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Sudan protests against election, security 'instructs' media

'No, no to the election'. Displaced protest in Darfur (RD)
'No, no to the election'. Displaced protest in Darfur (RD)

Thousands of displaced people in Darfur demonstrated today against the general election that will start tomorrow. In Port Sudan, hundreds of students took to streets in protest against the election. On Saturday, the Sudanese media received instructions from the National intelligence and Security Service (NISS) about election reporting.

The residents of the eight camps near Zalingei, capital of Central Darfur, the ten camps around Kabkabiya in North Darfur, Kalma camp in South Darfur, and Murnei camp in West Darfur, gathered simultaneously at the camps’ squares in peaceful protests.

They chanted slogans like “Down, down with the genocide regime”, “No to bloodshed, no to Antonovs, no to the election”, “Al Bashir to The Hague”, and “Topple, topple the military regime”.

The demonstrators submitted petitions to Unamid personnel in which they stressed their rejection of the election, and demanded the arrest and trial of Al Bashir and other government officials indicted by the International Criminal court (ICC).

Sheikh Ali Abdelrahman El Taher, head of Kalma camp, with more than 160,000 residents one of the largest camps in Darfur, called on all displaced to “boycott the election, continue protesting, and bring down the regime in Khartoum”.

Addressing the demonstrators inside the camp, he wondered “how can the displaced participate in the election of those who killed our parents and children, took over our lands, robbed us of our belongings, and caused our displacement during all these years”.  

Port Sudan

Hundreds of students of the University of Port Sudan took to the streets today in support of the anti-election Leave! campaign.

One of the protesters told Radio Dabanga that the students had gathered at the campus at 12am. “After several speeches denouncing the election and the Khartoum regime, we went to the streets in a peaceful protest.”

Media guidelines

The security apparatus in Khartoum has warned the Sudanese newspapers not to publish any criticism of the electoral process.

On Saturday, the editors-in-chief received strict instructions for covering the election. Thus, the newspapers on Sunday did not publish any reference to demonstrations, calls by the opposition to boycott the election, or polls reporting about an expected record low turn-out, in order to prevent confiscation of the copies by the NISS.

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