Tunisia Opposition Stages Protest Demanding Ghannouchi Resignation

Tunisian parliament Speaker Rached al-Ghannouchi. (Reuters)
Tunisian parliament Speaker Rached al-Ghannouchi. (Reuters)
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Tunisia Opposition Stages Protest Demanding Ghannouchi Resignation

Tunisian parliament Speaker Rached al-Ghannouchi. (Reuters)
Tunisian parliament Speaker Rached al-Ghannouchi. (Reuters)

Tunisian opposition groups staged on Monday protests in the capital Tunis, demanding the resignation of parliament Speaker Rached al-Ghannouchi.

The protest, held in front of the parliament building, is part of series of movements that are demanding an overhaul of Tunisia's political system. The protests will culminate in a major rally on June 14, when curfew imposed over the novel coronavirus outbreak is lifted, and during which the opposition demands will be declared and put to a popular referendum.

Several other sit-ins were held throughout the country to voice their rejection of recent political and parliamentary developments.

The opposition has criticized Ghannouchi for his errors, the latest of which was his telephone call with head of the Libyan Government of National Accord, Fayez al-Sarraj.

Monday's sit-in took place two days before Ghannouchi, who also heads the moderate Islamist Ennahda movement, is set to be grilled at a parliamentary hearing.

Opposition political sources said Ennahda is wary of the protests, fearing that they would lead to a popular movement similar to the one that erupted in 2013 and saw it ousted from power.

One of the leaders of the protest movement, former MP Fatima al-Masadi declared that "all people are racing to oust the rotten political regime and change the current political system. Everyone is pointing in different directions, but they are united in one goal."

Another organizer of the rallies said that among the people's many demands is the dissolution of parliament. He added that none of the more than 200 Tunisian parties have met the demands of the revolution, but they have only compounded crises.

Several political parties, however, distanced themselves from the latest protests.

Despite the sharp differences between it and Ennahda, the Free Destourian Party announced that it was not involved in Monday's rallies.

A member of the Democratic Patriots' Unified Party said it too will not join the protests because they do not have defined goals.

Former member of the Nidaa Tounes movement, Khalid Shaukat, said the country does not need more political or ideological disputes, adding that it was "absurd to ruin our nations with our own hands."



Sudan's RSF Agrees with UN on Steps to Ease Aid Delivery

Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
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Sudan's RSF Agrees with UN on Steps to Ease Aid Delivery

Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

Sudan's Rapid Support Forces agreed with the United Nations on some steps to ease aid delivery in areas under its control, a member of the RSF told Reuters on Thursday.

The Sudanese army has not reached any understandings on aid delivers with the RSF, he added. It is unclear if these steps could be implemented without the army's participation.

Meanwhile, a key supply route into Sudan's Darfur region, deemed at risk of famine by a global monitor, has been cut off due to heavy rains, a World Food Program official told Reuters on Thursday.
The UN agency has described Sudan as the world's biggest hunger crisis, with the western Darfur region most at risk as Sudan's 15-month civil war that has displaced millions and sparked ethnic violence grinds on.
WFP's Country Director Eddie Rowe said thousands of tons of aid are stranded at the Tina crossing on the Chad border, prompting the body to reopen talks with the army-aligned government to open an alternative, all-weather crossing further south called Adre.
"You have these huge rivers. As I speak now, our convoy, which is supposed to move over 2000 metric tons is stranded," he told Reuters from Port Sudan. Asked on the status of the talks that resumed this week, he said: "It's 50/50.”
WFP is now seeking clearances to move a large 70-truck convoy via a little-used, over 1000 kilometer route from Port Sudan to Darfur which Rowe said will involve crossing the battle lines of both the Sudan Armed Forces, the Rapid Support Forces and various militias.
He added that this mostly desert route has worked in the past but outside of the rainy season and that the last journey took weeks and was "fraught with a lot of challenges.”
In a separate interview, Mona Rishmawi, a member of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Sudan, told Reuters that she had met Darfur refugees in Chad who told her stories of escaping with virtually no water and eating grass along the route. "There's no doubt that people are starving," she said.