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April 7-16, 2015

Domestic Media Monitoring Report for Sudan
Posted on April 20, 2015

Attacks on civilians
Domestic Media

Sudanese warplanes kill 14 civilians in Central Darfur
7th April 2015, Sudan Tribune

  • Sudanese army attacks on civilian populations have resulted in the deaths of 14 civilians. The UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric confirmed the attack in Central Darfur last week. 
  • The UNAMID mission have confirmed a serious of governmental attack on civilians which have resulted in large casualties and destruction to the area. UNAMID authorities have monitored the continued raids and intensification of them in the run up to the elections. 
  • The UN have strongly condemned the aerial bombings carried out by Sudanese armed forces. The UNAMID peacekeeping force has seen this have major effects on displaced populations and limiting Ressources in the area. 
  • The EU confirmed that about 31,800 people are currently displaced due to this violence.  

Juba seeks foreign intervention over air attack by Sudan
12th April 2015, Sudan Tribune

  • Sudanese air attacks on South Sudan's territory have pushed the government to seek regional and continental intervention to protect their territory.
  • The foreign affairs minister, Barnaa Marial Benjamin, expressed that his country was in desperate need of foreign assistance to protect themselves from the aggression of the Sudanese government. This intervention was seen as necessary to preventing hostile relations developing with its northern neighbour.
  • The attack was centralized in the western and northern Bahr el Ghazal states which caused multiple civilian deaths.
  • The Sudanese government have not confirmed their involvement in these attacks. These attacks have become a common occurrence in south Sudan’s society. The Sudanese government have previously blamed the attack on rebel groups who have threatened their power in Sudan. 
  • A cooperation agreement signed in 2012 specified that non-aggressive methods would be employed to resolve tensions between the two countries. Marial expressed that due to this violation of this agreement the African Union (AU) had to stage immediate intervention to resolve the tension.
  • Marial further stated that his government would not resort to violent methods to resolve these issues due to their commitment to the security deal signed in 2012 designed to developed collaboration between the two countries.
  • However, the long standing history of accusations between the two countries complicate understanding of each of their involvement in encouraging local rebel groups. 

Elections
Domestic and Diaspora Media

EU announces it will not monitor Sudanese elections
9th April 2015, Sudan Tribune

  • The European Union have stated that they will not send a team to monitor the electoral process in Sudan’s general election. 
  • The Arab league and African union have both committed election monitor teams to be deployed despite major boycotting by oppositional parties. 
  • EU representative of foreign affairs and security affairs and vice president of the commission, Federica Mogherini, related the opposition boycott to Al-Bashir’s boycott of national dialogue process earlier this year. 
  • Mogherini stated that the EU gives its support to political, military and civil opposition groups who were willing to participate in these dialogues. 
  • The monopoly of the elections has become evident in recent weeks, despite the NCP vowing to not contest in 30% of the constituencies to allow access for other parties to claim seats. 
  • The EU's refusal to send election monitoring teams is in opposition to their disappointment of the al-Bashir government to engage in national dialogue talks as well as their believe that there is no way of achieving a fair equal election environment in Sudan.  

Sudan election: national security bans ‘anti-election’ reporting
30th March 2015, Radio Tamazuj

  • The local source has reported that the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) have banned anti-election reporting from media based in Khartoum. 
  • A source informed the radio station that all chief staff at the newspapers had received threatening order before the elections to not report on anti-election stories or report low turnout at polling stations. 
  • The newspapers were threatened with confiscation by the security agents if they violated these orders. 
  • The NISS's increased censorship has escalate in the run up to the elections, with many media outlets being seized in recent weeks.  

Sudanese Umma Party Organizes Sit-in against Election
13h April 2015, Radio Dabanga (Diaspora)

  • In the rise of anti-election movements the National Umma Party (NUP) organized a sit in at the Omdurman headquarters. The security forces contained Wad Nubawi neighbourhood where they prevented supporters of the boycott from joining the protest. 
  • A large number of activist attended the event with key figures of opposition movements attending: Faroug Abu Eisa, head of the National Consensus Forces (NCF, a coalition of opposition parties), Dr Amin Mekki Madani, chairman of the Civil Society Initiative, and Farah El Agar, legal consultant of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N)
  • These members attended the event after they were detained for four months by government security forces for signing the Sudan Appeal coalition which has been advocating for regime change. 
  • Malik Agar head of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) a key individual involved in the Sudan Appeal negotiations called on the youth of Sudan to protest this authoritative rule. 
  • He continued to express that he believed the best solution to tackle the problems in Sudans society was for the rule of president Al-Bashir to end.  

Sudan: African Center Concerned About Sudanese Activists Safety
April 15, 2015, Radio Dabanga (Diaspora)

  • A key member of the National Umma Party, Dr. Sandra Faroug Kodouda was detained on Sunday by an unknown group.
  • The African Center for Justice and Peace studies (ACJPS) have expressed their concern at her disappearance and lack of knowledge about her whereabouts.
  • When the disappearance happened Kodouda was talking on the phone to a friend who overheard the unknown men refusing to show their identification and instructing her to cancel the call.
  • Koudouda's family has filed a criminal case with the Omdurman Central Police Station with the suspicion of kidnapping. The family also appealed to the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) in Khartoum who had no indication of information on Koudouda's disappearance.
  • When Dr. Kodouda was kidnapped she was on her way to an anti-election sit in at the headquarters of the National Umma Party, who have been a large supporter of an election boycott. Kodouda has been involved in peaceful protest against President Al-Bashir’s power in Sudan.
  • The ACJPS expressed their concern that due to health issues it is essential the Sudanese authorities take the necessary measures in investigating her disappearance and ensure she has access to lawyers, doctor and relatives.
  • In the weekend before the elections there were multiple disappearances reported and reports of the NISS detaining anti-election activist.
  • Selma Adam Bineya an important figure in Sudan Liberation Movement was taken from her how to an unknown location. Her disappearance is in conjunction with the detaining of university professors and students and members of opposition party Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N). 

Sudan: African Center Concerned About Sudanese Activists Safety
14th April 2015, Radio Dabanga

  • A key member of the National Umma Party, Dr. Sandra Faroug Kodouda was detained on Sunday by an unknown group. 
  • The African Center for Justice and Peace studies (ACJPS) have expressed their concern at her disappearance and lack of knowledge about her whereabouts. 
  • When the disappearance happened Kodouda was talking on the phone to a friend who overheard the unknown men refusing to show their identification and instructing her to cancel the call. 
  • Koudouda's family has filed a criminal case with the Omdurman Central Police Station with the suspicion of kidnapping. The family also appealed to the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) in Khartoum who had no indication of information on Koudouda's disappearance. 
  • When Dr. Kodouda was kidnapped she was on her way to an anti-election sit in at the headquarters of the National Umma Party, who have been a large supporter of an election boycott. Kodouda has been involved in peaceful protest against President Al-Bashir’s power in Sudan. 
  • The ACJPS expressed their concern that due to health issues it is essential the Sudanese authorities take the necessary measures in investigating her disappearance and ensure she has access to lawyers, doctor and relatives. 
  • In the weekend before the elections there were multiple disappearances reported and reports of the NISS detaining anti-election activist. 
  • Selma Adam Bineya an important figure in Sudan Liberation Movement was taken from her how to an unknown location. Her disappearance is in conjunction with the detaining of university professors and students and members of opposition party Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N).  

Five polling centres close in Central Darfur’s Garsila
15th April 2015, Radio Dabanga

  • 16 polling stations in Garsila, Wadi Salih locality have been closed due to the delay of voting material, the National Election Commission (NEC) announced on Tuesday. 
  • Spokesperson for the NEC El Hadi Mohammed Ahmed reported that only 160 polling stations in 18 states have experienced logistical problems. 
  • Due to rebel group activity and the postponing of elections in certain constancies the NEC have turned to security aid to air lift the voting materials into these areas. 
  • The second day witnessed a poor turnout with the majority of the country boycotting the elections, therefor the NEC extended the voting times in an attempt to attract greater populations

20 South Darfuris detained for refusing to vote
15th April 2015, Radio Dabanga

  • In the South Darfur region of Gireida civilians have refused to participate in the election. The security forces had been making rounds in the local villages forcing people to participate in the election. 
  • Family of the detained have explained that the individuals, mostly female, were told to move from the Zakat Chamber, were they were applying for financial aid, to the polling station and cast their vote in favor of Al-Bashir. 
  • Included in the group were several displaced women and men who were then housed in separate prison facilities across the locality. 
  • The witnesses of the event said that the security forces perused their cohesive activities through methods of violence in the town. The use of violence to coerce people to vote for a particular party is a phenomenon used in the 2010 elections. 
  • This story comes simultaneously with reports that security officers of the National Congress Party (NCP) have also attempted to force people in the Kutum region to leave their premises and cast their ballot. 
  • The local populations in the majority of principalities are boycotting the elections in recognition of Al-Bashir’s illegitimate rule.

AU panel finds credible elections not possible in Sudan in current climate
14th April 2015, Sudan Tribune

  • The African Union have condemned the legitimacy of the Sudanese election after evaluations were carried out by the continental organization. Consequently there will be no elections monitoring team sent to Sudan. 
  • The AU panel who released the statement this week described the political environment as restricted with the elections being monopolized by Al-Bashir. This also included ignoring important issues which are effecting civilian populations in the region 
  • The report emphasized the restive measures put in place by the NISS in recent weeks. The report was generated from interviews with top international governing bodies, the election commission in Sudan as well as representative of political groups in Sudan. 
  • Al-Bashir’s government was held responsible for the restricted environment and security measures which have created violence. 
  • The decision to not send an election monitoring team was arrived when it was projected that no democratic free election would arise from this intervention. 
  • The AU expressed their support for a national dialogue to be held and the election result be void. 
  • There has been internal dissatisfaction with this decision as rebel groups believe the AU is not using their power effectively to bring justice to the 25 year authoritative government of Al-Bashir.
  • Canadian foreign minister Rob Nicholson supported the AU and EU decision not to send election monitoring teams to Sudan to demonstrate the lack of support for the elections.
Foreign Media

Sudan: Where Elections Matter for the Wrong Reasons
9th April 2015, Huffington Post

  • The article alludes to the preparatory measures taken by al-Bashir’s government to guarantee victory in the elections. 
  • Leaked minuets from a meeting on august 31, 2014 have illuminated ploys to ensure victory for the National Congress Party (NCP).
  • In the leaked document, Ibrahim Ghandour, head of foreign relations, specified that manipulation of ballots, fraud, threat of violence and bribes were all used to create a strong consensus in voters to support the NCP. These methods seen in the 2010 election are suspected to be replicated in the elections happening now. 
  • The elections are already considered illegitimate as in three important areas of the country: Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile the election has been suspended due to violence. The violence has been geared towards disrupting the elections such as, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army-North (SPLMA-N) to demonstrate that they will not be passive in Al-Bashir’s authoritative regime. 
  • Local sources such as Dabanga radio have reported strong opposition between national security sources and opposition parties which mimic previous elections 
  • The continental authority IGAD, has announced it will send teams to monitor the elections which has been slow moving to consolidate an electoral monitoring team. The ability of the AU and IGAD to establish a sufficient team with appropriate Ressources is limited and does not offer a large consolidation to the opposition movements 
  • The elections in Sudan have slowly integrated their way into international media. The U.S. Have been a main force in ignoring the illegitimacy of these elections due to their plans to consolidate their relations with Khartoum establishing a new embassy and counter terrorism in the continent. 
  • The U.S. Plans to create a collaborative relationship with Khartoum is in hope for intelligence on counter-terrorism efforts in exchange for conciliatory relationship with Khartoum despite the large violations of human rights in the country. 
  • With support of the U.S government of the Al-Bashir regime this limits the intervention power from international community.

Declaration by the High representative on behalf of the European Union on the lack of a conductive environment for the upcoming elections in Sudan
9th April 2015, European Council

  • The European council have released a statement discussing the conducive environment in Sudan. 
  • The EU expressed their discontent at the Sudanese government’s refusal to participate in a national dialogue with the opposition parties. In October 2014, the EU council called for a solution to be found to resolve Sudans growing issues. 
  • The lack of participation in a national dialogue and refusal to cooperate, despite large support for the national dialogue, creates an environment where opposition parties and groups are excluded from society and have infringement on basic rights and privileges.
  • The circumstances the elections are being held in have been deemed illegitimate by the EU council due to the exclusion of these oppositional parties. 
  • The EU expressed their support of the African Union administration who are attempting to create negotiations between Al-Bashir and opposition parties in a hope of improving and ensuring a fair society for the Sudanese people.  

Daughter of ousted PM looks to a new future in Sudan
11th April 2015, ALJAZEERA

  • Mariam al-Saqeq al-Mahdi has held a position of opposition towards Al-Bashir’s presidency since her father, previous PM of Sudan, was arrested by National Islamic Front (NIF) intelligence agency.
  • As a key member of the National Umma Party (NUP) Mariam has been a strong figure in urging opposition parties to join the NUP in anti-election boycotts.
  • After her father was put under house arrest and escaping to Eritrea Al-Bashir simultaneously consolidated his authoritative control over society. Mariam’s father founded the military wing of the Umma party which she has developed into a strong voice in society.
  • Mariam has urged that Sudan needs to reform their leadership with Al-Bashir jeopardizing the already fragile Sudanese society. Mariam and the NUP call for a peaceful transition and involvement in a national dialogue.
  • To achieve this change in Sudanese society the NUP have supported a call for a transitional government to govern society for two to four years with a new election to be held at the end of this period. 

Sudan wraps up first day of election with low turnout
13h April 2015, ALJAZEERA

  • On Monday the first three days of the elections had been completed with large opposition from anti-election activists. 
  • The election had 13 million people registered to vote with 11,000 polling station set up around the country. The voting was slow with the majority of voters being elderly or soldiers. 
  • The main opposition had created large boycotts of the elections were 15 candidates have united to oppose President Al-Bashir’s who has held power since 1989. 
  • There has been large divide in local populations as some believe that it is impossible that this election will change the authoritarian power of Al-Bashir and others think that they have to exercise their right to vote to express what they want for their country. 
  • The elections will decide the national assembly, and the legislative council of states. The elections have guaranteed that at least 25% of these seats will be filled by women. 
  • The elections comes in conjunction with increased hostility from state armed forces and National Intelligence and Security Services. An influential figure in the National Umma Party and anti-election campaign in Irhal Mariam al-Sadeq al-Mahdi, stated that several disappearance of officials in the NUP had been recorded. 
  • Security around the elections has been escalating as armed groups have stated that they intend to interrupt the elections. 
  • The government have employed 75, 000 security and police personnel to monitor the elections. 
  • Head of the elections: Mukhtar al-Assam, explained that the elections would not take place in six South Kordofan and central Darfur areas were rebel forces had created large conflict with the government security forces. 
  • The African Union (AU), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the organisation of the Islamic Conference (OOIC) and the Arab League have formed a strong coalition in order to monitor the elections.

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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