Sudan urges UN to provide funds to 2 million refugees

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KHARTOUM, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) — Sudan government on Monday urged the United Nations (UN) to provide funds to help around 2 million refugees on its territories, Sudan tribune reported.

Sudan’s Minister of International Cooperation, Idris Suleiman, made the pledge when meeting the representative of the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Sudan, Noriko Yoshida.

The Sudanese minister stressed the importance of “provision of necessary budget from the international community to meet requirements of refugees in Sudan.”

He also reiterated the importance of training refugees, improving their camps’ environment and providing them with integrated services “as they impose additional pressure on available resources.”

The minister urged the international community to provide necessary assistance to Sudan which hosts a great number of refugees, grant these refugees shelter and avail them freedom of movement and interaction with the Sudanese society, namely the South Sudanese refugees.

Noriko Yoshida, for her part, reiterated the importance of listing and registering the refugees in Sudan, the report said.

According to statistics of Sudan’s Commission of Refugees, Sudan is hosting around 2 million refugees from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Chad, Somalia, Central Africa Republic, South Sudan, Yemen and Syria.

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Cholera reaches Central Darfur, ‘becomes endemic disease’ in Sudan

August 6 – 2017 SUDAN
Sudanese demand the federal Ministry of Health to declare cholera in White Nile state, Khartoum, 25 May 2017 (RD)

Sudanese demand the federal Ministry of Health to declare cholera in White Nile state, Khartoum, 25 May 2017 (RD)

 

The first cases of cholera have appeared in Zalingei, capital of Central Darfur, where two patients died last week. The infectious disease is still spreading in North, West, and South Darfur. In eastern Sudan, hundreds of cholera patients are being treated.

“Cholera has become an endemic disease in Sudan, in addition to malaria, typhoid, and other endemic diseases that can only be eradicated by accelerated efforts and awareness raising campaigns,” a medical doctor in Nyala, capital of South Darfur, told Radio Dabanga on Friday.

He said that the disease is spreading again in the city. “The El Wehda district recorded three cases within one family, while an entire family was infected in El Wehda East. The Health Insurance Centre in Nyala’s El Sad El Aali district of Nyala received three cholera patients.”

Zalingei

El Shafee Abdallah, Coordinator of the Central Darfur camps reported that the Royal Hospital of Zalingei received its first cholera patients on Wednesday.

“The eight patients came from villages in the eastern part of Zalingei locality and from the camps for the displaced near the capital,” he said.

“Two patients from Hamidiya camp died at the hospital on Wednesday and Friday. The other six patients being treated at the hospital’s isolation centre come from the Hamidiya and Hassahisa camps, and the villages of Kedbo, Kala, and Kalgo.”

El Sareif, Murnei

In North Darfur’s El Sareif Beni Hussein locality, three villagers were infected in Ghurra Farajawiya, 30 km west of Kabkabiya.

An activist told Radio Dabanga from Ghurra Farajawiya village that one of the three cases is stable. The other two were transferred to the isolation centre in the neighbouring village of Ghurra El Zawiya, bringing the number of cases at the centre to 25.

“The isolation unit in West Darfur’s Murnei received 57 new cholera patients last week,” a Murnei camp sheikhs told Radio Dabanga. “37 patients are coming from the camp, 21 from the surrounding villages.”

Eastern Sudan

Between 15 July and 3 August, 12 people died of cholera, and 412 others contracted the disease in El Dindir and villages in the southern part of Sennar.

A medical source told this station that no new cases were recorded in the isolation units in the villages of Bardana, Abu Hasheem, and Daraba in Sennar locality, and the isolation centre of El Dindir on Wednesday and Thursday.

On Tuesday, more than 10 cases were transferred to the isolation centre of El Dindir.

The source said the epidemic is expected to spread in the northern part of El Dindir. “An isolation unit is established at Deberti village in El Dindir, and a health awareness team has been sent to El Bir El Hamda village which witnessed one death last week,” he said.

The Hospital of Tokar in Red Sea state received one new cholera patient from Garora village in Ageeg locality on Friday.

According to journalist Osman Hashim, the isolation centre at the hospital is currently treating 60 cholera patients. Most of them come from the outskirts of Tokar town.

He considered the arrival of a case from the area of Garora an indication of the spread of cholera in the area south of Tokar “that does not have any health facilities”. He further pointed to the dire conditions in the Tokar Hospital, “where basic requirements such as beds and fans are lacking”.

Northern State

Parents in Delgo in Northern State have threatened to withdraw their children from the schools in the area if the authorities do no take precautionary measures to halt the rapid spread of cholera in the gold mining areas in the locality.

Nubian activist Ashraf Abdelwedoud told Radio Dabanga that the locality residents gave the locality commissioner time until Sunday to move the isolation centre from Delgo hospital to the mining areas, to prevent transmission of the infection to the residents of the area.

“Already one cholera case was recorded in the village of Delgo,”he said. “The total number of cholera patients in the hospital rose to more than 80 last week.”

South Kordofan

The Hospital of Kadugli, capital of South Kordofan, admitted eight cholera patients last week.

A health source told Dabanga Radio that five of them recovered. Three of them are still receiving treatment.

“The infections come from districts of Kadugli and the nearby areas of Kuweik, Bajaya, and El Hamra,” he said.

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Sudan plans to split South Sudanese refugee camp

File: About 416,000 South Sudanese refugees have arrived in Sudan since a brutal civil war erupted in their country in December 2013. Photo: Albert Gonzalez Farran / Albert Gonzalez Farran – AFP / AFP

 

KHARTOUM – Sudan is planning to split a camp housing tens of thousands of South Sudanese refugees into three separate units after a wave of violence, a minister said Sunday.

A group of youths went on a rampage this week at the Al Waral camp in Sudan’s southern White Nile state  — the country’s biggest camp, which houses more than 50,000 South Sudanese refugees.

They burned down administrative buildings and looted warehouses, UN refugee agency UNHCR said.

The violence started Tuesday after reports that a refugee youth had died in police custody, the agency said in a statement on Sunday.

At least 78 people were arrested in connection with the violence, according to the Sudanese Media Centre (SMC) which is close to Sudan’s powerful intelligence agencies.

Minister of State for the Interior Babikir Digna told SMC the detainees would face trial, and that his ministry was planning to divide the camp into three units.

Authorities have identified three locations for the smaller camps, he said, adding that the move would help authorities monitor the camps.

Digna said new refugees would be required to register with the authorities before being allowed into the camps.

Noriko Yoshida, UNHCR’s Sudan representative, appealed for calm and urged refugees at the camp to use appropriate, legal channels to express their concerns.

“Refugees, like everyone else, are subject to obey the law,” she said, adding that South Sudanese refugees were “themselves victims of conflicts and violence seeking safety in Sudan”.

About 416,000 South Sudanese refugees have arrived in Sudan since a brutal civil war erupted in their country in December 2013.

South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011, but has been engulfed by war since 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused his rival and former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup.

AFP

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‘Khartoum is creating an illusion of stability’: Sudanese think tank

July 23 – 2017 KAMPALA

A meeting of the Darfur Displaced and Refugees Association (file photo)

According to a new report by the Sudan Democracy First Group (SDFG) the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and its international supporters are working hard “to obscure the violence and political unrest which continue to convulse Sudan, and are accelerating the economic, social and cultural deprivation of its people”.

Cover page of the 70 PAGE Report Manufacturing the Illusion if Stability in Sudan.

In the English version of SDFG’s latest 70-page report, Manufacturing the Illusion of Stability in Sudan, the Kampala-based think tank deals with “the dynamics behind, and impact of, the campaign orchestrated by the NCP and its international supporters.

The 70-page report “exposes the external and internal partners of the regime who have participated in projecting an illusion of regime functionality at the expense of a genuine resolution of Sudan’s multiple crises,” the SDFG says in a press release today.

It also challenges the political opposition to engage in deeper consultation with Sudanese citizens and develop “a genuine grassroots movement for change”.

The Group warns that if the United States economic sanctions on Sudan will be lifted after three months, increased oversight of Sudanese financial flows will be vital.

“The biggest beneficiary of any lifting of sanctions will be the ruling party, its security institutions, and its private companies,” the report reads. “Mechanisms must be established to prevent increased weapons flows, support for militias and expansion of the architecture of state corruption.”

Political solution

According to the SDFG, “a just peace and lasting stability” cannot be achieved “through fragmented responses to Sudan’s various conflicts and political challenges.

“The biggest beneficiary of any lifting of sanctions will be the ruling party, its security institutions, and its private companies.”

“Ignoring the common roots of these conflicts, and responding to them through separately negotiated agreements, or through military means, will only add to the accumulation of grievances and exclusion. Only a comprehensive political solution will end the cycle of violence,” the think tank states.

The situation of the Sudanese refugees and displaced people in the country must be resolved through genuine consultation with the communities. “A conference of Sudanese refugees and displaced persons might be considered.

“All parties involved in the Sudanese crisis should put the situation of displaced people and refugees at the heart of their political proposals and discourse.”

As for the Sudanese opposition, it “must develop its discourse and working tools and strengthen its understanding and response to the basic issues in people’s daily lives.

“To do this, forces working for civil and political change must continue efforts to unify around a common platform, refine the clarity of their discourse and develop detailed alternative policies for the transition period; support the restoration of a genuinely independent political role for civil society by encouraging its active participation in the process of change and building bridges with political forces,” the Group recommends.

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Archbishop of Canterbury declares Sudan new Anglican province

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (second left) and his wife Caroline meet with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (right) in Khartoum on July 30, 2017. Welby declared Sudan the 39th province of the worldwide Anglican Communion, six years after the predominantly Christian south gained independence from the north. AFP PHOTO | ASHRAF SHAZLY

KHARTOUM

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby on Sunday (30 July 2017) declared Sudan the 39th province of the worldwide Anglican Communion, six years after the predominantly Christian south gained independence from the north.

The Anglican Church in Sudan, a majority Muslim country, has been administered from South Sudan since the 2011 split which followed a civil war that left more than two million people dead.

Sunday’s ceremony in Khartoum added Sudan to the 85 million-strong worldwide Anglican Communion’s 38 member churches — known as provinces — and six other branches known as extra provincials.

Welby said that creating a 39th Anglican province with its own Khartoum-based archbishop was a “new beginning” for Christians in Sudan.

FIRST ARCHBISHOP

He installed Ezekiel Kondo Kumir Kuku as the country’s first archbishop and primate at a ceremony in the capital’s All Saints Cathedral attended by American, European and African diplomats as well as hundreds of worshippers.

“We welcome the new primate with jubilation,” Welby announced to a cheering crowd as he handed a cross to Kuku.

Welby, spiritual head of the Church of England and of the global Anglican Communion, said it was a rare opportunity for an archbishop to declare a new primate.

“It is a responsibility for Christians to make this province work, and for those outside (Sudan) to support, to pray and to love this province,” he said.

“The church must learn to be sustainable financially, to develop the skills of its people, and to bless this country as the Christians here already do.”

SOUTH’S SECESSION

The idea of a separate Anglican province in Sudan was first discussed in 2009 as it became clear that the south would secede.

Previously, the Episcopal Church of Sudan and South Sudan administered the region, Reverend Francis Clement of All Saints Cathedral told AFP.

“But after the split it was decided to have a separate, autonomous Episcopal Church of Sudan,” he said.

“Today, we inaugurated that. It will have its own autonomous administration to take its own decisions.”

There is no central Anglican authority such as a pope, with each member church making its own decision in its own ways guided by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

PERSECUTION

Human rights and Christian campaign groups have regularly accused the Sudanese authorities of persecuting Christians and even destroying churches in the capital since the north-south split.

About three years ago two South Sudanese pastors, Yat Michael and Peter Yen, were arrested in Sudan on charges including spying and crimes against the state.

The two, arrested by agents of Sudan’s powerful National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), were released by a Khartoum court in August last year.

Since the 1989 coup that brought Islamist backed President Omar al-Bashir to power, authorities in Khartoum have pursued Arabising and Islamising policies in a bid to unify the country.

This has stirred resentment and helped trigger a devastating civil war that ended with the secession of the mainly Christian south.

WELBY MEETS BASHIR

Later on Sunday, Welby met Bashir with whom he discussed issues concerning “protection” of Christians and churches in Sudan.

“We talked of how in England we seek to help mosques in ensuring that they are able to function well and freely,” Welby said.

“In England, the Church of England often seeks to protect Muslims when they are under pressure,” he said, indicating that he expected the same in Sudan when it came to protecting Christians.

Christian communities in Sudan today are mostly found in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan state. Experts say that between three and five percent of Sudan’s about 25 million population are Christian.

US President Donald Trump is to decide on October 12 whether to permanently lift sanctions imposed in 1997 over Khartoum’s alleged backing for Islamist militant groups.

Several campaign groups have urged Washington to maintain the sanctions or formulate new ones to address concerns over human rights violations, including alleged religious repression.

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A necessary delay for easing of Sudan sanctions

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Obama-era benchmarks for human rights progress are still missing

Sudan Corruption Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Sudan Corruption Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

– – Monday, July 24, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The announcement last week by the Trump administration that it is delaying the Obama administration’s order to ease sanctions on Sudan was a welcome decision. The three-month delay is not long enough to give the Sudanese the impression that we are not serious about this matter, but will be long enough to complete the needed and ongoing review of that government’s adherence to the requirements of sanctions-easing.

When the previous administration announced the plan to ease sanctions last year, it came without prior consultation with Congress, a body that has played a key role in U.S.-Sudan relations for more than three decades. In 1996, I co-chaired a hearing with Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen on slavery in Mauritania and Sudan. We both lamented that at that late date we were still examining the existence of slavery, an action that should have been relegated to the dustbin of history long ago. Then-Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs William Twadell described an appalling attempt by the government in Khartoum to “subjugate opposition wherever it is found” — including the taking of slaves by the army of Sudan or forces under its control. A few years later, the Sudan government and its forces were no longer enslaving Sudanese citizens, but continued to terrorize them.

Our government, led by Congress, has continued to play a role in supporting diplomatic efforts to end the long North-South civil war and set the stage for independence for South Sudan in 2011. Over the years, Congress has discussed with various administrations the prospect of easing sanctions as a reward for proven democratic progress by the Republic of Sudan.

Unfortunately, that government has met these efforts not with cooperation but with further provocations. For example, the Sudanese government facilitated attacks on the people of Darfur by the Janjaweed militias; the attacks were declared genocide by our government in 2004. Subsequent attacks on people in the Abyei area by Misseryia Arabs drove thousands to flee as refugees. Repeated bombings in the Nuba Mountains have prevented normal life for people there, and intimidation reportedly continues with overflights, if not actual bombing.

The Obama administration set five conditions for easing sanctions that would allow American companies to engage in commerce freely in Sudan: 1) rebuilding counterterrorism cooperation; 2) countering the threat of the Lord’s Resistance Army; 3) ending “negative involvement” in South Sudan’s conflict; 4) sustaining a unilateral cessation of hostilities in Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile Provinces; and 5) improving humanitarian access throughout Sudan.

The major missing point is the defense of human rights. The current Department of State human rights report describes Sudan as “a republic with power concentrated in the hands of authoritarian President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his inner circle.” The report went on to state that in the period before the April 2015 national elections, “security forces arrested many supporters, members and leaders of boycotting parties and confiscated numerous newspapers,” conditions creating a repressive environment not conducive to free and fair elections.

The State Department report further cited the National Intelligence and Security Service of perpetrating “a pattern of widespread disregard for rule of law, committing major abuses, such as extrajudicial and other unlawful killings; torture, beatings, rape and other cruel or inhuman treatment or punishment; arbitrary arrest and detention by security forces; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; incommunicado detention; prolonged pretrial detention; obstruction of humanitarian assistance; restrictions on freedom of speech, press, assembly, association, religion and movement and intimidation and closure of human rights and nongovernmental organizations.”

Former Secretary of State John Kerry has been a proponent of easing sanctions on Sudan since his days as a U.S. senator. Yet few observers are certain that the conditions he saw being met by the Sudan government have indeed fully been implemented. The current administration’s delay allows for further investigation and, hopefully, benchmarks for progress. This will benefit both the U.S. and Sudanese governments as both sides can quantify the status of progress.

Providing incentives for Sudan to make democratic progress is reasonable, but only if there is a framework to certify that Sudan is indeed making the promised reforms and that both sides can transparently track any progress being made. Otherwise, we are left with a vague process that will disappoint both governments, but most of all, the people of Sudan.

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Access to key medicine for nearly 2 million Sudanese due to USAID contribution

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© WHO Sudan

WHO staff loads Rapid Response Kits with medicine for 80 different common diseases onto a truck to be delivered to different locations across Darfur, Kordofan and Blue Nile.

Between January and May 2017, over 137,000 South Sudanese arrived in Sudan as refugees, fleeing their home and often leaving their possessions behind to escape a civil war. These new arrivals meant that there were now 418,000 refugees in Sudan, and that no less than 3,4 million people were in need of better health services in the country.

Health systems across Sudan, and especially in Darfur, Blue Nile, and Kordofan, were struggling with this increasing burden. Despite continued efforts and improvements by the Government of Sudan, WHO, and health partners, the existing health facilities were becoming overburdened. Shortages of life-saving medicine were spreading, as well as shortages of medical supplies, health staff, and the availability of quality health care all-round.

The Sudanese people who relied on the weakened health systems were increasingly suffering from deadly, but preventable diseases, such as acute watery and bloody diarrhoea, malaria, and respiratory infections. Their biggest need? Medicine. The lack of available and affordable medicine was not only causing more illness and death, it was forcing people to spend more money which then took away from other essential expenditure on food, water, and more. So, with the generous help of USAID, medical specialists of WHO Sudan put together a three step programme to fill this need for proper medicine.

First, staff conducted a quick assessment of which kinds of medicine were needed. Using past reports as well as constantly updated digital information from smart, decentralized reporting systems like the HeRAMS and EWARS, WHO staff was able to put together an emergency health kit including 80 different kinds of medicine. The list included treatment for diarrhoea, pneumonia, but also diabetes and high blood pressure. These so-called Rapid Response Kits contain 10 modules of essential medicines and cover at least 3000 people for 3 months.

Then, WHO needed to buy the actual pills, powders and injections, and get them to the right place. To make sure that medicines and pharmaceutical products meet the highest standards, WHO applies strict safeguards while also looking for the best price. By ensuring high standards and sharp prices, the generous contribution of USAID lasts far longer. In total, WHO distributed 518 kits and implemented medical consultations, covering 1,819,000 vulnerable people. The support of 8 international partners was crucial in achieving the result, including the American Refugee Committee, Care International Sudan, Save the Children Sweden, World Relief, GOAL IRELAND, Relief International, Catholic Relief Support, and the International Medical Corporation.

After distribution of the kits, WHO ensured that the right medicine was being prescribed for the right conditions. Spot checks and data from the smart systems in place, including a WHO supply tracking and stock management system, guaranteed this.

At the end of the project, thanks to the generous contribution of USAID and the smooth collaboration between WHO and its partners, nearly 2 million Sudanese people had received access to life-saving essential medicine. What’s more, another 3 million people benefited indirectly from the project outcome: their risk of becoming ill because their friend or neighbor did not have a health system to turn to was now far lower.

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Darfur prisoners of war are tortured in Sudanese jails: rebels

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July 25, 2017 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudan Liberation Movement -Minn Minnawi (SLM-MM) and the SLM-Transitional Council (SLM-TC)called on the international community to press the government to stop torture on rebels recently detained in the Sudanese jails

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Rebels from the Sudan Liberation Army led by Minni Minnawi (Photo: Reuters)

Following clashes with the Sudanese government forces in North and East Darfur, several rebel leading members have been arrested including SLM-TC chairman Nimir Abdel Rahman, and the military spokesperson of the SLM-MM Ahmed Hussain Mustafa (Adorob).

In a joint statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Tuesday 25 July, the two groups said Adorob “has been subjected to severe torture that caused his hand and leg were been broken”.

The rebel has been transferred to Omdurman military hospital on 17 July, further said the statement.

“We call on human rights activists, international organisations and the international community to exert strong pressure on the Government of Sudan to refrain from committing such atrocities that constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity and to abide by international conventions that protect rights of PoWs”.

The rebel spokesperson was arrested in East Darfur State on 20 May. He was among rebels that entered the country from South Sudan led by Mohamed Abdelsalam (aka Tarada) who was killed during the clashes.

Rebel sources at the time said they the arrested rebels are detained in El-Fasher prison. However, it is believed they are now transferred to other prisons.

No date has been yet announced for the trial of the detained rebel commanders.

The government said its troops routed the coordinated attacks in North and East Darfur and accused the Libyan general Khalifa Hafar of supplying the rebels with weapons and ammunition.

(ST)

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Sudan: Weak Sudanese Pound Impacts Market Commodity Prices

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El Gedaref — Commodity prices in Sudan’s El Gedaref have reportedly risen in an unprecedented manner after the Sudanese Pound fell sharply against the US Dollar following the decision by US President Trump to postpone his decision to lift economic sanctions.

“This also comes at a time when the markets are experiencing a significant recession,” a resident of El Gedaref told Radio Dabanga. The price of a 50kg sack of sugar 50 kilos has climbed from SDG 650 to SDG 540, while the price of a jerry can of oil has climbed from SDG 520 to SDG 480.”

The official rate for the US Dollar quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan is SDG 6.6667, however on the ‘parallel market’, the Dollar was trading for more than SDG 21 on the streets of Khartoum on Sunday.

The trader from El Gedaref pointed out that the rise in prices included all commodities, and prompted traders to increase the prices of all imported goods.

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Advocacy group calls to release South Sudan TV director

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July 19, 2017 (JUBA) – Reporters Without Borders also known as Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) Wednesday has called for the release of the director of South Sudan’s state-owned national TV broadcaster, SSBC, detained since nine days ago by the security service.

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Adil Faris Mayat (Photo from his page on Twitter)

Adil Faris Mayat has been arrested on 10 July after the station failed to relay a live broadcast of President Salva Kiir’s speech during the sixth independence day anniversary held on 9 July.

According to RSF, Mayat attributed this failure of the live broadcast to technical problems. However, the South Sudanese officials were angered considered it as an act meant to undermine the South Sudanese president.

“We call for this journalist’s immediate release,” said Cléa Kahn-Sriber, the head of RSF’s Africa desk. “Frequent arbitrary measures of this kind by the security services and the accompanying impunity are killing media freedom in South Sudan and are holding back a return to peace and national reconciliation,” he said.

The director of the official TV station is detained without charges.

The freedom of information advocacy group further said that his family or lawyer have no information about his whereabouts or the conditions in which he is being held.

South Sudan has fallen 20 places in RSF’s World Press Freedom Index since 2015 and is now ranked 145th out of 180 countries.

(ST)

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