Sudan Political Orientation
Government Type: Transitional Government
Leaders: Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who is currently the de facto ruler of Sudan, and Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemetti), who leads the Rapid Support Forces (RSF)
Acting Prime Minister: Osman Hussein
Political Party: Independent, formerly National Congress Party (Sudan)
Political Position: Islamist Nationalism Right-Wing
MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: 25.42 – Limited Freedom
World Press Freedom Rank: Sudan 148/180
Sudan, the third largest country in Africa, is roughly equivalent in size to the country of Saudi Arabia or the combined land areas of France and Spain. After a long civil war, South Sudan gained independence in 2011 but still faces ongoing conflict and crises. Additionally, Darfur, a region in western Sudan approximately the size of mainland Spain, has experienced conflict and violence since 2003, displacing millions of people.
Freedom House reports that following the ousting of former president Omar al-Bashir in 2019, Sudan had a transitional government until a late 2021 coup that dissolved the government, leading to violence and a dangerous climate for journalists. Currently, there is an ongoing armed conflict between rival commanders that could potentially escalate into civil war.
Media Ownership and Government Analysis
The government heavily dominates media ownership in Sudan, with indirect and direct control over most outlets. Sudan’s media landscape consists of privately owned and government-run outlets, some of which support ousted president Omar al-Bashir. Sudanese Media following the 2021 coup has been either pro-Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan or Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemetti). Media outlets like Sudan News Agency (Suna) and Al-Intibaha support Gen. Al-Burhan, while Al-Ra’y al-Amm is an Islamist outlet supporting Al-Bashir, and assayha.net supports Gen. Hemetti.
There is also an ongoing armed conflict between two groups led by Gen. Al-Burhan and Gen. Hemetti, with media outlets like assayha.net reporting in favor of the Rapid Support Forces, such as: “Urgent Hamidti to Arabic: We respect to dialogue with civilians, and Al-Burhan is the obstacle to the framework agreement.” Conversely, pro-Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan media, such as Al Intibaha, reports favoring the Sudanese Armed Forces, “He added, It is the Rapid Support Command that caused the unfortunate events that Sudan is currently witnessing,” with each blaming the other.
Furthermore, RSF reports The National Council for Press and Publication, a regulatory agency, can shut down critical publications without judicial orders, while the politicized Ministry of Information manages broadcast licenses. Defamation is also a significant issue, with journalists and media outlets facing threats, harassment, intimidation, and criminal charges.
In summary, Sudan is facing a critical situation with the ongoing armed conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary, which could potentially escalate into a civil war. Additionally, the media in Sudan appears to be showing bias towards one group or the other, depending on who owns the media outlets.
Last Updated on May 13, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check
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