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The End of Omar al-Bashir—New Hope for Sudan

Since becoming independent from its former colonizer, the Republic of Sudan has fluctuated between democratically elected governments and severe dictatorships. Problematic civil wars and human rights violations have plagued the country. However, since December 2018 new hope has risen within this northeast African country.

Celebrating Sudanese protesters, (2019) VOA, Wikimedia Commons
Celebrating Sudanese protesters, (2019) VOA, Wikimedia Commons

In the wake of large-scale protests which demanded his removal from power, Omar al-Bashir, the long-time dictator, was ousted by a coup d’état. Witnesses of this Sudanese revolution have claimed it is a Sudanese sequel to the Arab Spring.

When Foreign Service Officer Donald Petterson took up his duties as ambassador to Sudan in 1992, al-Bashir had been in power for less than three years. Early in his tour, Petterson understood that it would not be an easy job, as Sudan already was in a precarious state. In the first year after assuming power in a military coup, al-Bashir wasted no time in moving against potential opponents. Many people were detained, tortured, or executed. Over the years, the al-Bashir government systematically did away with democratic institutions and civil rights.

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The World’s Longest Running Pandemic—Quarantine in Japan

With most of us confined to our homes, jaw-dropping unemployment figures, and over 60,000 deaths worldwide as of April 2020, it seems like COVID-19 is bringing the word “pandemic” to a whole new level. For citizens of high-income countries it is a first, and most likely a once in a lifetime experience. But COVID-19 is not the only pandemic currently ongoing.

Cholera prevention poster by the Sanatory Committee (between circa 1830 and circa 1840) New York Historical Society | Wikimedia Commons
Cholera prevention poster by the Sanatory Committee (between circa 1830 and circa 1840) New York Historical Society | Wikimedia Commons

The seventh wave of the cholera pandemic started in 1961, and to this day continues to plague low-income countries. According to the World Health Organization, it is the world’s longest running pandemic.

The first six cholera pandemics occurred consecutively between 1816 and 1923. The virus struck many Asian countries, but Japan was especially affected by the third and fifth wave. During an outbreak in Tokyo in 1858, between 100,000 and 200,000 people died. Twenty years later, during the fifth pandemic, Japan lost around 90,000 civilians to the disease.

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