♦ 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


♦ Twelve dead, 'another 30,000 villagers displaced' in Jebel Marra

March 7 – 2016 KALOKITING / GOLOL / TAWILA / NIERTETI More than ten people were killed in Darfur's Jebel Marra as of Thursday. Seven people were killed and 20 others injured in attacks by the Sudanese military and allied militiamen on areas in southern Jebel Marra on Saturday. Ten villages northwest of Kalokitting burned to ashes, making about 30,000 villagers homeless, a listener told Radio Dabanga from the area. “In the afternoon the soldiers and militiamen raided and torched the villages. Four women, two men, and a child were killed.”

That same day, two secondary school students were killed in air raids in the south, on the area around Golol, and a boy was fatally hit by a missile when government troops shelled the area of Toran Touna. In Tawila locality, a minor and a man were killed in an aerial bombardment on Thursday night. The bombardment coincided with a visit of the North Darfur Governor, who held a speech in Tawila town, calling on the tens of thousands of displaced people from Jebel Marra to voluntarily return to their homes.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan, the number of people displaced by the recent violence in Jebel Marra reached 96,000 by 28 February. Of this reported number, 65,800 people have been registered. The majority of the newly displaced are in North Darfur.

People fleeing the attacks on villages in Jebel Marra are still pouring into the camps for the displaced in North and Central Darfur. The newly displaced in North Darfur have received food aid, while those in Central Darfur are still in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. An activist in the camps in Tawila reported that 47 families arrived there last week and the Sudanese Red Crescent has registered them. The activist said that the UN World Food Programme (WFP) distributed millet and lentils to a group of newcomers in the Tawila camps. “This brings the number of those who have received food aid to 28,000.”

In a joint statement on 3 March, the AU Commission chairwoman, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, call on the Sudanese government to fully cooperate with Unamid to facilitate its freedom of movement, as well as that of the humanitarian actors.


♦ Hassan El Turabi dies of heart attack in Sudanese capital

March 6 – 2016 KHARTOUM Hassan El Turabi, the Sudanese opposition leader who helped bring President Omar Al Bashir to power, died at the age of 84 in Khartoum on Saturday. The Secretariat of the Popular Congress Party (PCP) stated that its president became unwell at around 11 am at the PCP’s headquarters. He was immediately taken to the Royal Care Hospital, where he passed away not much later.

El Turabi was a key ally of Al Bashir when he took power in a coup in 1989, but they fell out a decade later. His death was announced by state TV, which described him as a “well-known Islamic thinker”.

Born in Kassala in eastern Sudan, the son of a local imam, El Turabi moved to Khartoum to study law before completing his studies in London and Paris. He joined Sudan's Muslim Brotherhood and rose to national prominence in the 1964 intifada which overthrew General Ibrahim Abboud.

For the first decade of Al Bashir's rule, El Turabi was the de facto leader of the country, and his influence spread beyond Sudan's borders. In 1999, a year after he was elected secretary-general of the National Congress Party (NCP), El Turabi lost a power struggle with Al Bashir. He founded the opposition PCP in 2001, but spent much of the next decade in detention. 

About 15 years later, in March 2014, the two men had their first public meeting in years. That year, the PCP joined the National Dialogue, which concluded with a set of recommendations from thematic committees last month. President Omar Al Bashir called for a broad National Dialogue in January 2014, in an attempt to to discuss and resolve the various crises in the country. Sudanese opposition parties have shunned the National Dialogue from the start.

Other highlights from Dabanga Sudan:

Sudanese highlight displacement, discrimination on Women’s Day

March 8 – 2016 KHARTOUM The situation of women in Sudan is one of the worst in comparison to the rest of the world, a Sudanese lawyer and displaced women said…

Old Darfur cinemas source of knowledge and enlightenment

March 8 – 2016 EL FASHER / NYALA Darfur Special: Years after El Fasher Cinema screened its last film, people are awaiting the decision of the new owner. Darfur's…

Saudi aircraft flies Al Bashir to Islamic summit in Indonesia

March 7 – 2016 JAKARTA On Saturday evening, President Omar Al Bashir left for the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, heading a Sudanese delegation, to attend the 5th Islamic…

More than 8,000 Sudanese reached Italy by sea in 2015’: UNHCR

March 5 – 2016 KHARTOUM Of the 153,840 people who arrived in Italy by sea in 2015, almost 9,000 came from Sudan, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said in a…

One civilian, soldiers killed in South Kordofan

March 4 – 2016 RASHAD / DELLING A civilian was killed in a long-range missile attack by the Sudanese military in South Kordofan, the Sudan People's Liberation…

Darfur: Four women raped, culprits apprehended

March 4 – 2016 KABKABIYA / NYALA One girl and three women were raped in separate incidents near two camps for displaced people in Darfur. Four of the perpetrators, reportedly…


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