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♦ Sudan: This week's news in brief ♦

May 26 - 2021 DABANGA SUDAN
Team Zamzam (Eric Reeves)
Team Zamzam (Eric Reeves)

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

Team Zamzam: Residents overcome sexual violence stigma in North Darfur

May 21 – 2021 EL FASHER/ZAMZAM Team Zamzam, a group of 16 women who provide counselling to victims of sexual violence in Zamzam Camp, 15 kilometres south of El Fasher in North Darfur, is expanding its reach.
Cochair of the project, respected Sudan analyst Prof Eric Reeves, explains that with “modest resources” they have provided counselling to more than 1,000 girls and women since September, especially those most seriously traumatised by sexual violence. A large part of the project is assisting women who suffer from urinary fistulas to gain access to medical treatment.
According to Gaffar Mohamed Saneen, also cochair of the project, the assertion that rape and sexual violence are the most likely cause of urinary fistulas is “largely denied by camp society, which in many cases has made the victims the objects of lies and slander.” 
In this feature article, the perspectives of the team members, experts, and victims are shared.

NGOs raise alarm bells over Ethiopian dam dispute

May 21 - 2021 KHARTOUM The long-running dispute between the governments of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt over the building, filling, and operating of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is raising serious concerns about the impact that Africa’s largest hydroelectric power plant will have on Sudan and Egypt. In a joint statement, 22 NGOs warned for military confrontations between the three countries.
“The UN Security Council must ensure that the disagreement between the three countries is resolved in a negotiated peaceful manner that saves the African sub-region from the scourges of political and legal conflicts or military confrontations in the worst-case scenario”, the group of 22 concerned NGOs in Sudan, Geneva, and various African countries wrote.

They further urges the UN Security Council to treat the dispute as a matter of "top priority", and persuade the parties not to take unilateral measures concerning the technical and legal aspects of GERD.

ICC Judges adjourn to consider confirmation of charges against Darfur janjaweed ‘Colonel of Colonels’, Ali Kushayb
May 26 – THE HAGUE The hearing to confirm 31 charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes against the former Darfur janjaweed leader Ali Kushayb before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, the Netherlands, was concluded today. A day earlier than planned.
Sudan govt talks with SPLM-N El Hilu begin in Juba
May 26 – JUBA The long-anticipated official negotiations between the transitional government of Sudan and the SPLM-N, under the leadership of Abdelaziz El Hilu, began in the South Sudan capital of Juba this morning.
World Bank promises $2 billion for development projects in Sudan
May 25 – KHARTOUM The World Bank’s Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa, Hafez Ghanem, visited Khartoum and announced a $2 billion fund to finance infrastructure projects and support Sudan's displaced people.

Darfur Janjaweed ‘Colonel of Colonels’ Ali Kushayb faces 31 charges at ICC
May 24 – THE HAGUE Former Darfur janjaweed leader Ali Kushayb appeared before Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, in a hearing to confirm charges on 31 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Minawi: ‘Sudan govt obligated to transfer $700 million for Darfur development’
May 23 – PARIS The governor of the Darfur region and the head of the Sudan Liberation Movement, Minni Minawi, called on the transitional government to immediately pay the ‘peace dues’ for Darfur in accordance with the Juba peace agreement.

Sudan to rehabilitate sea, land, and air transport
May 21 – KHARTOUM The Sudanese Ministry of Transport has also begun with the rehabilitation of the railways and damaged roads, Minister Mirghani Mousa told Radio Dabanga in an interview. 
Sudan’s Sennar reports ‘remarkable increase’ in COVID-19 cases
May 21 - SINGA COVID-19 isolation centres in Sennar are witnessing a significant increase in the number of people infected with the coronavirus. 
Interview with Sudan's PM Hamdok on international integration and peace
May 20 – PARIS On the occasion of the Paris Conference that took place on Monday, Radio Dabanga interviewed Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok to talk about the conference and Sudan’s peace as "an ongoing process".

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