Dec 14, 2019

Deposed Sudanese dictator sentenced for corruption

Sudan's deposed military President Omar al-Bashir sits in a defendant's cage. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

Sudan's ousted President Omar al-Bashir was sentenced to two years in a rehabilitation facility for corruption and money laundering on Saturday, after being overthrown in April, AP reports.

The big picture: This could be the first of many verdicts likely to be handed down against al-Bashir. He is also wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes and genocide in the Darfur region in the early 2000s.

  • The United Nations says nearly 300,000 people were killed and 2.5 million were displaced after war broke out in Darfur in 2003, according to BBC.

Yes, but: It's still unclear when or whether the ICC will try al-Bashir. There has been a warrant for his arrest since 2009, and al-Bashir has tested the ICC by openly traveling to other countries since then, Al Jazeera writes.

Of note: Al-Bashir is 75 years old. Under Sudanese law, "people over the age of 70 cannot serve jail terms," BBC notes.

  • Instead, he will be sent to a state-run rehabilitation facility for elderly people who are convicted of crimes that aren't punishable by death.

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Sudan's prime minister makes "historic" visit to rebel stronghold

Brother and sister in a Nuba Mountains village in 2018. Photo: Paul Jeffrey/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

Thursday was a remarkable day in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains, with senior officials including Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok visiting the rebel stronghold for the first time in a decade alongside officials from the UN, which was itself forced out of the area in 2011.

The big picture: The region remained part of Sudan after South Sudan broke away in 2011. That led to a rebellion that was put down through a relentless bombing campaign. The war-ravaged area remained almost entirely cut off from international aid until now.

Go deeperArrowJan 10, 2020

Thousands in Baghdad gather, mourn loss of Iran's top general

Photo: Popular Mobilization Forces Media Office, Iraq, via AP

In Baghdad Saturday, thousands of Iraqi mourners held a funeral procession for Qasem Soleimani, chanting: "America is the Great Satan," AP reports.

Context: Soleimani's body will be sent back to his hometown in Iran where he will be buried after the funeral processions in Iraq are completed, BBC writes. Iraqis are also mourning the death of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a senior Iraqi militia commander who was killed in the same drone strike, per AP.

Go deeperArrowJan 4, 2020

3 Americans killed in al-Shabab attack on military base used by U.S. and Kenya

Photo: Google Maps screenshot

Three Americans were killed in an attack by terrorist group al-Shabab Sunday morning on a military base in Kenya's Lamu County used by American and Kenyan military personnel, U.S. Africa Command confirmed in a statement Sunday.

The big picture: One U.S. service member and two Defense Department contractors were killed, while another two Defense Department members were injured but are "currently in stable condition and being evacuated," per the statement. Al-Shabab is affiliated with al-Qaeda.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 5, 2020