♦ Sudan: This week’s news in brief ♦

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

The ICC in The Hague (File photo: Andrew Bergman / RD)

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

*Update of the past two week's most-read highlights this one time.

Sudan Cabinet: ‘Unanimous decision’ to hand Darfur war crimes accused to ICC

June 27 – 2021 KHARTOUM In a ‘unanimous decision’, Sudan’s Cabinet has pledged to hand former officials indicted for war crimes in Darfur to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, the Netherlands.

The decision shortly follows the visit to Sudan and Darfur by outgoing ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, during which she stressed the necessity of handing over former Minister of the Interior Ahmed Haroun, accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity, to the ICC before the end of July so that he can be tried along with Ali Abdelrahman (Kushayb).

Sudan’s Minister of Federal Governance, Buseina Dinar, confirmed the cabinet decision, saying that ‘the unanimous decision is aimed at establishing peace and stability in the country’. She assured a press conference in Khartoum that "the court needs to resolve its procedures".

Interview with analyst Hafiz Ismail: 'Why is the government not solving any of these bigger problems?'

June 25 – 2021 KHARTOUM Radio Dabanga interviewed former banker and civil society activist Hafiz Ismail on current economic and political affairs in Sudan, including the economic recession, liberalisation measures, and the defence budget.

The past weeks saw various protests throughout Sudan as economic hardships triggered by a recession and high inflation rates continue to affect Sudan’s population, especially its youth. The protest came at a time when the Ministry of Finance announced plans to continue the liberalisation of Sudan’s economy whilst admitting that citizens would initially suffer from those policies.

The economist also explained that, when the government asked the IMF and the international community for debt relief and the establishment of the Samarat Family Support programme, the support they received came with a package of desired measures which include the gradual removal of subsidies and the liberalisation of the exchange rate. “You do that, but you cannot do that in a country where more than 80 per cent of the people are living at the poverty limit,” Ismail said.

Sudan outraged as Ethiopia announces second filling of GERD
July 7 – 2021 KHARTOUM / NEW YORK Sudan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs has voiced outrage following an announcement by Ethiopia that it has initiated the second filling of the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Minister Maryam El Sadig El Mahdi has sent a letter to the UN Security Council.

Sudan’s Transitional Legislative Council to convene in August
July 6 – 2021 KHARTOUM Sudan’s Transitional Partners Council has started the long-awaited formation of a Transitional Legislative Council, with its first session planned for August 17.

Troika envoys brief Sudan PM on Kauda visit
July 4 – 2021 KAUDA / KHARTOUM The delegation of special envoys to Sudan and South Sudan from the United Kingdom, Norway, and the USA (Troika) paid a two-day visit to Kauda in South Kordofan to meet representatives of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) Abdelaziz El Hilu.

EU, USA welcome IMF, World Bank HIPC decision on Sudan
July 1 – 2021 BRUSSELS / WASHINGTON The international community has reacted enthusiastically to the announcement by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that Sudan is to benefit from $50 billion in foreign debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative.

Darfur: UNAMID drawdown complete as ‘liquidation phase’ begins
June 29 – 2021 KHARTOUM / DARFUR The African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) completed its drawdown exercise on June 30, 2021, as requested by UN Security Council resolution 2559 (2020), which ended the Mission’s mandate at the end of last year.

Armed Forces of Sudan and Egypt sign MoU for joint cooperation
June 27 – 2021 KHARTOUM Military talks between Sudan and Egypt concluded in Khartoum with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for joint cooperation between the two countries.

‘Brutal murder’ of three MSF staff in Ethiopia
June 27 – 2021 TIGRAY / EASTERN EQUATORIA Three staff at international humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) were found dead in the Tigray region in Ethiopia. In South Sudan, a security guard from a school supported by Save the Children was killed on June 20.

Struggling Sudan Airways signs agreement with Lufthansa Consulting
June 24 – 2021 KHARTOUM Sudan Airways and the leading German consultancy company of Lufthansa signed an agreement stipulating development plans for the Sudanese airline at the premises of the Ministry of Transport in Khartoum. The airline has been struggling after years of sanctions.

El Burhan: 'Do not pay attention to rumours that target the unity of Sudan's security forces'
June 24 – 2021 KHARTOUM The Chairman of the Transitional Sovereignty Council and Commander of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, said that no attention should be given to "the rumours that target the security system and its unity".

€10 million EU programme to support economic transition in Sudan
June 23 – 2021 KHARTOUM The European Union has launched a €10 million programme to support economic transition by strengthening Sudanese institutions, according to a statement by the EU delegation to Sudan.