Coming January, Sudan will launch ten shortwave radio stations in Darfur, and ten in South Kordofan
The new radio stations will present programmes in local dialects, to counter the broadcasts by Radio Dabanga, in an attempt to reduce its impact on the populations of those regions, especially in Darfur, Information Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman told Members of the national Parliament on Tuesday.
As for South Kordofan, the radio stations will aim to reach the Nuba people living in the rebel-controlled areas, the minister noted.
Sudanese MPs have criticised the performance of the official media before. They described it as “weak, and failing in the delivery of information”. On Tuesday, 25 November, the daily broadcasts by Radio Dabanga from the Netherlands were discussed in the parliament. Some MPs stressed the need “to disrupt the activity of Radio Dabanga, or completely stop it”, and demanded from the Information Minister of State to develop a plan to at least reduce its impact.
Radio Dabanga broadcasts in shortwave to the whole of Sudan and neighbouring countries. Satellite broadcasts are confined to the larger cities. (See elsewhere on this site for audio feeds.)
The Sudanese Minister of Information has admitted that attempts by the Sudanese government to prevent broadcasts by Radio Dabanga have failed.
Minister Ahmed Bilal was speaking in the Council of States on Tuesday. He pointed out the need “to create a number of radio stations to attract listeners and compete with Radio Dabanga, which incites the people”.
The Minister was facing harsh criticism of the State media from Members including Abdul Jabbar Abdul Karim. Karim accused the state media of not highlighting the facts and lacking integrity and credibility, acknowledging that Radio Dabanga and the Alrakubh website are the most popular news sources for citizens.
[…]Radio Dabanga broadcasts to Sudan from neighbouring countries via shortwave. The Sudanese censors have tried repeatedly to jam the signal, to little avail.
In May, a report to the Sudanese parliament acknowledged that that the majority of the people in Darfur and Kordofan prefer Radio Dabanga to any national broadcasting station.
MP Abdallah Ali Masar, former Media Minister, and currently chairman of the Transport Committee, commented by saying that his wife listens to Radio Dabanga “day and night. Every day, when I come home, I find her listening to Radio Dabanga.”
This week’s Living on Earth Broadcast featured an interview with Internews program director Deborah Ensor about bringing solar and wind energy to the region to power a new radio station in Southern Sudan.
This story is a wonderful example of how radio empowers and promotes community relations in parts of the world that lack a communication infrastructure.
Click here to download mp3 of full story (click here if link is broken)–courtesy of Living On Earth