Flying Shoes Misses Face of Sudan President Beshir

A Sudanese man hurled his shoe at President Omar al-Beshir on Monday but missed him, witnesses said, adding that the assailant was immediately arrested.

The man, who was not identified but appears to be in his 50s, threw the shoe at Beshir in a hallway of the Friendship Hall, where the president hosts guests, witnesses said on condition of anonymity.

Security men detained the shoe thrower immediately, they said. It was not immediately clear why he had attacked the president.

Beshir has ruled Sudan since seizing power in a military coup in 1989 and he is standing for re-election in April, when Sudan holds its first general election in 24 years, AFP reports.

In Arab culture, it is rude even to show the sole of your shoe to a colleague and shoes are left at the door of mosques.

Former U.S. President George W. Bush was subjected to the same insult in Iraq in 2008 when an Iraqi journalist threw both his shoes at him.

"The man was close to the podium and threw the shoe but it didn't reach him," said one eye witness, saying the incident appeared to shock the dozens of officials gathered for the conference on strategic planning for governing Sudan.

Three eye witnesses who had been inside the Friendship Hall in Khartoum, all of whom asked not to be named, confirmed the incident to Reuters. They said the man was in his late 40s or early 50s, was dressed smartly and said nothing, Reuters informs.

The Umma National Party has announced today that it is in the process of filing the nomination form for the party’s leader Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi who was also the last democratically elected prime minister in 1986 before being overthrown three years later in a bloodless coup.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has also nominated its spokesperson Hatem Al-Sir ending speculations on endorsing Bashir as some reports have mentioned.

This month the official Egyptian Middle East News Agency (MENA) had quoted DUP sources as saying that the party leader Mohamed Osman Al-Mirghani intends to endorse president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir for presidency, SudanTribune informs.

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