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Sudan Intelligence Dissolves 3 Media Outlets of Former Regime

Sudan Intelligence Dissolves 3 Media Outlets of Former Regime

Monday, 16 December, 2019 - 11:00
Sudanese shout slogans during a demonstration demanding the ruling military hand over to civilians in Khartoum, Sudan, June 30, 2019. (Reuters)

Director of Sudan's General Intelligence and Security Services Abu Bakr Demblab informed journalists of his decision to dissolve three of his media institutions, at a time when more media freedoms are expected to be introduced in the country.

Asharq Al-Awsat learned that Demblab closed the English-language newspaper “Sudan Vision”, the Sudanese Media Center (SMC) and Khartoum Electronic Media Center (KEM), all of which were affiliated with the ouster ruling regime.

The employees in these institutions expressed their regret at the decision, which they viewed as unfair and contradictory to the revolution and does not honor the efforts they made to change the editorial policy to support the transitional government.

On Saturday, a committee dedicated to disbanding the former ruling National Congress Party was formed and granted power to dissolve all institutions affiliated with it. The committee has not yet made any decisions or started operating, according to sources.

A source at the Ministry of Information denied the ministry's intention to dissolve any media institution, including those of the party. He instead explained that the ownership and editorial policies of media outlets affiliated with the party and funded by the state will change, without affecting their workers.

The intelligence and security services formed a number of media institutions during the rule of ousted president Omar al-Bashir. The ousted president also bought, through a company owned by him, the prestigious al-Sahafa newspaper before closing it over a year ago.

The national security agency employed loyalists to the former regime, most of whom were not journalists, and set editorial policies to serve its propaganda and agenda.

With the toppling of Bashir’s regime, the constitutional document governing the transitional period dictated that the security services will become an apparatus for gathering and analyzing information.

The transitional government is studying means to deal with the media institutions of the National Congress Party. It is also assessing ways to handle other media outlets that were financed through the party or public funds, while ensuring the rights of their employees.

The ownership of those institutions might be transferred to the state, or to public joint stock companies. Another option would be granting ownership to the journalists, after their editorial departments and policies are changed.

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