Khartoum (AFP) Seated in his Khartoum office overlooking the Blue Nile, Sudanese journalist Adil al-Baz no longer fears a crackdown by security agents over his articles since he launched an online newspaper. “We are free to publish what we want on our online newspaper,” Baz, a former print newspaper editor, told AFP at the office of Al-Ahdath, the website he launched this year. In a country of increasing media censorship, Baz is among several independent journalists who have left newspaper jobs and launched online papers or websites. About a dozenRead More
Khartoum (AFP) By arresting Darfur’s powerful militia chief Musa Hilal, Khartoum has tightened its control over Sudan’s strife-torn region but analysts say it might open a new chapter of violence. Hilal, a former aide to President Omar al-Bashir, was arrested last week by Sudan’s counter-insurgency forces near his hometown of Mustariaha in North Darfur state after fierce clashes that left several dead. “This is a dangerous moment actually,” Magnus Taylor, Sudan analyst with the think-tank International Crisis Group, told AFP. “By taking out Musa Hilal, they have pitched two differentRead More
Khartoum (AFP) The United Nations said Wednesday that some armed groups fighting in Sudan still deploy child soldiers, but acknowledged Khartoum’s efforts to prevent child recruitment into its forces. Olof Skoog, chairman of the UN Security Council’s working group on children and armed conflict, said armed groups including rebel factions were not implementing international regulations on children in conflict. “We have made very strong appeals to the armed groups that they fully subscribe to international law when it comes to respecting children,” Skoog told reporters in Khartoum during a tripRead More
Khartoum (AFP) A Sudanese civilian employee of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in war-torn Darfur has been arrested and charged with sexually abusing a minor, the mission said Tuesday. It said the Sudanese police had informed it that the suspect was arrested on Sunday. Both the accused and the alleged victim of the incident in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state, are Sudanese nationals, it said. “The mission condemns, in the strongest possible terms, any instance of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse committed by UN personnel in theRead More
Khartoum (AFP) Ten members of Sudan’s controversial counter-insurgency unit have been killed in clashes with fighters loyal to a powerful militia leader in war-torn Darfur, the official SUNA news agency reported Sunday. Clashes between troops from the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and fighters loyal to Musa Hilal erupted when a unit of RSF was ambushed near the hometown of Hilal in the state of North Darfur. “An RSF commander and nine other members were martyred when they were ambushed near Mustariaha,” SUNA reported. Mustariaha is the hometown and bastion ofRead More
Khartoum (AFP) A top US official Friday called on Sudan to stop demolitions of churches, insisting that Washington would push for human rights and religious freedom in the country. US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan also said that how Khartoum promotes freedom of expression and other human rights will be “critical” to future relations between the two countries. Sullivan is the highest-ranking Trump administration official to visit Khartoum since the United States lifted a decades-old trade embargo on October 12. “The government of Sudan, including the federal states, should…Read More
Khartoum (AFP) The United States is prepared to hold talks on removing Sudan from its blacklist of “state sponsors of terrorism,” a senior US official said in Khartoum on Thursday. Sudan meanwhile said it was ready to cut ties with North Korea, in a sign of goodwill towards Washington. US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said that given the “positive” steps taken by Sudan since last year, Washington was prepared to discuss removing Sudan from the blacklist, which also includes Iran and Syria. “We are prepared to continue discussionsRead More
Khartoum (AFP) Sudanese security forces have freed a Swiss aid worker who was kidnapped in Darfur last month in an overnight operation in the war-torn region, Sudanese and Swiss officials said Wednesday. The abduction of Margaret Schankel was the first such reported incident in Darfur since the United Nations began scaling back its peacekeeping force in the region earlier this year. Her release comes as the UN Security Council meets on Wednesday to assess the downsizing of the peacekeeping mission in Darfur. “Agents of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security ServicesRead More
Khartoum (AFP) Dozens of Sudanese journalists on Wednesday demonstrated in Khartoum against a proposed new press law that aims to tighten restrictions on media freedom in the African country. “United Against the New Law” and “Free Press or No Press,” read banners held up by demonstrators who say the bill empowers Sudan’s press council to ban any journalist for an indefinite period if his writings oppose government policies. The cabinet led by Prime Minister Bakri Hassan Saleh is examining the draft, which if passed would go to parliament for aRead More
Khartoum (AFP) A controversial Sudanese counter-insurgency unit said Sunday it had seized 19 tonnes of hashish in war-torn Darfur, in one of the largest hauls ever reported in Sudan. Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF), usually used to crush rebels in the country’s conflict areas, seized two vehicles loaded with hashish after a gunfight with smugglers in the state of South Darfur last week. On Sunday, the security forces showed tonnes of seized cannabis to reporters at an RSF camp in Khartoum. Dozens of blue plastic sacks full of hashish wereRead More