More violations against journalists in Sudan, biggest threat in El Geneina

A South Sudanese journalist gathering news during the swearing in of First Vice President Riek Machar in Juba on April 26, 2015. Few journalists were allowed to enter the hall (UNAMIS)

KHARTOUM / EL GENEINA – June 13, 2023

The Sudanese Journalists Syndicate (SJS) has continued to monitor violations against journalists during the war and said that the greatest threats are faced by journalists in El Geneina, West Darfur.

The secretary of the Sudanese Journalists Syndicate (SJS), Mohamed Abdelaziz, said that dozens of journalists faced abuses during the war, including threats of detention.

More than 40 violations were documented in the second half of May, Radio Dabanga reported last week, including enforced disappearances and raids.

Abdelaziz told Radio Dabanga that the Syndicate has monitored more violations against journalists in Khartoum and other cities in the past weeks.

It seems to be that the warring parties’ main goal since the outbreak of the fighting is to kill the truth, according to the secretary. “Balanced and objective coverage of the events is not benefitting either side of the fighting, and dozens of journalists were therefore threatened and detained.”

Most of the media outlets, especially paper newspapers and radio stations, were forced to stop working completely in Khartoum and other cities due to the fighting and repression.

El Geneina

The greatest threat is in Darfur, especially in El Geneina, he said.

Abdelaziz described clashes there as “extremely complex because they are not only between the army and the Rapid Support Forces but are an extension of the ethnically motivated attacks to conquer farmlands and mineral-rich lands that we have seen for years”.

“Journalists are subjected to death threats if they continue to monitor the truth and some of them have been illegally detained.”

‘Journalists are subjected to death threats’

The Dar Masalit Union previously explained that the Rapid Support Forces attacks in El Geneina are a continuation of former janjaweed* attacks.

* The RSF, established by the Al Bashir regime in August 2013, grew out of the janjaweed militant groups, largely made up of Arab herding tribesmen in Darfur. The janjaweed were armed by the Sudanese government since the war broke out in the western region in 2003, and are held responsible for the genocide against Darfuri farmers and other non-Arab/African groups.