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Yearbook 2016

Sudan. According to countryaah, Sudan and its president Omar al-Bashir continued to be involved in a power struggle with the International Criminal Court (ICC).

2016 Sudan

Despite an international arrest warrant issued by the ICC against al-Bashir for suspected war crimes and other crimes in Darfur, he continued to travel extensively. For example, he attended a summit of the African Union (AU) in Rwanda. ICC's Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda stated in June that she lacked support to pursue the case.

Sudan, which is affiliated with Saudi Arabia, broke diplomatic relations with Iran in January. The country has already contributed soldiers to the coalition that Saudi Arabia is leading against Iran-backed Shiite rebels in Yemen.

In January, it was announced that the border with South Sudan would be opened again. The countries negotiated without much success on lowering transit fees that Sudan charges on oil from South Sudan. Overall, the Sudanese economy showed few signs of clearing. Protests took place in Khartoum and other cities in November against lower subsidies on gasoline, which increased the price by 30%. There was a shortage of various goods, partly as a result of import restrictions to safeguard the scarce foreign exchange reserve. Inflation was 19.6% in October. Several newspapers and a TV station reporting on protests were closed.

The situation in the Darfur region remained worrying. In March, more than 100,000 people were on the run after escalated fighting between government forces and the SLMAW rebel group. Despite this, a referendum on Darfur's status was held April 11-13. Over 97% voted to retain the five states that make up the region. The opposition and rebel groups such as SLM-AW and JEM (the Movement for Justice and Equality) boycotted the vote. Sudan refuted data from the human rights group Amnesty International that chemical weapons were used in Darfur. The UN called on Sudan to cooperate in an investigation. In June, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of the AU and UN Joint Force UNAMID in Darfur, despite Sudan's protests.

Struggles were also fought in the provinces of the Blue Nile and South Kurdufan against the rebel movement SPLM-North (Sudanese people's liberation movement). The government announced a unilateral ceasefire in June and several rounds of talks were held with SPLM-North without success.

In March, however, Islamist leader Hassan al-Turabi, who turned 84 years old. As leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, he was one of the forces behind the 1989 coup that brought al-Bashir to power. The two broke later, and al-Turabi was occasionally jailed or in house arrest.

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