11 October 2017

Sudan: ♦ This Week's News in Brief ♦

analysis

Dabanga Sudan — A compact weekly digest of Dabanga Sudan's highlights of the news from Darfur and Sudan

♦ Sanctions lifted: No celebration "unless Sudan changes internal politics"

October 10 - 2017 KHARTOUM The lifted trade embargo on Sudan by the United States generated reactions from economists, MPs and political parties, stressing that Khartoum has little to celebrate unless it changes internal policies. Experts contradicted predictions by government officials that the lifting of sanctions on Sudan will solve the economic crisis in the country to a large extent.

On Friday, the administration of President Donald Trump lifted two-decades-old economic sanctions on Khartoum "in recognition of the Government of Sudan's sustained positive actions to maintain a cessation of hostilities in conflict areas in Sudan, improve humanitarian access throughout Sudan, and maintain cooperation with the US on addressing regional conflicts and the threat of terrorism". The US decision did not include the removal of Sudan from the list of states sponsoring terrorism -to which it was added in 1993- which means that restrictions on debt relief, receiving foreign aid, or the sale of arms are still in place.

According to economist Prof Eltigani in Cairo, the permanent lifting of the trade embargo "has mostly a psychological effect". "Major US and European companies will refrain from investing in Sudan under these circumstances, especially as Sudan is still on the list of countries that support terrorism," he stated. "But instead it is misleading the people with slogans saying the lifting of the sanctions will solve the economic crisis - which of course will not happen."

Also Members of Parliament have called on the government to act rationally and deal with the economical imbalances. Another Sudanese economist, Dr Siddig Kabello, said: "The lifting of sanctions has given the government a false sense of victory. Unless the government's internal politics change in terms of security and rule of law, the lifting will not lead to any change that would attract foreign investment."

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♦ Bern demands release of Swiss aid worker abducted in Darfur

October 10 - 2017 EL FASHER The Swiss Margaret Schenkel has been kidnapped by gunmen in North Darfur for three days since Saturday. A group of gunmen stormed her home on Saturday evening, her neighbours in El Daraja El Oula district in El Fasher told Radio Dabanga. They forced her to embark a Land Cruiser at gunpoint and took her to an unknown destination. The kidnappers have not yet made their demands public.

The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Ms Marta Ruedas called for Schenkel's release on Monday. "Targeting aid workers who provide neutral, impartial and life-saving humanitarian assistance is a crime under International Humanitarian Law."

Schenkel, in her 60s, has been living and working as a volunteer relief worker in Darfur for about 20 years during which she rendered humanitarian service to the war victims and other poor people of the region, especially assisting malnourished children.

It is not the first time for a humanitarian worker to be kidnapped in Darfur by militiamen. More than 20 foreigners were abducted for ransom -and released- in Darfur in the past two decades. Hundreds of Darfuris were kidnapped. The head of the Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre (DRDC), Abdelbagi Jibril, told Radio Dabanga yesterday: "All the humanitarian abductees have been released unharmed after intervention of the government of Sudan." But the risk of abduction is growing day by day, Jibril said, especially following the decision to slowly withdraw the United Nations and African Union Mission in Darfur (Unamid) from the region.

More news from Radio Dabanga:

SPLM-N rebels in Nuba pursue self-determination

October 10 - 2017 HEIBAN The Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) held a conference in Heiban last week to discuss the claims for self-determination by the Nuba Mountains...

Sudan opposition leader barred from flying to Egypt

October 10 - 2017 KHARTOUM Sudanese security authorities prevented the co-president of the National Umma Party from travelling to Cairo on Monday evening, to attend a meeting with Sudanese...

Sudanese continue to suffer from soaring medicine prices

October 8 - 2017 KHARTOUM People in Sudan who suffer from chronic diseases have renewed their complaints about huge increases in the prices of medicine this year....

'Eight Sudanese church leaders detained in six weeks'

October 8 - 2017 KHARTOUM According to the World Watch Monitor (WWM), the Sudanese authorities are trying to intervene in the affairs of several denominations in the country. Eight...

Enforced arms collection at hand in South Darfur

October 6 - 2017 NYALA / KHARTOUM South Darfur will start with the forced collection of weapons from civilians as of mid-October. In particular areas such as camps and prone to tribal conflicts can expect...

Sudan regrets being listed as human trafficking country

October 6 - 2017 KHARTOUM / EL FASHER Sudan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs regrets the decision by the United States to keep the country within its list of countries it considers reluctant to combat human...

Four girls raped in North Darfur

October 6 - 2017 TAWILA Four girls were raped by gunmen, outside of a camp for displaced people in Tawila locality on Wednesday....

'18 wounded students', tension in West Kordofan university

October 6 - 2017 EN NAHUD Tensions a day after students clashed, causing the wounding of reportedly 18 students, at the Faculty of Education in West Kordofan University in En Nahud resulted in students...

Cholera still scourge in Sudan; new disease claims 12 lives in North Darfur capital

October 5 - 2017 NYALA / SINKAT An unidentified disease reportedly claimed the lives of 12 people from camp Otash for the displaced in Nyala, capital of South Darfur during the past week. 65 others...

Sudan sanctions must stay: Enough Project

October 5 - 2017 WASHINGTON In an article published in US News & World Report this week, John Prendergast and Ian Schwab of the Enough Project highlight the a recent attack on peaceful protesters...

Three dead in South Darfur dawn raid

October 4 - 2017 FOGALI Three people were shot dead during a raid by militiamen mounted on horses and camels in Fogali area of East Jebel Marra locality in South Darfur on Monday morning...

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