♦ Sudan: This week’s news in brief ♦

Cartoon by Omar Dafallah, April 24 (RD)

A compact digest of the past week’s most-read highlights, from the heart of Sudan. Subscribe to receive this digest weekly in your inbox.

Sudanese de facto govt working on ‘new constitutional framework’
29/05/2024 – AMSTERDAM. According to Deputy Commander of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) Lt Gen Yasir El Atta, the de facto government in Port Sudan, capital of Red Sea state, is working on a new constitutional framework after which a new government will be announced. The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) denied rumours that it seeks to declare an independent state in western Sudan after seizing control of the North Darfur capital of El Fasher.
In an interview with Al Hadath, Gen El Atta said that “in Port Sudan, they are working hard” on a new constitutional document that is to replace the one signed by the Forces for Freedom and Change and the army in 2019. These plans, however, are entirely unconstitutional, lawyer Sati El Haj argued. “A fully-fledged Sovereignty Council, let alone its president, cannot repeal the Constitutional Document. It cannot suspend any of the provisions of the Constitutional Document or its articles.”

‘In Darfur and El Fasher, civilians are being attacked and killed because of the colour of their skin, because of their ethnicity, because of who they are’

Alice Wairimu Nderitu

UN genocide advisor briefs Security Council on ‘alarming situation’ in Sudan
24/05/2024 – NEW YORK. UN Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide Alice Wairimu Nderitu briefed the Security Council in New York on the ongoing conflict in Sudan. She said: “I would like today to raise my alarm, in a clear and unequivocal way, about the ongoing situation in Sudan.
“This situation today bears all the marks of risk of genocide, with strong allegations that this crime has already been committed. Civilians are far from protected. Civilian populations are targeted on the basis of identity. In Darfur and El Fasher, civilians are being attacked and killed because of the colour of their skin, because of their ethnicity, because of who they are. They are also targeted with hate speech and with direct incitement to violence.” She laments that the violence is not new. “In Darfur, the same groups of people were targeted on the basis of their ethnicity, twenty years ago.”

Rulings without lawyers: Sudan’s legal professionals detained
05/06/2024 – AMSTERDAM. As the war rages into its 14th month, enforced disappearances and detentions of activists, neighbourhood volunteers, and professionals, especially lawyers, continue unabated. With both warring parties accusing civilians of aligning with the opposition, the risk for those who speak out against the war is growing. Human rights defender Amir Suleiman spoke with Radio Dabanga on the impact of ‘this war with justice’.
Medicines airdropped into besieged North Darfur capital
04/06/2024 – EL FASHER. 12 people were killed in El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, on Sunday evening due to artillery shelling by the RSF, which has besieged the city. In an attempt to alleviate the severe medical shortage, the National Medical Supplies Fund airdropped medicines into the city.
UN Inter-Agency Standing Committee on Sudan: ‘The clock is ticking. The choice is clear’
02/06/2024 – NEW YORK / GENEVA / ROME / WASHINGTON D. C. Time is running out for millions of people in Sudan who are at imminent risk of famine, displaced, living under bombardments, and cut off from humanitarian assistance. The principals of the UN Inter-Agency Standing Committee lament that “if we are prevented from providing aid rapidly and at scale, more people will die”.
Former Sudan PM Hamdok confirmed as Tagadom president
31/05/2024 – ADDIS ABABA. The founding conference of the Civil Democratic Forces (Tagadom) took place in Addis Ababa from 27-30 May, resulting in the confirmation of former Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok as the coalition’s president. The organisational structure was revamped and heated discussions were held around several topics.
Airstrike sets North Darfur hospital ablaze
30/05/2024 – EL FASHER. The SAF reportedly shot down an RSF drone in El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, while the RSF continued to fire shells at multiple neighbourhoods in the city. A SAF airstrike reportedly set a hospital in Kutum on fire that day.
Sudan general confirms Red Sea base deal with Russia, strengthens ties with Iran
29/05/2024 – KHARTOUM / PORT SUDAN. Lt Gen Yasir El Atta, deputy commander of the SAF, stated that SAF Commander-in-Chief Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan signed agreements with Russia for a naval base. Sudan and Iran are also strengthening bilateral cooperation.
Kala-azar rates increase in eastern Sudan as schools stay closed
28/05/2024 – EL GEDAREF. The Minister of Health and Social Development in El Gedaref, Ahmed El Ameen, has reported a significant increase in the rate of kala-azar (visceral leishmaniasis) disease in the state. The El Gedaref government postponed the start of the school year.
Destruction of El Jeili Oil Refinery in Sudan ‘may lead to acid rain’
25/05/2024 – AMSTERDAM. The bombing of the El Jeili Oil Refinery, northeast of Khartoum, will have disastrous consequences for the environment if action is not taken immediately, experts warn. Moreover, the loss of the refinery will lead to more fuel scarcities in the country.
Sudan schools to re-open as displaced shelters face uncertain future
21/05/2024 – EL GEDAREF / KASSALA / PORT SUDAN. As Sudan schools re-open their doors and official plans are made for exams, classrooms doubling as shelters for the displaced will not be available as usual, prompting discussion over how to balance the displacement and education crises.
High-water levels in Lake Victoria may also affect White Nile in Sudan
17/05/2024 – KAMPALA. Uganda has warned of an alarming increase in the water level of Lake Victoria. Ugandan Minister of Water and Environment Sam Cheptoris told reporters that the water level of Lake Victoria has risen to its highest level. This may lead to floods in South Sudan and Sudan.