♦ 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


♦ Darfur 'states option' wins voting by a landslide against wide rejection

April 23 – 2016 KHARTOUM The landslide win of the 'states option' in the administrative referendum of Darfur has been rejected by a chorus of descent from the displaced, refugees, civil society organisations, armed movements, and political forces from across Darfur, who claim the referendum to be controversial.

Last Saturday, the referendum commission announced that the option for the separation of the five Darfur states attracted nearly 98 percent (3,081,976 votes) of the votes cast in the 11-13 April referendum, as opposed to just 2 percent (71,920) choosing the option to unify the states. This represents less than half of the 6.2 million population of Darfur, according to UN estimates.

The polling result against the unification of the five states also means that the transitional Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) will be dissolved and that Khartoum presumably gains more power over Darfur. The Sudanese government has officially announced that the term of the Darfur Regional Authority, headed by El Tijani Sese, will not be extended following the conclusion The Authority's activities on the return of refugees, border issues, and other commissions will be handed over to the care of the Presidency of the Republic.

Following the result announcement, heads of camps and associations for the displaced, civil society organisations, and opposition members from across Darfur expressed their categorical rejection of the result of 97 percent. “It means nothing to the people of Darfur, as the majority of them are in the diaspora or refugees because of this government, and were not able to vote,” leading figure Omda Ahmed Ateem told Radio Dabanga.

Sudan’s National Umma Party (NUP) leader, Imam El Sadig El Mahdi, called the referendum “based on false procedures, meaning that the results cannot gain legitimacy” on Sunday. He made his remarks to Radio Dabanga after concluding a series of meetings of the Sudan Appeal (a coalition of opposition members and rebel movements) in Paris last week.


♦ Khartoum University threatens to close doors

April 26 – 2016 KHARTOUM The University of Khartoum has threatened to close its doors should its students continue their strike against plans to sell the premises of faculties.

Protests by students against the plans to relocate the faculties to outside the city, reportedly to make way for tourist attractions, started on 13 April in streets of Khartoum. Agents of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) dispersed the protesters with teargas and detained a number of students.

The student strike started on 18 April and professors of the University of Khartoum joined in solidarity with their demands. The NISS arrested 23 graduates of the University of Khartoum on Saturday during a protest carried out at the university this week.

On Monday, several students told Radio Dabanga that the university administration has threatened to dismiss the students and close the university if they continue their sit-in. Classes have been halted at all the faculties because of the strike. A student described the atmosphere at the university as “tense, with a large number of police and NISS members present. They are heavily armed and seen moving around the university.”

Another student who was detained by the security service as one of the demonstrators, recounted that the detainees are subjected to “torture” by the members of the security service.

The Council of Ministers said that no decision has been made on moving faculties of the university from their current location, or dispose of them, calling the relocation plans a rumour.

Other highlights from Radio Dabanga:

Killing of two students sparks protest in South Darfur camp

April 26 – 2016 NYALA Militiamen shot two students dead in a robbery in a camp in Nyala, South Darfur. The killing sparked a protest by the displaced people on Monday morning. Four “pro-government militiamen” entered centre 3 in Dereig camp and forced…

Sudan: Barrel bombs rain on South Kordofan

April 24 – 2016 NUBA MOUNTAINS / SOUTH KORDOFAN Antonov aircraft of the Sudanese Air Force have continued their aerial bombardments of areas in the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan, injuring civilians and causing extensive damage to property…

Sudan opposition sign new Charter, shun AUHIP roadmap again

April 24 – 2016 PARIS The armed movements and civilian signatories to the Sudan Appeal, a political communiqué calling for regime change signed by the allied opposition forces in 2014, have agreed on a political charter for changing, restructuring and…

Kordofan students charged after deadly protest

April 22 – 2016 EL OBEID Eleven detained students of the University of Kordofan are charged with violating public safety and rioting, following the events at the campus which led to the killing of one student on Tuesday. Amnesty International has urged…

More villages torched in Darfur's Jebel Marra

April 22 – 2016 WESTERN JEBEL MARRA / TAWILA Localities where displaced people from Darfur's Jebel Marra have fled to in the past months, make efforts to return the displaced voluntarily. Pro-government militias recently burned over 50 villages in western…

MSF: Malnutrition, sexual violence cases in Darfur's Sortony camp

April 22 – 2016 SORTONY Since mid-January approximately 61,000 Darfuris have poured out of Jebel Mara, North Darfur, and settled in the nearby Sortony camp, near the team site of the UN-AU Mission in Darfur in Kabkabiya locality. The displacement…

Sudan still near bottom of World Press Freedom Index

April 21 – 2016 PARIS Most of the movement in the World Press Freedom Index unveiled today by Reporters Without Borders is indicative of a climate of fear and tension combined with increasing control over newsrooms by governments and private-sector interests…

Unamid calls for restraint over violence in East Darfur

April 20 – 2016 EL FASHER Unamid has expressed “deep concern” and called for ‘the utmost restraint” over the recent outbreak of violence in East Darfur which on 18 April in Ed Daein culminated in an attack on the residence of the Governor (Wali). In a press…

Three Darfur firewood collectors raped

April 20 – 2016 NYALA A displaced girl from El Salam camp near Nyala in South Darfur has been raped, allegedly by a member of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). Sheikh Mahjoub Tabaldiya told Radio Dabanga that on Monday, and RSF member attacked four…


This digest is an excerpt from the weekly Darfur & Sudan News Update. Subscribe to the newsletter here