Sudan Group: ‘Closure of Hurriyat result of growing link between Khartoum, international community’
The Sudan Democracy First Group (SDFG) has expressed its concern about the suspension of the Hurriyat online newspaper last week. It considers the withdrawal of donors the result of the international community’s ‘new strategy’ to support the Sudanese government.
The Kampala-based Sudanese opposition think-tank said in a statement this morning that the international community is currently supporting the consolidation of the status quo in Sudan – “which requires the suspension of all resources and funds available to opponents of the de facto government in Khartoum”.
Sudanese civil and political circles and those concerned with the country were shocked by the news that the management of Hurriyat [meaning: freedoms] decided to stop publishing the online newspaper because of a lack of funding, the SDFG stated. It pointed as well to recent suspension of Afiyat Darfur Radio for the same reason, and the “dwindling of support from donors” for Radio Dabanga.
“It became obvious to many observers that the international community is advocating a set of policies of engagement that call for the consolidation of the status quo” - Sudan Democracy First Group
According to SDFG, “the diminishing of donors’ support to democratic and independent Sudanese civil societies and media outlets such as Hurriyat” is an indication of the international community’s “new strategy of engagement with the government of Sudan that has little to do with freedoms, democratic transition, peace, good governance and the rule of law.
“It became obvious to many observers, especially Sudanese, that the international community is advocating a set of policies of engagement that call for the consolidation of the status quo which requires the suspension of all resources and funds available to opponents of the de facto government in Khartoum and the new strategy of engagement of the international community,” the Group claims.
SDFG lauds the pivotal role Hurriyat has played –since its establishment in 2010– in uncovering and exposing corruption in Sudan. “Moreover, Hurriyat championed in the publication of news and stories banned by the security apparatus inside Sudan, such as news about the marginalised areas, the violation of human rights, the displaced and refugees.
“Hurriyat provided a free platform for all opinions and different school of thoughts in Sudan and succeeded in becoming a credible news and media outlet. As such, the suspension of Hurriyat publication will certainly have a negative impact in the efforts of positive change in Sudan.”
SDFG therefore calls on “all Sudanese civil and political organisations and groups interested in Sudanese affairs” to organise a campaign to support the re-publication of the newspaper.
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