Category Archives: Sudan

Sudan detains nine opposition leaders ahead of planned protest

Sudan photoSudan has been rocked by more than a week of protests sparked by rise in bread prices [File: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters]

Arrests came after a coalition of opposition groups called for more protests after weekly noon prayers on Friday.

Authorities in Sudan have arrested at least nine opposition leaders and activists, according to a civil society group, in the face of fresh anti-government protests expected after the weekly Muslim prayers on Friday.

The head of the media office at the National Intelligence and Security Service denied any knowledge of the arrests.

Sudan has been rocked by more than a week of anti-government protests sparked by rising prices, shortages of basic commodities and a cash crisis.

At least 19 people have died during the protests, including two military personnel, according to official figures. However, rights group Amnesty International put the death toll at 37.

The arrests of opposition leaders occurred late on Thursday after security forces raided their meeting in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, according to a statement by a committee of professional organisations involved in the protests.

The nine arrested included Siddiq Youssef, a senior leader of Sudan’s Communist Party, as well as leaders from the pan-Arab Ba’ath and Nasserist parties, the statement said.

The raid came after opposition groups called for more protests after the weekly noon prayers on Friday.

Fourteen leaders of one of Sudan’s two main opposition groupings were briefly held last Saturday.

Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan, reporting from Khartoum, said the protests were getting increased backing from political and civil society groups.

“It is not clear if the government would allow the protests to go, we have seen on Tuesday how they responded with tear gas and live ammunition,” she said, adding: “And this is basically what might be happening today again that more live ammunition and tear gas will be used and that the death toll will rise.”

Economic crisis

Protests initially started in towns and villages more than a week ago and later spread to Khartoum, as people rallied against the government tripling the price of a loaf of bread from one Sudanese pound to three ($0.02 to $0.06).

Demonstrators have also been marching against Sudan’s dire economic situation and some have called for President Omar al-Bashir’s resignation.

Doctors and journalists have launched a strike in support of the protests.

Sudan has been gripped by a deep financial crisis since 2011 when the southern half of the country voted to secede, taking with it three-quarters of the country’s oil output.

The crisis was further aggravated by years of overspending and mismanagement.

Opposition groups blame Bashir, who has been in power since a 1989 coup, for the mismanagement.

A series of economic measures, including a sharp devaluation of the Sudanese pound in October, have failed to shore up the economy.

In January 2018, Sudan was shaken by rare nationwide protests triggered by high bread prices.

But the recent protests that began on December 19 appear to be more serious.

Since the demonstrations began, police have used tear gas and sometimes live ammunition against demonstrators, according to residents.

The authorities have shuttered schools and declared curfews and a state of emergency in several regions.

Journalists at the daily Al-Sudani said one of their colleagues was beaten by security forces after protesters passed next to the independent newspaper’s offices.

Sudanese Parties Sign Pact over Abyei

News from Africa

Khartoum, Sudan.  North and south Sudan have reached an agreement to demilitarise the disputed oil-rich Abyei region following series of futile discussions to find everlasting solution on the fate of the region.  The landmark peace agreement comes weeks before south’s independence is legitimately recognised but dispute over the region which both sides claim has led to bloody confrontations in the recent past, leaving thousands displaced.  Former South African leader Thabo Mbeki who mediated the talks held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia told reporters that representatives from the Khartoum government and south’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), managed to sign the agreement on Abyei that provides for the demilitarisation of Abyei so that the Sudanese army would withdraw and for the deployment of Ethiopian forces. Continue reading Sudanese Parties Sign Pact over Abyei

Obama Calls for Ceasefire in Sudan Crisis

News from Africa

Khartoum, Sudan

US President Barack Obama has called for a ceasefire in the escalating clashes in the border state of Southern Kordofan between Sudanese army and militia forces aligned to South Sudan’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).  In an audio recorded message to the people of Sudan and its leaders President Obama called for an immediate cease of military operations by the Sudanese government to prevent further escalation of the crisis.   “The government of Sudan must prevent a further escalation of this crisis by ceasing its military actions immediately, including aerial bombardments, forced displacements and campaigns of intimidation,” he said. Continue reading Obama Calls for Ceasefire in Sudan Crisis

Sudan: bishop urges immediate end to conflict

Independent Catholic News

More than 60,000 people have been forced from their homes by fighting in South Kordofan, in the border region between north Sudan,  and the soon to be formed Republic of South Sudan. Caritas fears a humanitarian crisis is rapidly developing due to the conflict and a lack of access to the affected population by the humanitarian community.  Coadjutor Bishop Michael Didi Adgum Mangoria of El Obeid, whose diocese covers the worst hit areas, says people have been fleeing from the fighting, trying to escape the conflict if they can.  Bishop Didi said:  “The war must end immediately. There is great suffering among the people. The international community must do all it can to support a return to a negotiated peace settlement.” Continue reading Sudan: bishop urges immediate end to conflict

Fleeing civilians hunted ‘like animals’ by helicopter gunships


Sr. Pat Murray, executive director of the South Sudan Project, asked the JPIC Office to circulate this information on the deteriorating situation in South Sudan.

South Kordofan: reports of mass atrocities

Friday June 10 2011.  Escalating violence against civilians in Sudan’s South Kordofan state is a major humanitarian catastrophe in the making, with an estimated 300,000 people besieged, cut off from relief aid, and unable to escape fighting.  The United Nations estimates that up to 40,000 people have fled fighting between Sudanese government troops, Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), and members of the former southern rebel group, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), in Kadugli, the capital of Sudan’s oil-producing border state of South Kordofan. Shelling was heard in the town of Kauda this morning and Antonov planes have been seen carrying out aerial bombardment in areas with a significant civilian population, in the Heiban and Um Dorain areas among others. Furthermore, low-flying MIG fighter planes have been used to terrify the displaced people seeking shelter around the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) compound just north of Kadugli. Continue reading Fleeing civilians hunted ‘like animals’ by helicopter gunships

South Sudan’s reliance on NGOs

From PRI’s The World

By Matthew Brunwasser,

South Sudan is poised to become Africa’s newest nation, but NGOs will still provide basic services to almost 90 percent of the country.

Operation Lifeline Sudan, launched by the United Nations in 1989, was one of the biggest humanitarian efforts ever seen. It brought together UN agencies and some 35 non-governmental organizations (NGO).  Decades of civil war ended in 2005, when a peace treaty gave the south defacto autonomy. The former rebel group — the SPLA — has been governing the south ever since. Vassar College Political Scientist Zachariah Mampilly says the situation created an unsustainable relationship between foreign NGOs and the SPLA. Continue reading South Sudan’s reliance on NGOs

A Dream Too Long Deferred: The referendum and the future of Sudan

A mini report with a bit of a personal reflection by Fr. Mike Schultheis SJ, a Jesuit priest from the USA, is the Vice-Chancellor of the Catholic University of Sudan. Among his other assignments during more than thirty years in Africa, he was the first president of the Catholic University of Ghana, lectured at Makerere University (Uganda) and the University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and assisted in establishing the Catholic University of Mozambique. He also served as Associate Director, the International Secretariat of the Jesuit Refugee Service, and Director, JRS Africa. Fr. Mike Schultheis SJ, Vice – Chancellor Catholic University of Sudan P.O. Box 257, Juba (CES), Sudan. Continue reading A Dream Too Long Deferred: The referendum and the future of Sudan

Peace and faith: securing peaceful co-existence after the referendum

Africa Files

Northern Sudan Churches Consultative Forum

St Paul’s Major Seminary, Khartoum January 5-7, 2011

Communique: A call for Peace and Justice for all People

On the eve of the historic Referendum in which our southern sisters and brothers will decide whether to stay in one united Sudan or whether to secede, we, more than 100 church leaders and committed Christians from both SCC and non-SCC member churches, call for the peaceful conduct of the Referendum, and a peaceful future with justice for all the people of Sudan. Continue reading Peace and faith: securing peaceful co-existence after the referendum

Sudan: Christians appeal for prayers on eve of referendum

Independent Catholic News

Sudanese Christians have appealed for prayers on the eve of the referendum due to start on Sunday, 9 January on whether Sudan will remain united or divide into two, North and South. Voting is restricted to Southern Sudan. It is almost universally expected that there will be a vote for Southern independence, leading to the establishment of a new state on 9 July. Continue reading Sudan: Christians appeal for prayers on eve of referendum