News Brief

Protestors in Sudan are Calling for the Removal of President Omar al-Bashir

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered near the capital to protest the leader's 30-year rule and demand "freedom, peace, and justice."

Mass anti-government protests have continued to spread across Sudan.

Demonstrations began in mid-December, with citizens protesting against inflation, food shortages and the rising cost of living, BBC Africa reports. So far dozens of people have reportedly died in clashes between protestors and police. Amnesty International puts the exact number of people killed at 37, while the Sudanese government says 19 people have died, including two soldiers.

There has also been a widespread crackdown on journalists and restrictions placed on social media in an effort to quell demonstrations.


Today, around 300 people took to the streets of the city of Omdurman near the capital, to demand that President Omar al-Bashir step down. The leader has been in power for 30 years, and has been accused of several human rights abuses since taking over the country in a 1989 military coup.

Protestors chanted "freedom, peace and justice" as they left morning prayer, but were later dispersed when officers fired tear gas into the crowd.

Four of the country's largest opposition groups have called for more protests to take place in defiance of the 75-year-old president in the coming days, reports News 24. In a statement, the group announced the organization of a nationwide protest as well as a march on the presidential palace on Sunday.

According to Al Jazeera, the president has ignored calls to step down, despite this wave of protests being one of the biggest challenges to his leadership so far. As The Washington Post reports, the scale of the current protests is unprecedented in Sudan.

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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