Sudan: Two Newspapers Suspended Over Eastern Sudan Protest Announcement

21 September 2021

Khartoum — The Press and Publications Council decided to suspend the publication of El Intibaha and El Sayha newspapers for a period of three days, starting from Tuesday, against the background of the publication of an announcement to close the roads in eastern Sudan, where large protests have been taking place.

The General Secretariat of the Press Council said in a statement that the two newspapers published an announcement "for an unknown and not legally registered entity", which is assumed to be the High Coordination of Eastern Sudan Community Groups.

The announcement is considered a violation of the Constitutional Document, which prohibits the inciting of religious, ethnic, racial, or cultural hatred or calling for violence or war.

The council emphasised the freedom and independence of the press and said that it takes into account the public interest. It said that the press should play its role in a pluralistic society in accordance with what is regulated by law.

Eastern Sudan protests

In the past days, eastern Sudan has witnessed large protests over the Eastern Sudan Track of the Juba Peace Agreement.

The High Council of Beja Nazirs has organised civil disobedience actions by blocking key highways linking Red Sea state with Kassala and El Gedaref, suspending bank transfers, and closing several ports and duty-free markets.

Their most prominent demands are to cancel the Eastern Sudan Track of the 2020 Juba Peace Agreement and the adoption of a new negotiating platform for eastern Sudan. The high council also demands the formation of a government of technocrats. "We demand a competent government as the current partisan government is too slow in responding to our demands," Beja Nazirs Council spokesman Abdallah Obshar told Radio Dabanga.

Beja nazirs have opposed the Eastern Sudan Track since it was agreed upon by the Sudanese government and the Sudan Revolutionary Front rebel alliance in Juba in February 2020.

Some eastern Sudanese community leaders and activists disagree with the Beja nazirs' approach.

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