September 30, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese security forces prevented the publication of an opinion article hostile to the agreements signed by the Sudanese and South Sudanese presidents over a number of outstanding issues relating to South Sudan’s independence last year.
- JPF leader Al-Tayeb Mustafa among his supporters celebrating the secession of South Sudan in July 2010 (Getty)
Al-Tayeb Mustafa, owner of Al-Intibaha, and head of the far-right Just Peace Forum (JPF), was prevented by the Sudanese security service from publishing his weekly column on Saturday where he spoke about Addis Ababa agreements.
The two countries signed nine accords dealing among other with the inclusion of the Mile 14, a disputed area, in the buffer zone between the two countries and the 4 freedom, which guarantees to the southerners the right of residence in Sudan.
In its printed edition of Saturday, the daily newspaper wrote "censored" in the empty column where Mustafa used to publish his article.
- Front page of Al Intibaha, December 11, 2011 (IMCT)
However on Al-Intibaha’s website, Mustafa wrote an article where he begged the Security apparatus to stop censoring his newspaper and to allow it to criticize the agreements to "enlighten the government on some imperfections" included in the deals.
He stressed that the positive points in the deals more than items which he saw as disadvantages.
Mustafa went further to say he was surprised by the return of censorship on newspapers describing it as unfortunate matter that continues to happen even after the Arab Spring revolutions which allowed to people in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia overcome the dark phase of totalitarian rule, as he said.
Alluding to the censorship practiced against other dailies, he underscored that his party and newspaper are different from the opposition forces which seek by all means to overthrow the government pointing out that he only wanted to focus only on the four freedoms and the security arrangements.
Sudan and South Sudan inked in March 2012 a framework agreement allowing citizens of both states to enjoy freedom of residence, freedom of movement, freedom to undertake economic activity and freedom to acquire and dispose property.
At the time, Tayeb Mustafa, called on his nephew President Omer Al-Bashir to scrap this humiliating compromise warning that his party, the JPF, intends to oppose the deal through all possible means, including the launch of a popular campaign using religious leaders.