♦ 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


♦ Obama's easing of Sudan sanctions welcomed, downplayed

January 16 – 2017 KHARTOUM Leading members of Sudanese opposition parties do not expect much impact of Washington’s easing of the financial sanctions on Sudan on the deteriorating economic situation in the country

President Barack Obama will partially lift a 20-year-old trade embargo against Sudan because of Sudan's “positive actions it has taken over the last 6 months”, as he announced last Friday, with the plan to unfreeze assets and remove financial sanctions. He pointed out a reduction in Sudan's offensive military activity, pledges to maintain a cessation of hostilities, and a slight expansion of humanitarian access in conflict areas

Opposition parties in Sudan have downplayed the impact of the decision on the situation in Sudan. The president of the National Umma Party (NUP), El Sadig El Mahdi, said on Sunday that the US decision is based on unreal political convictions, but expects that the partial lifting will have a positive effect on import and export transactions. Sudanese ministers also stressed improvements in modern technology after the sanctions have been eased.

The European Union and the UN Coordinator in Sudan have welcomed the decision. President Obama built in a six-month reviewing period before the benefits for Sudan come into effect, in the event the government continues taking positive steps. In that case certain transactions, import and export with Sudan will be authorised.

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♦ Gold mining permit withdrawn after protests

January 17 – 2017 DALGO / KADUGLI The Northern state government withdrew the permit of a mining company, for establishing a factory that would extract gold with toxic chemicals, following popular protests. In South Kordofan's mining area, more mining companies emerge, to the discontent of residents.

The mining company had plans for a factory in Sebu in Dalgo locality in northern Sudan, using mercury and cyanide to separate gold and silver particles from ore. The toxins can cause various serious and possibly fatal health problems. A series of protests against the permit lasted four days before the Governor of Northern state, Awad Ali, decided to categorically withdraw all the company's machineries from the site.

Elsewhere in Sudan more mining activities have popped up despite rejections by local committees and activists. Companies which allegedly also use cyanide in the gold extraction process have increased their activities in several parts of South Kordofan, according to the committee for environmental advocacy this week, saying more than 30 companies are currently at work. It reported there have been a number of detentions of activists.

More highlights from Radio Dabanga:

Doctors: Diarrhoea cases in Sudan number in the hundreds

January 17 – 2017 KHARTOUM The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors reported that more than 300 people have been infected with acute watery diarrhoea in the states Red Sea, Khartoum and El Gezira during the past few days. The doctors suspect…

‘Sudan govt. declared ceasefire to appease US’: opposition

January 16 – 2017 KHARTOUM / PARIS Opposition forces have welcomed the Sudanese government’s extension of the unilateral ceasefire, despite their doubts about Khartoum's intentions. On Sunday, the Council of Ministers, chaired by…

Two dead, nine injured, three kidnapped in Darfur violence

January 16 – 2017 DARFUR People in North, Central, and South Darfur Darfur reported a number of violent incidents over the weekend. Speaking to Radio Dabanga, an activist said that a displaced man was shot dead near Sortony in…

Sudanese opposition leaders barred from flying to Paris

January 15 – 2017 KHARTOUM Agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) prevented seven prominent opposition leaders from travelling to the French capital on Friday and Saturday. Omar Yousef El Digeir, head…

Eight Sudanese students flogged in Omdurman

January 12 – 2017 OMDURMAN An Omdurman criminal court sentenced eight students of the University of Khartoum’s Faculty of Education to 20 lashes each on Wednesday morning. Three Darfuri students are still being held incommunicado by…

Sudan: Five political detainees released

January 11 – 2017 KHARTOUM Four opposition leaders have suddenly been released by the security apparatus after more than a month in detention for unknown reasons. A prominent youth activist was also released today. “We were detained…


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