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Arabic press review: British ambassador hails Sudan's 'opportunity for change'

Meanwhile, Libyans claim French soldiers are walking the streets of Haftar-held cities and Iraqi security officials dismiss Baghdadi re-emergence
Sudanese protesters have been demanding a handover to civilian rule (Reuters)

'Sudan has an opportunity to start again'

The “wonderful sight” of Sudan’s sit-in protest against military rule captured the imagination of the British ambassador in Khartoum, Irfan Siddiq, when he visited protesters last week. 

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Writing in Sudanese newspaper Al-Rakoba, Siddiq said he was fascinated by the “attractive rhythm” made by protesters using a bridge they were occupying as a percussive instrument to motivate the crowds.

He said the British position on the protests “has been clear from the start, that this opportunity for change must be taken".

“After this long period of failed rule, Sudan now has an opportunity to start again. To build an inclusive political system that can maintain peace, share powers and wealth, protect civil rights, promote freedoms, and work to meet the Sudanese people's needs.”

Activists claim French soldiers walking Libyan streets

Libyan activists are sharing a video on social media, claiming that it shows French officers roaming the streets of the eastern Libyan city of Marj.

Marj is currently held by the forces of eastern commander Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA), who are currently trying to seize control of Tripoli from the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) based there.

The activists have said that they believe the French officers are fighting with Haftar's forces in the offensive he announced in April.

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Although the European Union supports the GNA, lawmakers in the Tripoli-based government have accused France of supporting Haftar’s offensive and have suspended contracts with France in protest. 

Iraqi security official: Baghdadi video deals only with ‘history’

An Iraqi security official has downplayed the importance of the recently released video message from Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, claiming it only dealt with “history”, according to Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Baghdadi’s video, featuring a group of young fighters and a man dressed in traditional clothing providing files on the various “states” under IS, was carefully curated for his supporters. 

"Baghdadi wants to tell everyone that he still exists and wants to send messages about new pledges, perhaps outside Iraq," the official said. 

In an interview with the paper, former governor of Nineveh province, Athil al-Nujaifi, said Baghdadi’s influence “has ended and his followers are unable to terrorise people and intimidate them again, especially in Mosul".

The Arabic press review is a digest of reports that are not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye.