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Media barred from Sudan theatre auction sale

March 8 - 2017 KASSALA
Protest against the sale of a theatre in Kassala takes place on the street of Omdurman on 5 March 2017 (RD)
Protest against the sale of a theatre in Kassala takes place on the street of Omdurman on 5 March 2017 (RD)

All media, including employees of the official state media, were barred from the auction hall designated for the sale of the Tajoj Theatre in Kassala on Monday.

Journalists intent of covering the controversial sale, told Radio Dabanga that they were expelled by Kassala state authorities.

In a statement following the auction, the Ministry of Culture and Information confirmed that a sale had been reached, however, the Ministry did not reveal the name of the buyer, or the price bid. Sources in Kassala said that six bidders entered the auction room.

Deep sadness

The dramatists’ union in Kassala expressed deep sadness at the sale of the theatre and pointed to the continued efforts for the issuance of a sovereign decision to stop the sale.

Haroun Merghani, the head of the dramatists’ union told Radio Dabanga that the dramatists had a meeting with the Governor of Kassala on the same issue on Tuesday evening.

He downplayed the state government’s justifications for the theatre sale which holds historical value and should be available for rehabilitation and renovation because of its large capacity, distinct location next to Kassala Stadium surrounded by a number of hotels, sport clubs and the public station that links 17 districts of Kassala.

The Commissioner of Kassala said that the theatre is “an evil den” and an alternative National Theatre will be built with the money from the sale.

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