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Sudanese opposition condemns Arabsat’s removal of Radio Dabanga

July 20 - 2015 KHARTOUM
In Darfur, many people use transistor radios to listen to Radio Dabanga (RD)
In Darfur, many people use transistor radios to listen to Radio Dabanga (RD)

Prominent leaders of the Sudanese civil society and opposition parties have condemned the decision of the Arab Satellite Communication Organization (ArabSat) to comply with the Sudanese government’s demand to remove Radio Dabanga from its satellite on Friday.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga, Dr Haidar Ibrahim, founder and director of the Sudanese Studies Centre, said that Khartoum’s request to the Arab League’s ArabSat to stop broadcasting the radio programmes and TV slides of Dabanga Sudan, “only shows that it the regime is unable to engage in any dialogue.

“It again proves that the current rulers of Sudan are unable to accept the opinions of others,” the prominent scholar said.

Ibrahim said that he has been surprised to see that “in this era, moving towards democracy and freedom of the media, we repeatedly see countries like Sudan being supported in their suppression of freedoms and opinions.

“The problem also lies in the world’s sympathy for the Sudanese regime, though it has been accused of several incidents of genocide against its own people,” he stressed.

The scholar confirmed that Radio Dabanga has a large impact in the country, where almost every day a newspaper is confiscated because it crossed the “red line”. “The subject was even raised in the parliament.”

On his part, Farouk Abu Eisa, head of the National Consensus Forces (NCF, a coalition of opposition parties), praised Radio Dabanga’s role in bringing facts as an independent media institution, and a balance in the public opinion.

He said that its programmes have “become entrenched in people's minds. The majority of the Sudanese are listening to Dabanga.”

The opposition leader ruled out that the Sudanese government will be able to silence the voice of Radio Dabanga. “There are enough other satellite channels that will provide Dabanga with space to continue its excellent broadcasts.”

The decision to remove Radio Dabanga was based on a formal complaint Arabsat received last May by the Sudanese Ministry of Information. “The station is considered to be hostile to the Sudanese government,” Arabsat said in its announcement of stopped the broadcasting last Friday.

The satellite programme of Radio Dabanga can now be followed everywhere in Sudan on Nilesat, 7 degrees, frequency 12399, symbol rate: 27500, polarity 6/5.

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