♦ 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


♦ You know very well what happened in the past”: Bashir to protesters

December 12 – 2016 KASSALA / KHARTOUM In a first reaction to Sudan's second civil disobedience action planned for 19 December, President Omar Al Bashir said that the government is immune to the mass strikes and ‘WhatsApp activists’. The social media have become the main means for youth activists in Sudan to mobilise the Sudanese community on and offline for a new round of protest against the recent fuel subsidy cuts and price increases in medicine, electricity and food.

Yesterday, President Al Bashir addressed the “keyboard activists” directly during a rally in Kassala: “If you want to overthrow the regime, why don’t you criticise us in the streets? I will tell you why. We know that you will not come, as you know very well what happened in the past.” The president referred here to the reactions of the authorities to widespread protests in September 2013 against subsidy cuts that led to soaring prices of most basic commodities. An unknown number of people – estimated to be more than 200 – were killed when security agents and riot police were deployed to quell the street protests.

“In addition to the use of social media, it is also new that women play a large role in the demonstrations, the coordination of the protests, and raising awareness among the people,” activist Rashan Ushee told Radio Dabanga about the civil disobedience actions. She explained how they are using social media in a highly organised manner.

The authorities have reacted to the recent protests and the three-day civil disobedience action in the Sudanese capital from 27-29 November by detaining a large number of politicians and curbing the freedom of the traditional news outlets.


♦ Sudan's prospects: deficit grows, gold production declines

December 11 – 2016 KHARTOUM On Tuesday the Finance Minister, Badreldin Mahmoud Abbas, reported to the national parliament that the deficit in the 2017 state budget will rise to SDG19.5 billion ($3 billion). The year before, the deficit was SDG13.3 billion (about 2 billion). Economists have attributed the growing budget deficit over the past years to the rise of spending by the government, and the non-availability of cash reserves.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Minerals announced that Sudan produced 25.6 tons of gold from January to November this year, amounting to $1.24 billion. The gold production in the first quarter of this year totalled 22.3 tons, but overall 2016 shows a decline from the production in the first eight months of 2015, which the Ministry reported to be as high as 54 tons. The market value would be $1.9 billion, according to Minister El Karori at the time. Gold has been the main source of income in Sudan since it lost a large share in the oil exports when South Sudan seceded in 2011.

Sudan may expect a $500 million deposit from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Presidential Aide Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid has announced. It is not clear to what extent the deposit will benefit the Central Bank of Sudan in its efforts to increase its low hard currency reserves. Last month a Sudanese presidential delegation visited the UAE, reportedly to discuss bilateral ties between the two countries. 

Another anticipation the government has made for 2017 is a deficit of 15 per cent deficit in flour production. The Ministry of Industry has also revealed a decrease in sugar production, while there will be new electricity tariff increases over the next year.

More highlights from Radio Dabanga:

Darfur crime overview: Twelve people killed in attacks

December 13 – 2016 DARFUR Twelve people were killed in separate incidents in Darfur on Sunday and Monday. The attacks, hijacks and robberies resulted in the theft of livestock and a total SDG200,000 ($30,566), witnesses…

Over 40 NGOs, individuals send open letter to UN on Sudan's TRACKS cases

December 12 – 2016 KAMPALA More than 40 Sudanese, regional and international organisations and individuals today sent an open letter to the United Nations Special Procedures regarding the TRACKS cases in…

Two children die in North Darfur UXO blast

December 12 – 2016 FANGA Two boys were killed in Tawila locality in North Darfur on Sunday when a remnant of war detonated. Speaking to Radio Dabanga, a resident of Tamra village, 15…

Sudanese migrants stuck between Libya and Egypt

December 12 – 2016 MUSAED About 2,000 Sudanese are reportedly clamped at the Libyan-Egyptian border crossing of Musaed in difficult humanitarian circumstances. On Sunday, a Sudanese migrant told…

Sudan's El Jareeda gagged for seventh time in two weeks

December 11 – 2016 KHARTOUM On Saturday morning, agents of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) confiscated the print-run of El Jareeda newspaper for the seventh time in two weeks. After the seizure of all…

Climate change could render Sudan uninhabitable'

December 11 – 2016 DABANGA SUDAN Experts say that without quick intervention, parts of Sudan could become uninhabitable as a result of climate change. “North Africa is already hot and is strongly increasing in temperature. At some…

Sudanese human rights champion detained

December 8 – 2016 KHARTOUM Well-known Sudanese human rights defender, Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, was detained by agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) for unknown reasons and taken to an unknown location…



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