Comment: ‘War puts Sudan journalists under disproportionate pressure’

Sudanese Media: Four Months of Violations | Summary

Journalists and media professionals have suffered disproportionately from violations and displacement since the start of the current Sudan conflict, and are often ‘classified’ according to their views on the conflict, a prominent Sudanese broadcaster says in response to questions from Dabanga News regarding the joint statement on Monday by 17 Sudanese media institutions and press organisations, including Dabanga Radio TV Online, highlighting the critical state of press freedom in Sudan.

The situation on the ground in Sudan makes it nearly impossible for the public to access information in the absence of newspapers and other professional news sources. A respected political analyst laments that the ongoing conflict exposes journalists to hostilities and disputes by both parties to the conflict, while journalists lament “the proliferation of disinformation and propaganda” in the absence of professional news sources.

Sudanese radio broadcaster Hala Hamed says that journalists have suffered exceptionally since the outbreak of the war. “Many have been displaced from Khartoum to the states, which makes it difficult or impossible to access information and data”, she told Dabanga, adding that journalists faced violations, detentions, and harassment in the performance of their work, and are “classified according to their views on the war”.

‘Curbs on press freedom in Sudan have been inconsistent with the media’s basic role to reveal facts and highlight failures’ – Abdelrahman Eisa, political analyst

Hamed’s sentiments are echoed by political analyst Abderahman Eisa who laments that “that the media in Sudan has faced great challenges during and after the revolution”. Curbs on press freedom “have been inconsistent with the media’s basic role to reveal facts and highlight failures”, he told Dabanga.

Eisa acknowledges that “the current conflict now exposes journalists to hostilities and disputes by both parties. This leads to the obfuscation of many facts about the war, which results in ambiguity and confusion about the situation among the Sudanese public.”

Journalist Idris Shaker comments that securing and safeguarding the right of journalists to obtain information is the main factor in the work of press institutions. “It is an indicator of press freedom,” he told Dabanga.

‘This abnormal situation leads to the proliferation of alternative media, where most of the information is false disinformation and propaganda generated by both parties’ – Idris Shaker, journalist

Shaker points out that “the failure of [both] warring parties to abide by international law in preserving the safety and lives of journalists, and enabling them to perform their work and duties, puts professional journalists and media outlets under immense pressure”.

He adds this “abnormal situation” leads to the proliferation of “alternative media”, where “most of the information is false disinformation and propaganda generated by both parties”.


The Sudan Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces previously responded to questions on the statement by Dabanga News. According to the spokesperson for the SAF, Brig Gen Nabil Abdallah, “The SAF, as a national and regular institution, supports the rights and freedoms guaranteed to media professionals in performing their media mission, ensuring that they are not subjected to any harassment, and allowing them to perform their role within the limits of what security conditions allow, and what the requirements of Sudanese national security allow”.

Gen Abdallah added: “We [the SAF] are in favour of media institutions playing their neutral media role, that does not take sides with falsehood or a specific party.”


Yousef Ezzat, political advisor to the RSF commander, Lt Gen Mohamed ‘Hemedti’ Dagalo, responded that the RSF welcomed the joint statement by media institutions. He assured Dabanga News of the RSF’s readiness to allow any local or foreign media outlet to enter their areas of control.

However, at the same time, he said that journalists would only be allowed into areas under RSF control if the RSF is notified in advance, explaining the need for “the RSF to fully coordinate with journalists and ensure that they are provided with protection to carry out coverage in the areas under its control”.

Joint statement

The joint statement Sudanese Media: Four Months of Violations, collaboratively produced by a number of media organisations in Sudan, represents a unified effort by independent media institutions and press organisations to address the critical state of press freedom in Sudan amidst an ongoing and devastating conflict. Spanning the period from April 15 to August 15, the statement emphasises the perilous situation faced by Sudanese journalists who have become collateral victims caught between opposing factions.

The joint statement “stands as a comprehensive plea to safeguard the role of journalism in crisis reporting, hold perpetrators accountable, and work towards a future where media remains a cornerstone of a democratic Sudanese society,” the signatories say.