♦ Sudan: This week’s news in brief ♦

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

Christians organising a mass near a demolished church in Bout, Blue Nile state, December 2019 (Social media).

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

Christians in Sudan can ‘still not believe the changes’

May 7 – 2021 DABANGA SUDAN Sudanese Orthodox Christians celebrated Easter on Sunday. Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok congratulated them on this ‘glorious Easter holiday’.

The public celebration of Christian feasts has not always been supported by the country’s authorities. During the dictatorship of Omar Al Bashir (1989-2019), religious minorities were severely repressed.

However, less than two weeks after the ousting of Al Bashir in April 2019, Sudan’s Transitional Military Council reinstated Sunday as the official recess day for Christian schools in the country. In December that year, the new government declared Christmas a public holiday for the first time in a decade.

For the occasion of this Easter holiday, Radio Dabanga reached out to several Christians in the country asking them if they experience any change. However, many were not keen to answer questions in the media.

Jirjis Efendi, a Nuba Christian basic school teacher in Omdurman, told Radio Dabanga that Sudanese Christians keep to themselves. “Christian people here are not used yet to freely expressing their opinion on religious subjects,” he said. “Most of us can still not believe that Sudan has changed.”

'Resurgence of violence' in North Darfur's Saraf Omra

May 6 – 2021 SARAF OMRA A boy was killed by a stray bullet in North Darfur’s Saraf Omra, in a firefight between a group of gunmen and paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on Tuesday. In another incident in the same area, six farmers were wounded.

Activist Mohamed Khater reported that Saraf Omra locality witnesses a resurgence of violence at the moment. More shootings have recently taken place with people being hit by bullets.

On Monday, six farmers, including a woman, were injured when armed herders raided farms in the area. The attackers beat them with their rifle butts and stole their belongings.

Earlier this year, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) in North Darfur warned of the growing insecurity and absence of security forces in the state. Last month, a UN Security Council delegation arrived in North Darfur to address the concerns.

COVID-19: Khartoum MoH monitors 12 cases from India
May 11 – 2021 KHARTOUM / WAD MADANI / EL FULA / SENNAR The Khartoum Ministry of Health announced that it is monitoring 12 COVID-19 cases from India. The Federal Health Ministry reported 37 new COVID-19 deaths …

Sudan’s Fiqh Academy prohibits ratification of CEDAW
May 10 – 2021 KHARTOUM The Sudanese Fiqh Academy issued a fatwa, barring the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The No to Oppression of Women Initiative calls for the dissolution of the Academy.

Protests against water crisis in Darfur and Nuba Mountains
May 10 – 2021 ABU ZEREGA / DELLING People in Abu Zerega in North Darfur blocked the El Fasher-Nyala road on Sunday, demanding a solution to the drinking water crisis in the area. In the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan, the road linking Delling …

Attacks on civilians continue in South Kordofan
May 8 – 2021 ABU JUBEIHA A man was killed and another was wounded in an armed robbery in Abu Jubeiha in South Kordofan. An eyewitness from Abu Jubeiha told Radio Dabanga that two gunmen on a motorcycle intercepted the victims …

Sudanese economist: ‘Increase of US Dollar rate was expected’
May 7 – 2021 KHARTOUM The US Dollar rate recorded a new high at the end of the week’s trading on Thursday, reaching more than SDG400. The continuing increase of forex rates in Sudan was expected, says economist Hasan Bashir.

Doctors warn of ‘impending health disaster’ in Sudan
May 6 – 2021 KHARTOUM / SENNAR Doctors raise alarm over medicine shortages, lack of funding, insecurity, and an “impending health disaster”. Yesterday, the Sudanese Ministry of Health reported 138 new COVID-19 cases and five deaths.

UNAMID forces leave Kass site, ICC prosecutor to visit Darfur
May 6 – 2021 NYALA / KHARTOUM Yesterday, the joint UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) officially handed its last site in South Darfur to the authorities in Nyala. A delegation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) arrived in Khartoum …

Hemeti calls for campaign to explain secularism to Sudanese
May 5 – 2021 KHARTOUM The deputy chairman of the Sovereignty Council, Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’, has denounced protest calls against the separation of religion from the state. In his address to members of the Popular Initiative …