Khartoum suspends UN refugee aid programme in east Sudan
(AFP) Sudan has suspended a United Nations programme which gives job training and other assistance to thousands of refugees and local residents in poverty-stricken east Sudan, the UN said on Wednesday. The state-linked Sudanese Media Centre said the Transitional Solutions Initiative (TSI) is on hold while both sides review the project “so it can attain its goals.” The programme’s beneficiaries are among 6.1 million people — 18 percent of the population — needing humanitarian assistance in Sudan. TSI aims to help the tens of thousands of refugees from Eritrea and Ethiopia, some of whom have been in eastern Sudan for decades. TSI is a partnership between UNDP, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and Sudanese agencies, with funding largely from Norway and the Netherlands.
Insecurity in North Darfur Leads to Lack of Drinking Water
(All Africa) The population of Malha in North Darfur are suffering from an acute crisis of drinking water since more than a week, owing to a lack of fuel. The supply of fuel from Khartoum has stopped because of the insecurity in the region.”The people are facing great difficulties in getting drinking water,” a listener in Malha town told Radio Dabanga. “We have to fetch our water now from an area about 3km away from Malha. A barrel of water has risen to SDG10 ($1.75) on the commercial markets.”
Sudan steps up measures to block “negative” websites
(Sudan Tribune) The Sudanese government intends to double its efforts to filter what it described as negative websites, officials here said today. The head of the technical affairs at the National Telecommunications Corporation (NTC) Mustafa Abdel-Hafiz was quoted by the government-sponsored Sudanese Media Centre (SMC) website as saying that they seek to increase blocking of these websites by 100%. Neither official mentioned the category of websites they want filtered. They also vowed to increase scrutiny of internet cafés. In the past Sudan has resorted to blocking several pro-opposition websites and also access to YouTube. According to the NTC website, the only websites blocked in the country are those “containing pornographic materials” or those promoting “drugs, weapons, alcohol, gambling and insults against Islam”.
Ex-NCP official mocks Bashir statements on reform initiative
(Sudan Tribune) The leader of the Reform Now Party (RNP) Ghazi Salah al-Deen al-Attabani, has described the recent remarks by president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir as a list of “mere wishes and slogans”. Attabani scoffed at Bashir’s call for drafting a new permanent constitution which is better than previous constitutions, wondering what type of justice has Bashir accomplished since he took power 25 years ago and to what extent does the government even respect the current constitution. The former presidential adviser said in a post on the RNP Facebook page on Tuesday he senses that the political atmosphere is in a “time-out” mode and that he does not know the consequences of this situation, wondering about the possibility of holding national dialogue roundtable to the save the country as proposed earlier this year by the Sudanese president.