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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 July, 2004, 15:06 GMT 16:06 UK
Sudanese media defiant on Darfur
African press graphic

As world concern mounts over the crisis in Sudan's Darfur region, Sudanese state television is reflecting a clear message - that the Khartoum government can handle it.

Condemnation of any possible international military operation has featured heavily in news broadcasts.

A statement carried on Sudan TV from the government's official spokesman said that Khartoum "totally rejects any military intervention in Sudanese affairs".

The Sudanese must "close ranks to face any emergency or new event which threatens Sudan's security and the people's interests," he continued.

The Sudanese media also focus on the government's efforts to resolve the situation internally and provide humanitarian relief to refugees.

Sudan TV reported on Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail's talks with his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul, in which he stressed Sudan's "keenness to deliver assistance to the internally displaced people in Darfur and to resolve the conflict according to the guidelines of the agreement with the UN".

Campaign

Vice-President Ali Osma Mohamed Taha has urged the Sudanese media to work with the foreign ministry to counteract what he called "the hidden agenda" of countries mounting a "media campaign" against Sudan.

Sudanese radio said he had called for "uniting the internal front" against the media coverage.

Sudan has one of the most restrictive media environments in Africa, so it is unlikely that the tightly-controlled broadcasters would resist his appeal.

The Sudanese government requires radio and TV to reflect its policies, and there is a permanent military censor at Sudan TV to ensure that this happens .

Suspicions

Like the TV and radio, newspapers - which have traditionally had more freedom - have mirrored the government's suspicions over international motives regarding Darfur.

"George Bush and Tony Blair... are now both planning another adventure in Africa, this time in Sudan's Darfur, with different pretexts from those they used in the invasion of Iraq," writes a commentator in the Arabic-language Akhbar al-Yawm.

This sentiment is echoed in the daily Al-Sahafa.

In an article headlined "Darfur: Land of diamond and ashes", a commentator highlights that the region is "suitable for intervention", as US policymakers deem it "a strategic area linking north Africa to east Africa".

"We are now paying for some of the post-independence mistakes made in Darfur," writes Dr Abdallah Hamadna Allah in the same paper.

"We believe that there must be policies towards Darfur which are not short-sighted and which must transcend historical shortcomings towards Africa."

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.




SEE ALSO:
New militia atrocities in Sudan
28 Jul 04  |  Africa



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