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April 2-9, 2015

Domestic Media Monitoring Report for Sudan
Posted on April 10, 2015

Saudi coalition expected to improve Sudanese economic markets
Domestic Media

Sudan expects large economic gains from ‘Operation Decisive Storm’ 3rd April 2015, Sudan Tribune

  • Badr al-Din Mahmoud, finance minister for the NCP, stated that Sudan's participation in the Saudi coalition would guarantee large economic gains.
  • Egypt, Jordan and Morocco are several other countries who have announced their support for the airstrike against Yemen's Huthis population. 
  • The alliance is thought to spread beyond a military coalition but into a long term economic standing between Sudan and the gulf countries. Economic alliances have become crucial since the split between Sudan and South Sudan who owns 75% of the oil reserves in the area. 
  • Mahmoud explained that focus on improving the economic market of Sudan took effect when he led the NCP to cut inflation and strengthen the currency.
  • Reports have been rumoured that the Saudi government had deposited $4 billion in to the Central Bank of Sudan which would decrease the dollar rate on the black market, currently 8.9 to 9.3 SDG.
  • The economic situation in Sudan is highly dependent on its relation to the black market. In an attempt to close the gap of dollar value Sudan has increased the supply of foreign exchange. This change is in conjunction with the opening of external banking to increase foreign investment.
  • Through this coalition President Al-Bashir believes it will strengthen Sudan: politically, economically and in its international relations. 

Previous NCP minister discusses upcoming elections, national dialogue and Al-Bashir’s ICC arrest
Domestic Media

Q&A: ‘Violence is the last thing we need in Sudan’ 3rd April 2015, Al-Jazeera

  • The interview was conducted with Sudanese politician Ghazi Salahuddin. Salahuddin was previously an adviser to Al-Bashir and a founding member of the NCP. He has advocated peace in the Darfur region and held talks in 2011 between Sudan and Qatar
  • Now he is head of the Reform Now party after being dismissed for drafts stating his opposition to the force used against demonstrators in September 2013.
  • The interview was focused on the national dialogue and upcoming elections.
  • Salahuddin explained that a national dialogue is crucial to progressing the situation in Sudan as failed attempts of demonstrations or military tactics have just increased the insecurity in Sudan. 
  • In Sudan a national dialogue has been supported by a wide spectrum of parties including parties which have used military tactics against the government. The appeal of a peace settlement has increased in recent years to end the ongoing situation in Sudan.
  • The government remain in opposition to the talks despite the elections being a week away. The government’s reluctance to engaging in a peace dialogue have driven opposition factions to engaging in violent strategies to achieve their rights.
  • Several reforms Salahuddin would like to see implicated in the country is for unity in the political spectrum. This means that parties need to agree on basic principles and create a state which functioned as a representative for all Sudanese. Salahuddin expressed his belief that through drafting a principle constitution and a consecutive elected body they could target key issues and then incorporate future reforms. 
  • A key factor the talks need to target first is the interim period and elections.
  • The interview targeted issues such as boycotting the elections. The boycotting of elections is in conjunction to emphasize the falsity of the elections. Salahuddin explained that the dialogue is seen as a unifying meeting of all people are unified in a common vision of Sudan something the government is unwilling to recognize.
  • Through demonstrations the NCP have been hostile to opposition supporters. The divides between the opposition supporters. Salahuddin explained that it is only through a united opposition that they can bring about change in Sudanese society.
  • The interviewer addressed the issue of President Al-Bashir's arrest warrant from the war crimes. Salahuddin explained that it has large implications on the NCP's decisions. He explained that there is a hostile attitude towards the ICC due to the specifics in their prosecution, as they do not prosecute individuals who invade other countries. 
  • The Doha agreement was one to resolve tensions in the Darfur region. Salahuddin was a key figure in these negotiations. Darfur is a crucial position connecting Sudan to central and West Africa. Salahuddin recognized this was crucial point which Salahuddin believes has to be incorporated into the national dialogue. 

Increased hostility towards freedom of speech and expression of opinion by NISS
Domestic Media

Sudan Government stifling media and civil society 2nd April 2015, Amnesty International

  • In the run up to the April elections Sudanese government has increase their censorship of non-government sources
  • The censorship has threaten the rights and freedoms of opposition parties in an attempt to make the elections representative of the whole society
  • The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) power has been increased in recent amendments passed by the NCP. 
  • Amnesty International Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, Michelle Kagari, stated in a report this week that the violations of human rights has escalated in the run up to the April elections. 
  • 42 incidents have been recorded where 16 media outlets have been seized by NISS authorities. This is in conjunction with 21 journalists being investigated by the Sudanese forces.
  • Several humanitarian or human rights groups have been shut down in these seizures with several other organizations being pressured to stop their operations now.
  • Al Midan newspaper, a supporter of the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP|) has been targeted 20 times since January. Top personnel in these newspapers have been tried, Madeeha Abdallah is being persecuted by the 1991 penal code act, if found guilty she will face the death penalty.
  • Journalism has become a dangerous profession in Sudan. A multi-level persecution of journalists has developed through: security, press and publication and criminal law.
  • The increased NISS has unnerved international humanitarian groups who have closely followed this increased censorship. The Darfur Bar Association representative, Al Sadiq Hassan, informed Amnesty International that the oppression of opinion and freedom has become habitual in Sudanese society. Hassan appealed to the international community to take responsibility and expect their commitment to defending human rights. 

Individuals detained during presidential tour
Independent Media

Six students, one poet detained in El Obeid and Khartoum 3rd April 2015, Dabanga Radio

  • During Al-Bashir's presidential tours of Sudan has resulted in increased oppression by security forces. Al-Bashir launched his electoral campaign in El Obeid, North Kordofan.
  • During the visit a poet and several students were detained by security forces. The detainees were removed from North Kordofan and taken to an unknown location.
  • Poet Yousif Awad El Karim El Douche was arrested separately after denouncing Al-Bashir’s visit during the first anniversary of poet Mahjoub Sharif, knwon as a 'poet of the people'. The poet discussed his discontent and hostility towards the current political situation and upcoming elections. Where after he was detained immediately. 
  • Al-Bashir vowed to increase access to water, transport, education, and health services. 

UN Secretary General expresses his frustration at NCP’s lack of cooperation in National Dialogue
Domestic media

Sudan: Secretary-General Disappointed At Cancellation of Meeting to Establish Sudan National Dialogue 4th April 2015, All Africa

  • The NCP and allied parties decision to not attend the national dialogue meetings has resulted in disanointed reactions from the international community. The United Nations Secretary-General has expressed his disappointment in Al-Bashir's party not to cooperate in the national dialogue.
  • Ban Ki-moon explained that the dialogue was in place to address fundamental problems in Sudanese society in an attempt to achieve longstanding peace and a fair election. The dialogue was a crucial part in resolving tensions between political parties and a single hope of addressing the oppressive regime of the NCP.
  • The secretary-general further emphasized that the dialogue which is inclusive and officiated should be reorganized and encouraged the contracting parties to engage in the talks. Ban Ki-moon praised the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) for its efforts in creating a cooperative environment where negotiations can take place. 

TV publisher fired from pro-government TV station
Domestic Media

Sudanese pro-government TV station swiftly fires producer over Yemen factory report 4th April 2015, Sudan Tribune

  • Ashorooq TV, a supporter of the NCP, aired a report this week revealing an attack on a dairy factory in Yemen Hodeida port resulting in multiple civilian deaths. In reaction to this the producer responsible for publishing the report was fired.
  • The responsibility of the attack is still undetermined with sources conflicting between the Saudi military coalition and rockets from a local army base being to blame for the deaths.
  • The publisher, Asim Muhammad Ali, was accused of being unprofessional in releasing the report. The media report was based on a Reuter’s article which is credited as a reliable source in many of the TV stations reports.
  • Sources from the newspaper have attributed his dismissal to the governments believe that this report undermined their support of the military campaign in Yemen.
  • President Al-Bashir released a statement this week explaining that their participation in the Saudi led strike is symbolic to protect the Two Holy Mosques and will result in economic gains.

Increased displacement in Jebel Marra
Independent Media

26,000 now displaced in Jebel Marra, Central Darfur 6th April 2015, Dabanga Radio

  • The Sudanese Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) has released a report which approximates that 26,000 people have left Jebel Marra region in Central Darfur. These displaced populations have sought refuge in Fanaga Suk, Niskam, Abonga and Warra neighbouring villages. 
  • This is a reoccurring issue for the area. Earlier in the year UN Humanitarian Office (OCHA) released a report explaining that armed groups had pushed civilians out of the villages.
  • The OCHA gathered reports from HAC, Sudanese Red Cross and humanitarian groups who had seen a desperate need for food, emergency shelter, medical services and household supplies. Another key aspect which makes the access to aid problematic and only possible through North Darfur.
  • Recently the displaced numbers increased from inter-tribal fighting in South Darfur's Buram area. These refugees have settled in Katila where aid agencies are attempting to direct aid to this area. 

Renewed pledge from opposition groups for election boycott in April
Domestic Media

Sudan: Opposition Forces Renew Call to Boycott April Elections 6th April 2015, All Africa

  • Sudan Call and coalition of Sudanese oppositional parties have expressed their support for an election boycott in April.
  • On April 6th the Sudan Call forces held a commemorative service for the 30th anniversary of the 1985 popular uprising which ended General Jafar Numiri's rule.
  • The rejection of a national dialogue has increased tensions between the NCP and opposition forces is attributed to the African Unions pre-dialogue meetings which failed to agree to a negotiated settlement.
  • Through the NCP's rejection to sit down with opposition parties Sudanese population believe they are progressing towards increased violence and need for humanitarian aid.
  • The Sudan Call group supported nonviolent protests and boycotts of the upcoming election to recognize the fraudulent elections.
  • The National Umma Party (NUP) one of the most respected political parties in Africa accused the NCP of corrupting local officials to ensure the reflection of Al-Bashir.
  • With less than a week left until the elections the coalition forces have expressed their intent to increase the efforts to resist the April elections. 

Commissioner of Rashad has blamed anti-election groups for disturbing society
Independent Media

Anti-election campaign scares population of South Kordofan 8th April 2015, Radio Dabanga

  • The anti-election movement in Rashad locality has been accused of terrifying the population by the commissioner of the area. The announcement comes after the election has been postponed in several localities were there are security risks. 
  • Continued fighting in these areas has increased the displaced population travelling north to Um Rawaba
  • This displaced has been attributed to local opposition groups calling for an elections boycott by the commissioner of Rasahad.
  • The population of the unsecure localities have been warned to take precaution on the elections date due to the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) signing agreement declaring an attack on polling stations in Aby Karshola.
  • The statement was issue don Monday which led thousands of people to leave the area. 
  • Seven of the voting constituencies will conduct the election at a later date. This postponing was announced by the National Elections Committee (NEC) on Monday. 
  • There has been an exodus of 13,000 villagers from El Abbasiya locality. Including secondary school students who have missed their final examinations to complete the academic year
  • The Sudanese Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) released a report detailing that 98% of the 13,000 people who fled on 28 March have returned to their homes.
  • The exodus have been attributed to the fighting between government and rebel forces where the fighting occupied large civilian spaces.
  • The Sudanese government have released 10.8 tonnes of food to Habila region but remain unresponsive to emergency shelter, medical supplies and mechanisms to recreate the capacity for individuals to provide for themselves. 

President Al-Bashir denounces Darfur’s need for peacekeeping mission
Domestic Media

Bashir says Darfur does not need peacekeepers 9th April 2015, Sudan Tribune

  • In a recent statement this week president Al-Bashir declared that the peacekeeping work being monitoring by UNAMIS is no longer needed in Darfur. 
  • The Sudanese government have become stronger critics of the peacekeeping force and its ability to effectively resolve humanitarian issues in the region.
  • The remark comes after Sudan’s hostility towards the UN's push for an investigation into the strong military presence in the village. In effect of this Sudan refused to allow the UN to conduct any further investigations but rather put their efforts into concluding an agreement of an exit strategy for the peacekeeping force.
  • El-Bashir hosted an elections rally for Al-Bashir on Wednesday expressed his remorse of the deaths of civilians caught up in tribal warfare occupying north Darfur state. Al-Bashir attributed this conflict to the tribe’s objective to cause insecurity in the area and disrupt the election process. 
  • President Al-Bashir pledged for darfurians to return to the old days of society and that the local mechanisms for destruction and violence in society is direct correlation to education in the United States. He pushed the people to question their need of western aid groups such as UNAMIS, UN, AU, and IGAD.
  • The UNAMIS mission has been in place since 2008 after a government campaign on the Darfur area in 2003 which resulted in the deaths of 300,000 people with 3 million displaced.
  • UNAMIS is the second largest peacekeeping force with an annual budget of 1.35$ billion.
  • Al-Bashir also deterred the population away from believing other African leaders support for peace in the area. 
  • The main theme in his presidential speech was attributing the lack of development, the violence and corruption in society to rebel activities which will be dealt with adequately in the near future. 

Militiamen continue to attack displacement camps in North Darfur
Domestic Media

Sudan: Gang-Rape, Beatings, Robberies in Kutum, North Darfur 7th April 2015, All Africa

  • Increased violence in the displacement camps has been reported in the run up to the elections. In the Kassab camp, located in Kutum, a 15 year old girl was raped by a group of militiamen along with two separate incidents involving robbery and beatings as well.
  • In the attack the militiamen also stole a government minister of health van from Kutum Hospital.
  • A camp activist explained that militiamen riding camels and pursued to attack 4 young women who 5 km out of the camp were looking for firewood.
  • The victims were badly beaten and required medical attention and were effected mentally as well.
  • The source appeals to international humanitarian groups to organize sufficient aid of shelter, medical and food to these areas. The representative also pointed out that women needed to be integrated into the society through small business projects. 

Sudan Tribune Analysis of elections

Dr, Mahmoud A. Suleiman is an author, columnist and a blogger. He offers a unique opinion into the upcoming elections and the effect it could have on Al-Bashir's presidency. Suleiman looks at the elections relevance to Al-Bashir's ICC arrest and guarantee of his position.

Independent Media NCP April elections nothing but grabbing non-existent legitimacy 7th April 2015, Sudan Tribune

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