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tv   Dateline London  BBC News  June 8, 2019 11:30am-12:00pm BST

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thank you all for being here. burned tents and silence. that's all that remains of khartoum's democracy protest this weekend. back in the heady days of april, the protestors succeeded in sweeping away the 30—year dictatorship of omar al—bashir. but then came stalemate over setting the rules for a transition to civilian government. on 3rd june, the hopeful singing of the democracy sit—in gave way to gunfire and screams as pa ramilitaries killed scores of protestors and whipped or raped others. phone networks and the internet were switched off. nesrine, you are from sudan, they never called it a sit down sprang up, but whatever it was, it is now blood splatter. people are careful not to brand it as an arab spring type moment. because the dynamic is very different in sudan, there is a history of popular revolt against dictatorships, we have had two in
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the past. it wasn't really an unusual thing to happen in sudan, the same way it was in egypt, for example. there was always in understanding this was different, but there was also lessons learned from the arab spring, when omar al—bashir was from the arab spring, when omar al— bashir was deposed, and from the arab spring, when omar al—bashir was deposed, and the army remained in power, the protesters would not go home, because they realise this would just be a man mike redux, a continuation of his regime. they realised it in a way, because of what had happened in egypt? a couple of ways, the military didn't ever really return it to the barix. also, because the entire military establishment is tainted by omar al— bashir, entire military establishment is tainted by omar al—bashir, and entire military establishment is tainted by omaral—bashir, and it wasn't really separate to him, in the way the military was separate in egypt. optically, there wasn't enough daylight, there wasn't enough distance between the remaining
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military regime and omar al—bashir. there was a period where they were trying to negotiate some sort of civilian government with the military council. that took too long, things got stuck in negotiation, back and forth and it became clear that tmc was not going to budge, and then this paramilitary force, they recommissioned paramilitary force, they basically ran out of patience and cleared the protest and it was a shock to everyone in the city. alex, have you been watching this closely?” everyone in the city. alex, have you been watching this closely? i have, it started as an economic issue, not a political one. the regime heavily subsidised things like bread and fuel and subsidised things like bread and fueland in an subsidised things like bread and fuel and in an attempt to stave off economic collapse, they cut their subsidies at the end of last year. this meant that people protested over their bread being more expensive. it became a political process , expensive. it became a political process, but not in the ways we might expect it to. when the omar
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al—bashir regime went, we would normally think that the push from democracy activists would be for elections, let's have an election, we wa nt elections, let's have an election, we want to see a fair choice for who will run us next. the dispute with the military regime was not having elections too soon, because they democracy activists felt that if you rushed it through in nine months, which is the current plan in sudan, then you would have a reproduction of the same regime. that is the british government's point of view. our last ambassador said if you run the election to the timetable that this military regime has set out, you will get most of the old regime coming back under the new name, but using this democratic bank. coming back under the new name, but using this democratic bankm coming back under the new name, but using this democratic bank. it is also important to point out the elections in nine months, these were the ones that were already scheduled and omar al— bashir was going the ones that were already scheduled and omar al—bashir was going to put himself up for. it wasn't a new development. is there any belief amongst the people out on the streets that there might indeed be junior officers who could be
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instrumental in removing the old guard and letting the new come in? that has happened in the past in previous revolutions. it happened in the past and in the earlier part of this revolution, where the lower ra nks this revolution, where the lower ra n ks of this revolution, where the lower ranks of the military sided with the protesters, and that is what broke the back of the bashir government, where they thought they had lost control of the military elements on the ground. but the military has been sidelined by the new force, which was always outside of khartoum, but brought in to help the army controlled the situation, and then went rogue. henry, take us through the international dimensions of it, because neighbours are heavily involved, like saudi arabia, uae. yes, and on the other side, you have turkey who also want an influence in that region, and sudan itself had also been waving its favourites in the government's favours to see who they wanted to side with and economic benefits they
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could get. the international community has condemned this crackdown that we have seen in the la st crackdown that we have seen in the last week or so, but let's not forget that there was an earlier killing of the same protesters in december, about 60. the international i has not been on these protests in the same way, and yet, these demonstrators have been largely peaceful. why hasn't there been more attention? sudan is vast, strategic, we have seen the havoc wreaked in yemen, libya and syria, when the international committee has not had its eye on what is happening. from an oil point of view, sudan had been incredibly important for the us until south sudan broke off and became its own. oil is mostly centred in a south sudan. that importance has diminished a bit in us eyes, and then the us listed sanctions to a certain degree from sudan two years ago, and there was thought that it
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could be moving in a different direction. just that point you made about the international community not saying anything, the typical response is, we ought everyone to be peaceful, we call on all sides to be reasonable, but the british government has said that the military regime is wholly responsible for the deaths of people in this situation. that is something thatis in this situation. that is something that is a proper line, many governments will steer from taking that line. the easy thing to say is, eve ryo ne that line. the easy thing to say is, everyone should be peaceful. the british comment has not done that, we had said, this is the response ability of the military government. some atrocities committed on the ground are appalling, so good for oui’ ground are appalling, so good for our government. stephanie, you have been paying attention to europe's response to all of this, are they lining up with the uk? on the one hand, you would assume that europe supports democratic processes, they also have an important issue, the issue of refugees and immigration into europe. if you remember 2015,
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because of the war in syria and other conflicts, more than i because of the war in syria and other conflicts, more thani million refugees came into germany. ever since then, migration has been the biggest challenge for the eu, not brexit, it is migration. what have they been doing? they had been doing a lot of projects, plans, they have had hundreds of millions of euros into african countries, especially into african countries, especially into sudan, because it is one of the key transit countries. germany has a very big state body there that is working with organisations to try to help refugees and set up proper processes to find out people who should be entitled to come to europe, but of course... are you saying they don't want to rock the status quo? yes, instability will mean that borders will not be so well controlled, people will easily come to europe and then you could see another refugee crisis, and europe does not need that currently, politically. nesrine, how does this play inside sudan with all the
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external players and their various agendas? it is clear to those in sudan that the most important influence at the moment is saudi arabia, uae and egypt, whose role has changed dramatically in the region over the last five years. they have become really for change, —— against change in democratic situations, because it threatens their regime and they are a military partner with yemen. everyone focuses on the axis of a counter revolution, they have supplied arms, cash, they have mobilised against the revolution in the last few weeks. the protesters a re revolution in the last few weeks. the protesters are fighting against four governments, which is an impossible task. it does seem like an impossible task, and it makes it even more extraordinary that they are still protesting. there comes a moment where you have gone such a distance, it is harder to go back. you have to just push on and that is
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the atmosphere in khartoum at the moment, because people cannot imagine going back to a life before this, so they would rather see it to its conclusion. there is a sort of real bravery amongst the protesters who see this as something, they have lost so much already, it is seen as a sunk cost of that needs to be followed up, otherwise we lose everything. i.i would like to follow up everything. i.i would like to follow up on is the international community. it is a legacy, all of this is a legacy of confused arbitrary intervention in sudan. there was lots of attention on the country when the war happened, with the international criminal court, the international criminal court, the us applied really punitive sanctions, the country was put on a terror list, you couldn't get a visa, the country was basically locked down for 20 years. this empowered the bashir regime. we had
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a situation where the community was forcefully involved in sudan, and then the attention span went away, then the attention span went away, the momentum ran out of the situation from the international community. now we are dealing with the fallout of this 28 years of international isolation, no one is really that much interested in being as interventionist to help the situation. henry, looking at the us position on this, because the points that we have just heard nesrine make, but of course, saudi arabia, the uae, egypt, these are strong men in charge of these regimes, and they tend to be that kind of people that try likes. particularly saudi arabia, he has aligned himself with saudi arabia closely, and they are highly involved with sudan at the moment. it is the trump administration that lifted the sanctions, so we should mention that, except for the fact that there are secondary sanctions that have meant that the economic benefits that should have flowed from that lifting haven't really gone to
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sudan. so, the us is still not really enabling much to happen economically in sudan. we should also mention the african union, because they had suspended... does that make a difference? will anyone in khartoum think, we have to change tack? i don't think it will make a difference practically, but i think symbolically, it has spooked the government, because this thing happened... of this whole attack on the demonstrators happened without much planning or coordination between the paramilitary forces and the government. they are slightly confused about what to do next, because it is a new government, you have to remember, they need to find their feet, have to remember, they need to find theirfeet, and have to remember, they need to find their feet, and if have to remember, they need to find theirfeet, and if they have to remember, they need to find their feet, and if they are already meeting the african union, if already the us has had words with saudi arabia about this, the british, as you said have had a hard line, ithink british, as you said have had a hard line, i think it is spooking them, which is why there has been this reversal about negotiations with the
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civil leaders. widening it out a moment, stephanie, can you tackle the question of where this leaves other would—be democrats in authoritarian regimes when they see what has happened in sudan and when they see the eu and other players ta ke they see the eu and other players take a basically status quo position on it, rather than one of enormous support for those protesters? we are ina different support for those protesters? we are in a different period now, completely. if you look at the arab spring in 2011, and the euphoria and support that europe would have for all those countries, and as we said before, only tunisia is the case that you could see that it has worked. and not only that, as i said before, the migration problems, it is very much hands off, rather than try to keep the structures you have built yourself than intervening in something that might cause more instability. if you are sitting in
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an authoritarian regime somewhere and you look at sudan, what do you think? if you wanted to mount a revolution or democratic movement, you might not have support, but you might learn lessons about what can change things. the african union saying they are going to suspend the khartoum regime won't change anything happening in sudan anytime soon, but when you think about the influence on that continent, you have south africa who have sat and said they cannot be involved in something since apartheid, staying away from issues. the uae hasn't played a dynamic role in hard power terms, nor was it ever designed to. so you're left looking at places like sierra leone which benefit from aid, or places that build an economy over time, nigeria, uganda, aid, or places that build an economy overtime, nigeria, uganda, through trade. and you have to hope your country gets the opportunity to trade more, build a middle class and have trade links. the and difficulty is, should we do that whilst we have a rating we disagree with? that is
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to say, should we help people in the country, regardless of whether this isa regime country, regardless of whether this is a regime that we would sanction, if it would be better for people in the country to trade with them, or should be holed off the trade until they can get rid of the regime? i'm not sure is there a right answer. —— i'm not sure there is a right answer. we don't think about it enough. just before leaving this topic, nesrine, cani enough. just before leaving this topic, nesrine, can i ask you a personal question, as someone from sudan, when you see what has happened in khartoum over the last few days, it must be very distressing? you speak in a composed, calm and analytical way, but being from sudan, it must be terrible. it has been very difficult, very difficult for people from sudan who live there and who don't. it has been a real injury that has been bleeding over the last two or three months, because the protests started much earlier, actually, five months, they started at the beginning of the year. the
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difficulty is also compounded by the fa ct difficulty is also compounded by the fact that i am of a generation that grew up underthe fact that i am of a generation that grew up under the bashir government and saw how the country changed and had lost hope that anything would happen. when this revolution happened, it was notjust happen. when this revolution happened, it was not just a political revolution, it was a cultural... like all great revolutions, it was a cultural moment, political moment, a moment of solidarity, and ethnic galvanise asian, and the really painful thing has been to watch that moment be killed so quickly. we never really had a moment, we had maybe weeks to enjoy this moment where the country had come together. —— ethnic galvanise asian. but it feels like we have gone too far to turn back. even though people had been using the arab spring for a long time in sudan to prevent people from
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protesting against bashir, you realise that with president, with mergers, family losses —— with precedent, with the country ground toa precedent, with the country ground to a halt, with people trapped in their houses, there is still something, with all this analysis that we make about the cynicism of the global community, there is something there, if the echo, that does not subject to calculations, it isjust freedom. that is does not subject to calculations, it is just freedom. that is where we are right now. we will have to leave sudan on that thought and turn to events closer to home. the us and the uk had other things on their mind last week. president trump was in london to visit the queen and in normandy to honour second world war veterans. sharing the stage was theresa may, her last big public duty before she resigned as leader of her party. the race to succeed her begins officially on monday. even president trump joined in the speculation.
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let's go, henry, first to the trump visit, give me your verdict, what did you make of it? it accomplished what he wanted it to, which was to be at the centre of splendour, he loves that attention and spectacle. the objects of his being able to sit down with the royal family, particularly the queen, have a toast at buckingham palace, this will play very well back at home. although he, perhaps more than other presidents, has the capacity to mess it up, it didn't happen. it was smooth and calm, he had some flaming tweets that insulted a few people here in britain, and those were written about, but otherwise, things went well from the administration a point of view, including the visit to normandy, where his speech was well—received in terms of honouring the sacrifice of those who were on the sacrifice of those who were on the beaches there and the legacy that we have from that. that has been the site for any presidents in the past to have a much more
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internationalist and soaring rhetoric, and he was able to rise to that occasion in a way many people didn't expect. what do you think, alex? he called jeremy corbyn a negative fraught and sad khan a stone cold loser. fairly mild meddling, do you agree with henry? —— sadiq khan. meddling, do you agree with henry? -- sadiq khan. a third-party observer would say that the president stayed on message. normandy, reagan had his famous speech, looking at the row of vetera ns, speech, looking at the row of veterans, and as the queen pointed out, some people said they thought the 60th anniversary would be the last time that we mark these great sacrifices, and as the queen said, my generation, we are resolute. they are still there for the 75th. i thought try spoke quite well there. he also spoke well at the banquet, from what we saw of it. it meant something for him to be seen sitting next to the queen. i also make the
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point that unlike many of his predecessors, he doesn't have a background of public service that means that he has been an international diplomacy and done lots of visits like this in a junior position. this meant something to his family, they all came over and rejoiced in those photo shoots, and i. rejoiced in those photo shoots, and i, as rejoiced in those photo shoots, and i,asa rejoiced in those photo shoots, and i, as a british person, i like the fa ct i, as a british person, i like the fact that he speaks positively about our country. you may dislike him in lots of ways, but you would rather have a president that says, this is a great country, the passion and pride in every british heart, that's what he said about the queen, and he went on to say, he trips over himself at the superlatives of how good the trade deal and —— how good a trade deal the us and uk will have. i would rather the president did that saying that we will be at the front of the queue, rather than the front of the queue, rather than the back. do you believe him? i believe he means it, but whether he can get through i am unsure. it is better than saying, we will be at the back of the queue. stephanie, he
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also listened to the queen and theresa may talking about the importance of international alliances and emmanuel macron are saying the us is never stronger than when it is helping to free other people. do you think that penetrates? i'm not sure, how could ijudge? from penetrates? i'm not sure, how could i judge? from a penetrates? i'm not sure, how could ijudge? from a german perspective, this was a significant week, because the adjournment role in all of this is very different to anybody else on stage, and angela merkel attended the commemoration in portsmouth and also in normandy, but she wouldn't speak, obviously. something i learned this week which i didn't know and is really interesting, angela merkel attended the d—day commemorations, but and so did... there is still a document, a little note written which said, we do not
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note written which said, we do not not not want to be invited. so, for germany, germany has come a long way here. these commemorations have been in two ways a threshold, a new crossroad, because on the one hand, it is probably the last time she will have the veterans there, and it was very moving to hilly testimonies, but many commentators in germany picked up on the fact that it feels like the role the us and britain had for the post royal order is seizing and form germany and the eu is taking over democracy. —— post war order. and the eu is taking over democracy. -- post war order. you would have to spend more on defence before doing that, wouldn't you ? spend more on defence before doing that, wouldn't you? germany is spending a lot on defence. that, wouldn't you? germany is spending a lot on defencelj that, wouldn't you? germany is spending a lot on defence. i am talking objectively about spending on defence material, you have been under spending and less willing to commit that material. it is true, but it is a very difficult domestic
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issue in germany. the but when someone pointed out, you don't need to say they are speaking for donald trump, it is just the case, isn't it? we will lay that one to rest between you two. nesrine, when trump got back, no more trade war with mexico another, it is off. that goes back to the point about whether you believe him when he says there will believe him when he says there will be an amazing trade deal with the uk, there was a moment when he said the nhs was on the table for negotiations and 30 seconds later in another interview, he said it was off the table. trump can say whatever he wants, he can employ whatever he wants, he can employ whatever rhetoric he once. i don't think there is much confidence that there is a link between that... on there is a link between that... on the mexican tariffs, he can say to his electorate, i put pressure on ad i got results, county absolutely. this is how... this is how we should
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be viewed. —— he should be viewed. whether the result that he intended to achieve have been achieved, which they have not been, it is a torturing of the data. as long as he can tell his base that, he is happy. we have to move on and leave trump to one side, we have to speak about the tory leadership race. alex, this does begin officially on monday. now, we have cocaine by some, cannabis by others, opm by different ones. “— cannabis by others, opm by different ones. —— opium from others. cannabis by others, opm by different ones. -- opium from others. we are not talking about us as a panel! candidates have been clearing the decks by disclosing themselves, to what have you done that is naughty? theresa may answered, i ran through a wheat field. people are looking
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for better answers, i occasionally took cocaine is up there with the better a nswers. took cocaine is up there with the better answers. or they are seeking to get things out into the public domain as they can be offered as an expose unframed in point is they don't like. that is why michael gove disclose that he took cocaine, and rory stewart disclosed that he took opium at a friend's wedding abroad. there may have been one or two more disclosures to come. on the one hand, much of our political class is dismissing this and thinking, youthful discretion. on the other hand, you have to remember that these kinds of drugs are unlawful in this country and for a reason, because they do significant harm to people and they perpetuate a criminal class and activity, that is why michael gove said he was so sorry that he had done this. furthermore, the electorate these mps are about to face, notjust amongst their fellow and he is, mps are about to face, notjust amongst theirfellow and he is, but if they get to the final two by the conservative party and the country,
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it is not a liberal cohort, they will not regard things like this as positive. that is why they are seeking to get things out now, so it is baked into the price that you might have on the candidate, if they do make the final two. we are going to have to leave it, that was great, and we can come back to the other issues in the race next week and the following week, because this is not going away. thank you all so much for being here today. that's it for dateline london for this week — we're back next week at the same time. goodbye. it has been a soggy start to our saturday morning, hasn't it? i suspect he will be able to put the
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hosepipes away because the rain is here to stay, notjust this weekend, but for much of next week as well. the reason for the rain at the moment is this area of low pressure, to the southern flank, we have gusty winds, in excess of 50—60 mph this morning across channel coasts. the rain continues to push its way steadily north and east, so we will see an improvement out of the midlands as that rain continues to move its way through the north of england, north wales and into southern scotland. behind it are sunny spells and scattered showers, some of those showers could be sharp, but hopefully, they will be hit and miss and we will keep some sunshine. in the north and west, some sunshine into scotland, some scattered showers in northern ireland. it will be windy for all of us, underneath the cloud and rain, it will feel disappointingly cold. top temperatures of around 13 celsius in the rain, highest values of 16-18 celsius in the rain, highest values of 16—18 further south. as we move out of saturday evening, the low
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pressure pushes off into the near continent and behind that, we will see a clear skies and light wind, so temperatures fall into low single figures. a colder start to sunday morning, but it will be a dry one in comparison it to saturday. hopefully some sunshine around early on and many of us will keep some sunshine for the second half of the weekend, but we will see more frequent showers moving into scotland and northern ireland. some spells of sharp showers pushing their way in from the south—west, some of these may have a rumble of thunder, highest values of 12—19. moving into monday, more wet weather forecast, this time, into the south—east. keep an eye on the forecast, because that frontal system is going to be an issue on monday into tuesday, and the exact location of that rain is still subject to change. we will see some wet weather across most of eastern england, further north and west, it is sunny spells and scat scattered showers. again, temperatures are struggling for this
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time of year, 12—17. by the end of monday into tuesday, it could feel colder still is the wind is north—easterly and we still keep the show is coming. that is it, take care. “— show is coming. that is it, take care. —— keep the showers coming.
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this is bbc news. i'm shaun ley. the headlines at twelve: michael gove, one of the front runners for the conservative leadership, says he deeply regrets his past use of cocaine. us president donald trump lifts the threat of tariffs on imports from mexico after its government promises to act over migrants, asylum seekers and border security. the health officials launch an investigation into the deaths of three hospital patients in manchester and liverpool who ate pre—packed sandwiches linked to an outbreak of listeria. the annual trooping the colour parade is under way to mark the queen's official birthday. the fifa women's world cup kicked—off last night, with hosts france easing to a dominant 4—0 win

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