News Brief

Sudanese Military Leaders Attempt To Reassure Protesters After Rejecting 2-Year Military Takeover

The military leaders who led the coup in Sudan Thursday say they expect the pre-election transition period to last much less "if chaos can be avoided."

The Sudanese military leaders who led Thursday's coup resulting in Omar al-Bashir's ousting have attempted to reach out to protesters in lieu of their concerns, BBC reports.


Protesters have continued demonstrations after General Mohammed Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf announced that the military would oversee a 2-year transition period with elections to follow. His statement did not bode over well with the people, as they demand that a civilian council lead the transition instead. They also fear the military leaders are too closely connected to Bashir. Revisit more of their responses here.

General Omar Zain al-Abideen, head of the military council's political committee, says the leaders' only concern is public order, and that they expect the pre-election transition period to last much less than 2 years "if chaos can be avoided," Reuters adds.


al-Abideen adds that the military council would not interfere with a civilian government, though the defense and interior ministries would be under the council's control. He notes that the council plans to hold a dialogue with the protesters, as they have "no solutions to Sudan's crisis" but the solutions would come directly from the people.

"We are the protectors of the demands of the people," he says. "We are not greedy for power."

"We will not dictate anything to the people. We want to create an atmosphere to manage a peaceful dialogue," Abideen adds. "Today, we will hold a dialogue with the political entities to prepare a climate for dialogue."

Reuters notes that the Sudanese Professionals Association doubled down on its demand for power to be immediately handed over to "a transitional civilian government."

The military adds that it will not extradite Bashir on war crimes charges—he may instead be put on trial inside Sudan.

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Photo by Lana Haroun

From #FeesMustFall to #BlueforSudan: OkayAfrica's Guide to a Decade of African Hashtag Activism

The 2010s saw protest movements across the continent embrace social media in their quest to make change.

The Internet and its persistent, attention-seeking child, Social Media has changed the way we live, think and interact on a daily basis. But as this decade comes to a close, we want to highlight the ways in which people have merged digital technology, social media and ingenuity to fight for change using one of the world's newest and most potent devices—the hashtag.

What used to simply be the "pound sign," the beginning of a tic-tac-toe game or what you'd have to enter when interacting with an automated telephone service, the hashtag has become a vital aspect of the digital sphere operating with both form and function. What began in 2007 as a metadata tag used to categorize and group content on social media, the term 'hashtag' has now grown to refer to memes (#GeraraHere), movements (#AmINext), events (#InsertFriendsWeddingHere) and is often used in everyday conversation ("That situation was hashtag awkward").

The power of the hashtag in the mobility of people and ideas truly came to light during the #ArabSpring, which began one year into the new decade. As Tunisia kicked off a revolution against oppressive regimes that spread throughout North Africa and the Middle East, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook played a crucial role in the development and progress of the movements. The hashtag, however, helped for activists, journalists and supporters of causes. It not only helped to source information quickly, but it also acted as a way to create a motto, a war cry, that could spread farther and faster than protestors own voices and faster than a broadcasted news cycle. As The Guardian wrote in 2016, "At times during 2011, the term Arab Spring became interchangeable with 'Twitter uprising' or 'Facebook revolution,' as global media tried to make sense of what was going on."

From there, the hashtag grew to be omnipresent in modern society. It has given us global news, as well as strong comedic relief and continues to play a crucial role in our lives. As the decade comes to a close, here are some of the most impactful hashtags from Africans and for Africans that used the medium well.

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Ashraf Shazly/Getty Images

Sudan Now has its First Ever Women's Soccer League

The league comprises 21 clubs and plans are in the works to produce an official national team.

Yesterday, Sudan's much anticipated women's soccer league finally kicked off and saw two teams going against each other at the Khartoum Stadium. Sudan's new Minister of Sport Wala Essam and a number of foreign diplomats attended the match amid a vibrant crowd. The establishing of the league comes after the country has recently entered into a coalition government between the military and civilians. The coalition government, under the leadership of the newly elected Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, will govern Sudan during a three-year transitional period that will eventually cede power over to civilians.

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Ayanda Jiya. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

South African Women Dropped the Best Debuts of 2019

We highlight 10 noteworthy albums & EPs from a new generation of vocal talent in South Africa, featuring Elaine, Ayanda Jiya, Ami Faku and more.

The South African music scene has seen an uptick in youthful, vocally gifted artists over the years. Much of this is owed to the recent global resurgence of R&B, as well as the increased significance of streaming sites, especially SoundCloud.

From internet-savvy artists creating jazz, alternative soul and house-infused spoken word to radio friendly iterations of pop and Afro-soul, 2019 has been the year of impactful debut performances.

This year ushered in the voices of a new generation of South African female artists announcing themselves to the world.

Here's a lowdown of 10 great releases from talented female vocalists, songwriters and composers marking this new era.

Read ahead below. This list is in no particular order.

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Listen to Stormzy's New Album 'Heavy is the Head'

The British-Ghanaian grime star has dropped his much-anticipated sophomore album featuring YEBBA, H.E.R., Burna Boy, Ed Sheeran, Tiana Major9 and Headie One.

British-Ghanaian rapper Stormzy has finally dropped his much-anticipated sophomore album Heavy is the Head. The album comes two years after he released his debut album Gang Signs & Prayer.

The 16-track project features the likes of American singer-songwriter YEBBA, H.E.R., Burna Boy, British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, Tiana Major9 and Headie One.

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