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Sudanese newspaper El Akhbar ceases publication

June 23 - 2015 KHARTOUM
A Sudanese young man looks at newspapers displayed at a kiosk in the capital Khartoum on February 16, 2015 (Ashraf Shazly/AFP)
A Sudanese young man looks at newspapers displayed at a kiosk in the capital Khartoum on February 16, 2015 (Ashraf Shazly/AFP)

The management of El Akhbar newspaper has announced that it will cease publication indefinitely from Sunday onwards, over what it called "a financial crisis". For unknown reasons, its print runs were confiscated by the Sudanese security service twice this month.

Last Sunday, the announcement took the journalists working for the daily newspaper by surprise. They had been demanding to receive their monthly salaries from April 2015 and went out on strike last month. This led to the partial payment of the salaries. The management promised the payment of all salaries on 12 June, but has not fulfilled the promise so far.

According to sources in El Akhbar, 22 men and women working as journalists have not received any financial benefits. Sudan Tribune reports that the newspaper's management will resolve their entitlements after the Eid El Fitr holiday.

Besides high printing costs and low revenue from advertising, Sudanese newspapers suffer from frequent punitive measures by the authorities. The print runs of El Akhbar were confiscated by the security service on 18 June and 8 June, together with several other newspapers. It is interesting to note that one of the paper's latest articles was a commentary that criticised the Sudanese president. Until the NISS provides the reason for the confiscations in June, it remains unknown whether the security service has anything to do with the termination of El Akhbar.

El Akhbar was established by Rahmi Mohamed Suleiman in 1955 before suspending its work for decades. It was re-launched by Mohamed Lateef who sold it later to Wad’a. 


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