Sudan protests shake strongman Omar al-Bashir

Sudanese protesters at an anti-government demonstration in the capital Khartoum on Jan. 6. Photo: AFP/Getty

In recent weeks, thousands of young people across Sudan have taken to the streets in protest against strongman Omar al-Bashir, the leader of one of the world’s most repressive governments.

Why it matters: While the protests were initially sparked by economic issues — inflation in Sudan is currently running around 70% — a brutal crackdown has helped stoke broader popular demands for Bashir’s resignation. 

Heroic doctor on suffering, hope and the need for aid in Sudan

Dr. Catena treats a patient at Mother of Mercy Hospital in Sudan. Photo: Paul Jeffrey/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.

The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative has announced Dr. Tom Catena, who for the past decade has been the only doctor based permanently in Sudan’s war-torn Nuba Mountains, as its first chairman.

Why it matters: Catena is a former winner of the prestigious Aurora Prize and was named one of TIME’s Most Influential People in 2015. I spoke with him about his work, the humanitarian crisis in Sudan and the prospects for peace. Catena told me the “big international players” have a responsibility to end the deadlock that has starved the region of humanitarian aid.

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