♦ Sudan: This week’s news in brief ♦

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

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

2021 budget: More money for army, less for education and health care

January 4 – 2021 KHARTOUM The leaked 2021 National Budget shows that the Sudanese government plans to increase the budget for the military and security forces. The budgets for health care and education will decrease.
The expenditure on the security and defence sector will reach SDG 201.5 billion, equivalent to one-third of all public revenues. The education budget will be reduced from SDG 14.8 billion to SDG 6.2 billion.
The budget of the Sovereign Council will reportedly increase by 126 per cent, that of the Council of Ministers by 782 per cent. The Peacebuilding Fund will receive SDG 13.3 billion.
The leaked proposed 2021 budget show that public revenues are expected to amount to SDG 899.7 billion, an increase of 58 per cent compared to 2020 (not taken inflation into account). Tax revenues are expected to increase with 77 per cent, from SDG 412.2 billion in 2020 to SDG 731.4 billion.

UNAMID site besieged by militia amid peaceful protests against exit
January 2 – 2021 ZALINGEI / EL FASHER Militiamen besieged the site of the joint United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) in Zalingei, Central Darfur. A number of attacks took place on New Year’s Day in Central and South Darfur, leading to state border closures aimed at stabilising the region.

El Shafee Abdallah, coordinator of the camps for the displaced in Central Darfur, told Radio Dabanga that the objective of taking over the site was to plunder the buildings.

He questioned the ability of the regular forces to provide protection to the residents of Zalingei as well as those in the surrounding villages and camps for the displaced. Earlier this month, Radio Dabanga reported that Amnesty International is concerned about the UNAMID exit given the national security forces’ “failure to step up” and protect civilians from attacks in recent months.

Demonstrations and sit-ins continued in camps in Darfur and solidarity protests took place in North Kordofan, North Darfur, South Darfur, El Gezira, and River Nile states to demand the extension of the UNAMID mission on Thursday.

Professionals demand dissolution of Rapid Support Forces
January 5 – 2021 KHARTOUM / KADUGLI The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) has launched the campaign Know Your Right, to protest the violence of paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) against “ordinary citizens”.

Clashes in White Nile state leave five dead
January 5 – 2021 EL MOGEINES At least five people were reportedly killed and many others were wounded in violent clashes that erupted between residents and South Sudanese militiamen in the border area of El Mogeines in White Nile state on Sunday.

‘Dangerous’ spread of COVID-19 in Khartoum
January 4 – 2021 KHARTOUM / WAD MADANI / ED DAMER The COVID-19 prevalence rate in Khartoum has reached 20.1 per 10,000 residents. Director Mahjoub Menoufeli of Khartoum state’s Ministry of Health called this “a dangerous indicator”.

Eastern Sudan herder killed by Ethiopian militia
January 4 – 2021 EL GEDAREF A herder was killed in Khor Yabis, near the Ethiopian border, in El Gedaref, by an Ethiopian militia on Saturday. The reason is not known, a source from El Gedaref told Radio Dabanga.

El Burhan redeploys army at Ethiopian border
January 2 – 2021 EL GEDAREF / KHARTOUM Chairman of Sudan's Sovereign Council, Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, announced that the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) have been redeployed at Sudan’s border with Ethiopia.

PM prioritises peace in Independence Day speech
January 2 – 2021 KHARTOUM In his address to the Sudanese people on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the country’s independence, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok confirmed that peace remains the priority of the transitional period.

New information on the murder of Khartoum activist
December 31 – 2020 KHARTOUM Attorney General Tajelsir El Hibir told Sudan's Blue Nile satellite channel that there is new information on the case of young activist Bahaeldin Nouri, who was abducted, tortured, and killed by offcers of the paramilitary RSF last week.

Boko Haram vehicles to be licensed
December 30 – 2020 KHARTOUM People who own unlicensed vehicles (popularly called Boko Haram) can legalise their cars within the coming two months. Illegal vehicles found after this period will be confiscated.

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