♦ This week’s news in brief ♦

A compact weekly digest of Dabanga Sudan’s highlights of the news from Darfur and Sudan

A compact weekly digest of Dabanga Sudan's highlights of the news from Darfur and Sudan


♦ Sudan Health Committee: 'Impending disaster' as medicine prices soar

December 18 – 2017 KHARTOUM The health committee of the Sudanese Parliament said it expects an ‘impending disaster in the pharmaceutical sector’. It announced that foreign companies have stopped supplying medical supplies as well as lifesaving and chronic disease medicines because of the accumulation of debts.

Committee chair Imtithal El Rayah El Tireif acknowledged that medicine prices have increased threefold, putting them beyond people’s affordability. She pointed out that 100 categories of life-saving medicines are not available in the private sector. Medicines with increased prices include diabetes drugs, medicine against high blood pressure, and asthma sprays. The scarcity of medicines and the prevalence of expired medicines in hospitals in Khartoum has reportedly led to direct health risks for patients including kidney patients, medical sources in the capital city told Radio Dabanga.

Dr Nasri Margas, former head of the private pharmacies department, attributed the cause of the crisis to the halted provision of the US Dollar at an agreed price to import medicines. Companies are then forced to stop selling medicines or buy drugs from the parallel market, which has witnessed a continuous rise of the price of the Dollar against the Sudanese Pound.

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♦ Sudan continues newspaper confiscations and detains chief editor

December 19 – 2017 KHARTOUM The print-run of El Watan daily newspaper was confiscated on Monday morning and its editor-in-chief detained by the Sudanese national intelligence service (NISS).

Members of the security apparatus confiscated the newspapers from the printing press without giving an explanation. They also detained El Watan editor-in-chief Yousif Siraj early in the morning. Editorial director Abdelwahab Musa told Radio Dabanga yesterday that Siraj had not yet been released.

Journalists of El Watan said that the confiscation probably came against the backdrop of the newspaper's reports on the rise of food prices in the country. The prices for sorghum and sesame have risen sharply in Sudan, including El Gedaref state – a hike attributed to a limited number of traders controlling the market. Yesterday, Sudanese members of parliament have warned for a looming food gap threatening Sudan as a result of the low production of staple food.

On 5 December, the NISS announced an end to its eight-day campaign of newspaper confiscations which caused extensive financial losses to the Khartoum newspaper industry. El Watan print-runs were seized on at least three days that week. The Sudanese Journalists’ Network called a one-day strike to protest the campaign.

More news from Radio Dabanga:

Trial of activist in 'indecent clothing' case adjourned

December 19 – 2017 KHARTOUM The defence of activist Winnie Omar, who has been accused of wearing indecent clothing, requested the ruling to be postponed until Thursday. On social media Omar has defended herself against the charges under the Public Order Act.

Thousands of Chadian refugees set to return from Darfur

December 19 – 2017 AZUM More than 4,000 Chadian refugees in Central Darfur have started their voluntary return home after more than ten years in a Darfur refugee…

Three young women gang raped by herders in Central Darfur

December 18 – 2017 NIERTETI Three young women from Nierteti camp for the displaced in Central Darfur were raped in separate incidents on Friday and Saturday…

Sudan soccer fans’ Adolf Hitler taunt prompts international outrage

December 18 – 2017 OMDURMAN Sudan’s top soccer club, Al Hilal Omdurman, has been reprimanded and fined SDG 40,000 ($6,000) after a group of fans unfurled…

Deadly drink kills at least ten, blinds two in East Darfur

December 15 – 2017 ED DAEIN At least ten patients have died after drinking locally produced wine, while several people are being treated in a dialysis center in Khor Omar…

More diarrhoea cases among children in South Sudan camp

December 15 – 2017 UNITY Dozens of children suffered from diarrhoea in Yida refugee camp in South Sudan's Unity state this week…

Children missing after attack on Jebel Marra village

December 15 – 2017 DABA NAIRA Seven children went missing and two people were wounded in an attack by armed men in Daba Naira in East Jebel Marra on Tuesday evening. A..

ICC prosecutor laments failure to apprehend Sudan’s Al Bashir

December 14 – 2017 NEW YORK The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, has voiced frustration at the lack of cooperation with the ICC by the international…

Health Ministry: ‘Hepatitis B spreading rapidly in Khartoum state’

December 14 – 2017 KHARTOUM STATE Hepatitis B is spreading rapidly in Sudan’s Khartoum state, according to a statement by state’s Ministry of Health. Sufferers, including both Sudanese and…

Enough Project: New report on Sudan’s religious oppression

December 13 – 2017 KHARTOUM This week, the Enough Project published Radical Intolerance: Sudan's Religious Oppression and Embrace of Extremist Groups. In this new report, author Dr…

Sudanese protest deportations at Dutch Justice Ministry

December 13 – 2017 THE HAGUE On Monday, dozens of Sudanese and activists braved wintery conditions to stage a protest outside the Dutch Ministry of Justice in The Hague in protest against…


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