Darfuri Journalists and Organisations Furious on Radio Dabanga Leadership
Since the outbreak of the war in Darfur eight years ago, voices of the victims of the conflict remained absent and suppressed due to government restriction and censorship on press freedom in Sudan in general and Darfur in particular. The GOS has shut down the BBC World Service Trust radio project, suspended the FM broadcasts of Radio Monte Carlo in October2010 and refused to grant the United Nation and African Union Peace keeping Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) permission to set up a humanitarian FM radio station.
Radio Dabanga started broadcasting into Darfur from Hilversum since December 2008 primarily because of government censorship and crackdown on independent media. Because of, among others, Radio Dabanga, the Darfuri people realized that the international community has not forgotten them and their suffering. Thanks to the commitment of Dutch, other European and international friends, the voiceless people of Darfur started to have a voice in Radio Dabanga.
However, this historical initiative is starting to collapse due to irresponsible management style of Radio Dabanga that continues to exclude the Darfuri journalists from every policy of Radio Dabanga. This irresponsible management style has not only damaged the effectiveness of Radio Dabanga but it has also endangered the lives of Darfuri journalists in The Sudan. Radio Dabanga management opened a studio in Khartoum. That led to the arrest of Radio Dabanga workers and other activists on October 30th, 2010, other fled to Uganda and still other are missing within Sudan.
The Dafuri journalists in Hilversum who protested against this irresponsible action have been threatened by the management, some are dismissed and others are threatened with expulsion from The Netherlands.
On the eve of International Press Freedom we appeal to the Dutch people, the Dutch Government, the donors, the friends of the Darfuri people and the international community to rescue Radio Dabanga for the sake of the Darfuri people and their freedom.
After all it is the Dutch, European and other friends money and moral support that made Radio Dabanga a possibility. We, as Darfuri journalists and Darfur community in the Netherlands, are truly grateful for the hospitable and generous Dutch people and their government for their stand against injustice in the world; and especially in The Sudan. We are very grateful for their support for freedom of expression, freedom of press in Sudan and Darfur.
We are confident that they will continue to support us in our struggle for transparency, democracy and freedom of expression first and foremost within the entity Radio Dabanga and for our peoples in The Sudan.
Association of Darfur Reporters & Journalists
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