lie with the civilian government and the legislative body.
At the moment, negotiations are still underway on a proposal to postpone the dismantling of the military council until after the government is announced.
The power-sharing deal will give certain rights, including the right to freedom of expression and assembly. There are also plans for the creation of a legislative body, with two-thirds of the seats going to the Alliance for Freedom and Change.
The deal also includes the establishment of an independent investigation into the crackdown on protesters by the security forces.
It’s a remarkable moment for Sudan, a country scarred by dictatorship and civil war. Al-Bashir took power in a 1989 coup and maintained his grip on the country for 30 years despite international pressure over Sudan’s support of terrorism and perpetration of genocide in the Darfur region.
The celebration on the new power sharing deal was mixed with grief, because of the memory of the dozens of protesters who had been killed since the uprising, and while the talks were taking place.
IVORY COAST LOSES A MUSICAL ICON
Fellow Africans at home and in the diaspora will attest to the fact that a real night out is not complete until you are dancing side by side in choreography to a DJ Arafat song.
The premature death earlier this week of the man nicknamed the King of Coupé Décalé has left many shocked. He was a pioneer and it was thanks to him that Ivorian dance music got global recognition.
DJ Arafat, real name Houon Ange Didier, succumbed to injuries on Monday, August 12 at 8 am (local and GMT), as a result of a traffic accident that occurred on Sunday Night in Abidjan.
According to information and photos circulating on social networks, DJ Arafat was riding a motorcycle when he rammed into a car.
Later on Monday, around 1,000 fans gathered in front of the hospital in Abidjan’s Cocody suburb where the singer died, weeping and chanting, “Arafat cannot die!”
The Coupé Décalé sound and movement started in Paris nightclubs in the early 2000s where it was brought by Ivorian DJs. In Nouchi (Ivorian slang), Coupé Décalé means, “to cheat” and “run away” or cut and run.
The fun, bass-heavy sound embraced the joie de vivre that typifies Abidjan, a city known for its legendary partying. It also celebrated young resilient Africans who, having endured the difficulties of being migrants in Europe, eventually made it big—sometimes by unorthodox means. Hence, the concept of cheating the system and getting away with it. It’s an aspirational genre that emerged at the time of the first Ivorian civil war (2002-2007) when dispirited youth needed to believe in the possibility of a better life, sometimes in the form of finding fame and fortune abroad.
Although Arafat didn’t invent the sound he popularized it and is credited for taking it to the global stage.
The Ivorian Culture Minister Maurice Kouakou Bandaman expressed his condolences and said a tribute would be organized to honor the musician.