♦ 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's Bashir: 'We pay political price for financial measures'

15 November – 2016 KHARTOUM / EL GEZIRA / EL GENEINA A historically low exchange rate for the Sudanese pound marks the effects of recent economic measures. President Omar Al Bashir has justified the lifting of fuel subsidies for fear of the collapse of the State. “We have two options: either the collapse of the State or to increase the prices,” the President said during a meeting with the commanders of the Sudanese army on Monday. The President knows that these procedures “will cost us a political price and we are not afraid to do so”, his spokesman told the press.

The rate of the Sudanese Pound has continued its drop against the US Dollar, which now exchanges for SDG18 in the parallel market. Because of the expensive fuel, domestic flight tickets have risen by more than 10 per cent in Sudan. Countrywide the prices for bus transportation and consumer goods have increased sharply.

Meanwhile, farmers in El Gezira and El Managil, Sudan's largest farming scheme, are coping with a huge rise of expenditures and production costs that have made it difficult for farmers to harvest, and prepare their land for the winter season.

The Sudanese security service (NISS) is on high alert since the government announced to lift fuel subsidies and increase electricity tariffs on 3 November. A total of 22 leaders and members of opposition parties have been detained in November, Radio Dabanga reported this week. The NISS detained more than 26 students when they dispersed demonstrations in Khartoum, Atbara, and El Gedaref. Two lawyers have been detained while campaigning against the recent measures, and three Sudanese newspapers were gagged.

 

♦ Sudan's internet freedom: More arrests, no blackouts

15 November – 2016 WASHINGTON More arrests and prosecutions of journalists and online dissident, and law revisions that have opened the door to prosecuting them, have withhold the Sudanese of enjoying freedom on the internet in 2016. The status 'Not Free' is applicable again to Sudan in the new 'Freedom on the Net' report by the US-based NGO Freedom House. Sudan scored low in the index owing to numerous violations of user rights and cyber-attacks on online media.

The internet freedom improved marginally, however. There were no reports of deliberate internet shutdowns in Sudan during the coverage period, marking an improvement from the previous reporting period.

A drawback for Sudan's internet freedom is the introduction of revisions to the 2004 Press and Printed Press Materials Law in 2015, that aim to regulate online media and provide a legal framework to prosecute online journalists. But the internet “remains a relatively open space for freedom of expression” and “bold voices”, says Freedom House. “As a result, Sudanese citizens increasingly rely on online outlets and social media for uncensored information.” Therefore, the Sudanese government has shifted tactics over the past year, in order to manipulate online conversations. Its so-called Cyber Jihadist Unit, operating under the security service, has created “a chilling effect” on freedom of expression online.

Continue reading


More highlights from Radio Dabanga:

One dead, infections by diarrhoea in Sudan's White Nile

November 15 – 2016 ED DUEIM One person died because of acute watery diarrhoea, while 18 others have been infected in White Nile State. The State Health Minister, Tarig Biraigi, acknowledged the emergence of the infections in a press statement. The patients…

Journalists detained, investigated in Sudan

November 15 – 2016 KHARTOUM The copies of a Sudanese newspaper were confiscated for the second time within a week. The security apparatus released a journalist after three days detention while agents forced another journalist's to erase his footage of student protests…

Sudanese medics to strike three days a week

November 14 – 2016 KHARTOUM The Sudanese Doctors’ Central Committee has decided to increase the number of weekly striking days from two to three days a week. In a statement on Sunday, the Committee announced that, after consultations with the members…

Darfur: Policeman gets life imprisonment for child rape

November 12 – 2016 EL GENEINA A policeman has been sentenced to lifelong imprisonment for raping a minor in West Darfur on Thursday. The Special Criminal Court for Darfur Crimes in El Geneina convicted the policeman to 20 years in prison and paying a…

Sudan: Darfur awaits new foreign affairs policy US

November 11 – 2016 WASHINGTON / EL FASHER Displaced people in Darfur have submitted a package of demands to the United States President elect Donal Trump, demanding a flight embargo and the deployment of troops with a strong mandate. “It is not easy…

Deadly village raid sparks protest in South Darfur

November 11 – 2016 GIREIDA (UPDATE 20:00) A large protest erupted in Gireida, South Darfur, yesterday, against the deadly raid by militants in several villages on Wednesday. The security service has detained eight demonstrators accused of organising…

Three children die of malnutrition in Darfur’s Jebel Marra

November 9 – 2016 JEBEL MARRA Three young children died of the effects of malnutrition in the Iobe area of east Jebel Marra on Monday night. A resident told Radio Dabanga that Abdelhay Yagoub Adam (5), Hawa Eisa Yahya (3) and Zaki Musa Saleh (4), all…

 

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