♦ Sudan: This week’s news in brief ♦

A compact digest of the past week’s most-read highlights, from the heart of Sudan.

Waterfall in Jebel Marra, Central Darfur (Yousif Bilal/UNAMID)

A compact digest of the past week's most-read highlights, from the heart of Sudan. Subscribe to receive this digest weekly in your inbox.

Illegal logging, charcoal burning, and gum tapping threatens Sudan’s woodlands
November 29 – 2022 DELLING / ZALINGEI The environmental dangers of deforestation in Sudan have been highlighted by experts. Yet, not much has been done in practice to protect woodlands and forests. Those supposed to enforce legislation, such as the army and local governments, reportedly benefit from illegal logging and charcoal trade.

The economic crisis and military practices responsible for rising fuel prices are making many more Sudanese dependent on wood and charcoal but illegal deforestation and charcoal production lead to significant environmental degradation. According to scientists, tree density has gone down in Central Darfur from 400 trees per hectare in 1998 to 27 trees per hectare in 2016 and things have not improved since. Next to inaction and corruption in government officers, people also mention the role of the military in cutting trees.

Sudan's long-awaited framework agreement signed between military and civilian bodies
December 6 – 2022 KHARTOUM More than 40 parties, movements, and professional groups signed the long-awaited political framework agreement with the military junta at the Republican Palace in Khartoum. The framework agreement stipulates full civilian authority at all levels, and a Security and Defence Council headed by the Prime Minister. The agreement also puts "emphasis on one national professional army”.
Five important contentious issues still have to be discussed further as there are differing opinions within the coalition. The outcomes will be laid down in a ‘final agreement’ which is expected to be reached at the end of this December. Members of the resistance committees and other activist groups marched in Khartoum to protest the signing of the agreement with the military junta.

El Burhan calls on political parties to exit alongside military, Hemeti calls coup 'political mistake'
December 6 – 2022 KHARTOUM Chairman of the Sovereignty Council and military leader Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan said that “the military’s final exit from the political process must be accompanied by the exit of the political parties from participating in the government of the transitional period”. Deputy Chairman Mohamed ‘Hemeti’ Dagalo surprisingly called the coup ‘a mistake’.
Demonstrations planned in Khartoum as FFC signs deal with Sudan's military junta
December 5 – 2022 KHARTOUM The Forces for Freedom and Change-Central Council (FFC-CC) confirmed on Sunday that it has agreed to sign the first phase of a political framework agreement at the Republican Palace in Khartoum at 10:30, meanwhile demonstrations against the deal are set to take place in the Sudanese capital.
RPG attack on Sudan’s Balila oil field
December 4 – 2022 BALILA OIL FIELD Sudan’s Oil Workers Association reports that a number of rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) fell in Block 6 of the Balila oil field in West Kordofan on Thursday evening, in a new incident of sabotage targeting the Sudanese oil infrastructure.
16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence in Sudan
December 2 – 2022 KHARTOUM / EL FASHER / BELEIL Activities have been taking place in Sudan as part of the annual international 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) since November 25, with calls for extra focus on the position of displaced women. The No to Women's Oppression Initiative commenced its part of the international campaign with various activities.
FFC-military agreement to be signed tomorrow, Sudan hold-out rebels fear military power
December 2 – 2022 KHARTOUM / JUBA The signing of the ‘framework agreement’ between the Sudanese military and the Forces for Freedom and Change-Central Council (FFC-CC) and other civilian groups has reportedly been scheduled for Saturday. The Trilateral Mechanism spoke with hold-out rebel movements in Juba in the hope to involve them in the agreement.
Sudan govt not invited to US-Africa summit
December 1 – 2022 WASHINGTON DC The White House has declined to invite Sudan, Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso, to the US-Africa Leaders Summit, to be held in Washington DC from December 13 to 15. The Biden administration, hosting the summit, has invited the head of the African Union, as well as 49 African heads of state. The US does intend to engage with civil society organisations in those countries.
UN Security Council assesses 'deteriorating' situation in North Darfur
November 30 – 2022 EL FASHER / SARAF OMRA / UM HOSH / TABIT / SHANGIL TOBAYA / EL DAEIN A delegation of the UN Security Council Committee of Experts arrived in the capital of North Darfur, El Fasher, on Monday afternoon, meanwhile, people in the Darfur region complain of highway robberies, the destruction of crops by herders, deterioration of health services, and sexual violence.
Tear gas launchers filled with stones by Sudan police kill protesters
November 29 – 2022 KHARTOUM / OMDURMAN The United Doctors Office and the Emergency Lawyers condemned the police forces' use of a kind of launching weapon loaded with stones or glass that they shoot from a close range, which killed two young demonstrators in Omdurman last week.
Sudan's FFC hold 'crucial meeting' on agreement with military junta
November 25 – 2022 KHARTOUM A meeting to prepare a draft framework agreement to present to Sudan’s military junta will take place before the end of the week, the spokesperson for the Forces for Freedom and Change-Central Council (FFC-CC), El Wasig El Bereir, told Radio Dabanga this week.
Drug abuse among eastern Sudan's youth reaches 'unprecedented' levels
November 25 – 2022 KASSALA Lu’ay Osman, head of the Kassala department of the National Campaign to Combat Drugs (NCCD), told Radio Dabanga that Kassala has witnessed an “alarming increase” in drug abuse among young people in the state, especially crystal meth, aka ‘ice’.