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April 21-28, 2015

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

1. Darfur conflict
Independent Media                                           

Heavy clashes reported between Sudan government forces and rebels in Darfur 

27th April 2015, Star Africa

  • Sudan Government and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) led by the rebel groups engaged in conflict in Darfur earlier this week. Two contrasting recollections and perspectives of the conflict have emerged with both group claiming they were victorious.
  • JEM leaders claimed they had secured Tulus in South Darfur and controlled main areas in South and West Darfur. The leadership anticipated that more attacks would be launched in the coming days against government authorities.
  • The JEM forces reported they had caused multiple deaths to the government forces and captured resources to aid their campaign.
  • The government has released statements which explained the Sudanese army forced the rebels to give up on their campaign and secured Darfur.
  • The government expressed strong gains of: rebel automobiles, reducing the rebel reserves, resources of the rebel groups and secured the area as they retreated.
  • The two accounts show a deep divide in society between the re-elected government forces and rebels who have strengthened their campaign against Al-Bashir’s genocidal regime.
Domestic media

Sudan’s Bashir re-election condemns Darfur to more suffering 
28th April 2015, the Telegraph

  • The interview identifies the struggle of populations in Jebel Marra to find adequate resources and shelter from the government aerial bombings.
  • After the announcement of Al-Bashir’s re-election winning 323 of 426 of the parliamentary seats.
  • The re-election of al-Bashir is a reminder that the president who has been in charge since 1898 continues to oppress the populations and subject them to violence by government forces.
  • The brutality which resulted in the genocide of Darfur over oil shares being sold to modernize the Nile communities to aid pan-Arabism in international politics.
  • The terrain of the Nuba Mountains in Jebel Marra has attributed the rebel strong hold which occupies this area.

2. Darfur: UN and AU positions
Independent Media

Unamid denies killing civilians in South Darfur 
24th April 2015, Dabanga Radio

  • UN and AU authorities confirmed this week that four civilians were killed by peacekeepers in Darfur.  The South Darfur local officials have contested this, commenting that six civilians or more were implicated in the incidents on Thursday and Friday in Kass.
  • Sudanese police have taken custody of the bodies of the deceased, after a gun fight developed in the village between unknown attackers and UN-AU mission.
  • The unknown groups attacked the peacekeepers as they were guarding water resources. The second incident was an ambush on a Unamid patrol.
  • South Darfur authorities have expressed their knowledge that the Unamid peacekeepers did not identify these unknown men but opened fire on civilians.
  • Multiple reports and versions of these events have been released to the local media. A clear concise description of events has not been reached so far.

Western countries discuss Sudanese crises in Berlin 
27th April 2015, Dabanga Radio

  • Major western powers sent delegations to Berlin to discuss the extension of Al-Bashir’s presidency and his party’s refusal to hold negotiations to prepare for a National Dialogue with opposition parties.
  • Al-Bashir’s government who were re-elected with 94% of the vote have been classed as a defacto government by western powers. African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) were present and are active players in trying to negotiate a new framework to resolve the issues in Sudan.
  • President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa has been designated by the AU to mediate the national dialogue, with primary interests be geared towards resolving human rights violations and restoring fundamental freedoms for the Sudanese population.
  • The main priority of these international bodies is to organize a successful negotiation between Sudanese opposition parties and the National Congress Party. These negotiations are in hope to secure an AU peace and Security Council resolution based on the Chapter VII of the UN charter.

Erroneous accounts on South Darfur clashes misinform Sudan’: Unamid 
26th April 2015, Dabanga Radio

  • UNAMIR have released a statement on the countered versions of the attacks which took place this week in Kass, South Darfur. They have explained that the opposition groups have used propaganda to support the Sudanese government’s hostile attitudes towards the peacekeeping mission.
  • The mission statement released this weekend  by UNAMIR, stated that the peacekeepers had responded adequately and in their mandate with the goal of preventing an escalation of violence or vulnerability of civilians.
  • The counter arguments have developed further tensions between western international groups and Sudanese authority.

AU stresses need to investigate attacks on UNAMID in Darfur 
28th April 2015, Dabanga Radio

  • Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairwomen of the Commissioner of the African Union released a press statement to address the concern of attacks on UNAMID peacekeeping mission in Darfur.
  • The chairwomen announced that the AU would cooperate with Sudanese government to create stabilization, preventing incidents like this from developing again.
  • This event has strengthened the census that UNAMID have created more tension in between rival groups and that local populations are not collaborative with these forces.
  • The UNAMID program has been under revision and an exit plan has been negotiated for 15,000 peacekeepers to leave Sudan by the end of 2015.

3. Food aid
Independent Media

WFP Sudan receives large US food contribution 
21st April 2015, Radio Dabanga

  • A contribution of 135$ million in food relief has been donated to the UN World Food Program (WFP) by the United States Agency of International Development (USAID) due to limited agricultural opportunities.
  • The USAID contributed key stables of Sudanese diet to be donated during May to compensate for limited food resources.
  • The contribution was welcomed by WFP leader Adnan Khan who emphasized the necessity of international bodies recognizing the needs of the displaced populations in Sudan in their relief agenda.
  • The relief is too be distributed amongst insecure localities across the country. The WFP have extended their program to target the schools which educated half a million in Darfur and 262,000 in central and east Sudan with food programs.
  • The food will be distributed through direct food assistance; cash vouchers; and nutrition programs to create a society like infrastructure and educating the populations.
  • Since the WFP program was initiated in Sudan the USA have donated US$626 million in relief and emergency aid since 2011.

4. Human trafficking on Sudanese-Ethiopian border
Independent Media

Army officers charged with human trafficking in eastern Sudan 
28 April 2015, Dabanga Radio

  • Alarming reports of human trafficking have been reported in the eastern regions of Sudan.
  • Two officers have been arrested in Jebel Um Dorar region bordering Ethiopia. 63 Ethiopians were found hiding under military automobiles.
  • The police have started an investigation. This follows the reports of mass rape earlier this year to add to the list of human rights violations committed in Al-Bashir’s Sudan.

5. Al-Bashir comments on election results
Independent Media

Sudan’s Bashir says he is shouldering greater burden after electoral win 
27th April 2015, Sudan Tribune

  • The president announced, at the National Congress Party headquarters, that the new election has bought new responsibility.
  • He discussed the elections and international concern of lower voter turnout and transparency.
  • Al-Bashir was adamant in reasserting that Sudan had demonstrated ‘ethics’ and ‘integrity’ to the western world.
  • Al-Bashir commented on oppositions groups earlier press release detailing that Al-Bashir’s re-election would bring a surprise. The president responded with a comment on the Sudanese army seizure of rebel armed vehicles from clashes in the south this week.  
  • The president commented that he respected the opposition’s boycott of the election as their democratic freedom but that he would not see any other instructions from any other leader.
  • The opposition committed to a boycott due to the limits on free media and civil society which prevented a transparent election from taking place.
  • The SPLM-N deputy chairman Abdel Aziz Helu commented that the elections were fake and the 40% voter turnout demonstrates the illegitimacy of Al-Bashir. The SPLM-N have been a key force in mobilizing opposition efforts.
  • The SPLM-N commented that the boycott had been a success and a step towards overthrowing the regime.
  • The Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM), European Union United States, Britain and Norway have all stated their position of not recognizing the election result as legitimate.

6. International community responds to Al-Bashir’s re-election
Domestic Media

Bashir receives congratulations from world leaders on his election victory 
28th April 2015, Sudan Tribune

  • Several international leaders have come out in support for the Al-Bashir’s re-election. The government run SUNA news agency commented that president received congratulations from: the Egyptian president, Saudi royalty and officials, Ethiopian prime minister and Qatar officials; Chinese present.
  • As well as congratulating him on the re-election, Al-Bashir was praised by Saudi Crown Prince MugurinBin Abdel-Aziz for his victories against the rebels this week.
  • Chinese president commented on the victory, expressing an intent to strengthen economic ties between the two countries.
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