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ftm Radio Page - week ending March 2, 2018

Media lights in terrible places
the thread of corruption

Sudan is, arguably, the most neglected humanitarian crisis in decades. Other conflict flash-points get more international attention for a variety of reasons, geo-political interests especially. Several aid agency and NGO sponsored media outlets continue to provide services under immense pressure.

Radio broadcaster Radio Dabanga Sudan has been removed from Nilesat distribution, reported Sudan Tribune (February 19), requiring the station to change satellite frequencies. Dabanga Sudan and Radio Dabanga, part of the Radio Darfur Network, are uplinked from the Netherlands through Free Press Unlimited. It is funded in large part by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs along with several NGOs. The satellite take-down, reportedly, came from a request of the Sudanese authorities to the Egyptian government, which controls Nilesat. (See more about media in Africa here)

The stations operate a limited daily schedule, broadcasting in Arabic and regional languages accompanied by English and Arabic websites. Its news reports are well-regarded and widely quoted by international media outlets. When established in 2008 Radio Dabanga broadcast on short-wave frequencies of Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW).

Terrestrial broadcasting in Sudan is limited to government services. Some radio services to Sudan and Darfur are broadcast from Ethiopia. The French Foreign Ministry recently opened informal conversations with Sudanese authorities about restarting Radio Monte Carlo (RMC).

Almost weekly, Reporters sans Frontieres (RSF) and other press/media freedom advocates note another journalist or media worker detained by Sudanese authorities. The 2017 RSF World Press Freedom Index ranked the country 174th of 180 countries. Similarly, Transparency International’s 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index ranked Sudan and South Sudan among the the world’s worst corruption offenders, along with Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria and Somalia.

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