♦ 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.

Vaccine strategy unclear as Sudan records new COVID-19 cases
January 24 – 2021 KHARTOUM / DONGOLA 739 new COVID-19 cases were recorded by the health ministry between January 10 and 16, along with 50 deaths and 1,402 recoveries from the virus. The federal Ministry of Health did not issue COVID-19 statistics between December 22 and January 4.

During a press conference Thursday, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Director, John Nkengasong, said “all African countries, all 55 of them, can receive any vaccine now,” adding that he wishes to dispel the idea that some African nations aren’t ready to start vaccination campaigns.

Despite this, Africa will have to wait “weeks if not months” before receiving COVID-19 vaccines approved by the World Health Organization, according to various officials working towards getting doses for the continent who spoke to the BBC.

Close to 900 million doses have been secured so far through various initiatives by the WHO. If administered so there are two per person, this will cover 30 per cent of the African continent’s population.

Situation in West Darfur unstable with death toll at 163
January 26 – 2021 EL GENEINA / JEBEL MARRA According to the West Darfur Doctors Committee, the number of victims from the El Geneina massacre has risen to 163 after a severely injured person died and another body was found. The RSF claims that peace has been restored in the area but many are still displaced and unrest, instability, and protests remain present.

The attacks in and around the capital of West Darfur in the weekend of January 16 and 17 left more than 123,000 people displaced, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The UN has provided food to more than 22,000 displaced people and provided health services to more than 17,000 people so far. A spokesperson of the UN Secretary-General explained that roughly 10,000 displaced people have received emergency shelter and other items, while nearly 3,000 people have received water brought in by trucks.

Today, an inter-agency needs assessment mission was scheduled for two villages outside El Geneina.

New discussions on formation of govt
January 25 – 2021 KHARTOUM Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok met with a delegation of the Forces of Freedom and Change to discuss the formation of a new cabinet, subject to the criteria all parties have agreed upon, including fair representation of women.

At least six dead in new Darfur attacks
January 25 – 2021 FALOUJA / MARRA / EL GENEINA Six people were killed and 12 others were wounded in an attack on the area of Falouja in East Jebel Marra, South Darfur. Marra village in neighbouring Tawila, North Darfur, was raided as well. The number of victims is unknown.

Sudanese mourn death of novelist Ibrahim Ishag
January 24 – 2021 KHARTOUM Ibrahim, who lived in Omdurman, recently travelled to the USA for treatment for his health problems, he was suffering from the last few years. In his novels, short stories, and literary articles, Ishag wrote about life in Darfur.

Opposition parties blame military for recurring violence across country
January 24 – 2021 KHARTOUM According to the National Consensus Forces, the rapid deterioration of security in many parts of Sudan is caused by the presence of organised opposition and the failure of the authorities to maintain security.

Resident shot dead in South Kordofan sparks protests
January 22 – 2021 KADUGLI In response to the shooting, people took to the streets to protest continuing insecurity in and around the town. The protestors also blocked the highway north of Kadugli with burning tyres and stones, a relative of the victim told Radio Dabanga.

Finance Minister: ‘Reforms, not new currency’
January 21 – 2021 KHARTOUM Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Heba Mohamed, was responding to questions from Radio Dabanga regarding the future financial plans of Sudan in light of the upcoming visit of the US Secretary of the Treasury and Export-Import Bank.

Student protests against increased bread prices enter third day
January 21 – 2021 ED DAMAZIN Speaking to Radio Dabanga, Abdelaziz Souriba pointed to the continuation of violence from the security services against the demonstrators and explained that the decision to indefinitely close schools was taken by the state authorities.

Women’s rights defender Waad Bahjat court case postponed
January 20 – 2021 KHARTOUM The blogger and women’s rights activist who faces a year of imprisonment over a Facebook live video has appeared in court for her third hearing on January 18 in Khartoum. However, the court case was once again postponed.