♦ Sudan: This week’s news in brief ♦

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

Women march for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence in El Fasher, capital of North Darfur (Albert González Farran / UNAMID)

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

Sudan celebrates International Women's Day 

March 9 – 2021 SUDAN International Women's Day was celebrated throughout Sudan on Monday. Various events took place and prominent women held speeches.

Head of the Darfur Bar Association, Nafeesa Hajar, demanded the implementation of gender policies agreed upon in the Constitutional Document and the Juba Peace Agreement, including a quota of 40 per cent women in all levels of the Sudanese government.

Hanadi Fadul, representative of the Sudan Institute for Democracy, called March 8 “a symbol of women's struggles” in her speech at the University of El Gezira yesterday. She stated that women’s day provides an opportunity for officials to listen to people and activists.

Minister of Cabinet Affairs Khaled Omar acknowledged the government’s neglect of women's issues. He emphasised the political will of the Council of Ministers to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

Farmers of Sudan's El Gezira Agricultural Scheme demand irrigation

March 3 – 2021 EL GEZIRA A lack of irrigation will lead to damages to the winter crops in El Gezira state.

Member of the Emergency Committee of El Gezira and El Managil Agricultural Scheme Faroug El Badawi told Radio Dabanga that the crops will need watering for another six weeks, as irrigation began late this agricultural season. He called on the Sudanese government to urgently intervene and extend irrigation operations until mid-April.

The Scheme, south of Khartoum, used to be one of the world’s largest irrigation projects. In late 2014, President Al Bashir described it as “a burden on the country’s budget”. A year later, the government began to transfer land ownership to the private sector and foreign investors. The farmers now demand the extensive irrigation project be revived.

Rebel leaders join Sudan Sovereignty Council
March 8 – 2021 KHARTOUM Rebel leaders Malik Agar, El Hadi Idris and El Taher Hajar have been sworn in as members of Sudan’s Transitional Sovereignty Council yesterday. Their appointment is part of the implementation …

UN Undersecretary-General, North Darfur wali discuss smooth UNAMID/UNITAMS switch
March 7 – 2021 EL FASHER / KHARTOUM / NIERTETI The wali (governor) of North Darfur, Mohamed Arabi, met with the UN Undersecretary-General for the Department of Operational Support, Atul Khare, on Thursday, to discuss arrangements …

Khartoum poet summoned to Sudanese Press and Publications Prosecution
March 5 – 2021 KHARTOUM Yousef El Dosh, a poet from Khartoum, was summoned to appear before the Sudanese Press and Publications Prosecution, accompanied by a bailsman, regarding a poem he read out on Sudanese TV 24 over one month ago.

Military support arrives in North Darfur following clashes
March 5 – 2021 SARAF OMRA A cautious calm settled in Saraf Omra in North Darfur yesterday after joint forces detained a number of suspects and evacuated the wounded from the scene of clashes that killed 11 people and injured 32 others on Wednesday.

COVID-19: Sudan receives 800k+ AstraZeneca vaccine doses
March 4 – 2021 KHARTOUM The first batch of 828,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine arrived at Khartoum airport on Wednesday. The vaccine will be distributed free of charge, giving priority to medical staff, police, the elderly …

HUDO: 'Sudanese forces arbitrarily detain people in Blue Nile state'
March 4 – 2021 GEISSAN The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) held four traders, including children, in Geissan, Blue Nile state on Monday, and mistreated them, the Human Rights and Development Organisation (HUDO) reported today.

New CBoS protocols for bank and credit cards in Sudan
March 3 – 2021 KHARTOUM The Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS) issued a circular to commercial banks yesterday outlining controls and procedures for issuing and accepting international bank and credit cards.

Sudanese Pound devaluation: Domestic airfares, customs duties soar
March 3 – 2021 KHARTOUM / PORT SUDAN Domestic airfares have increased by more than 100 per cent in Sudan, and import duties on goods have also more than doubled after the government devalued the Sudanese Pound (SDG) last week.