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The Big Picture Season 2 is here!
The Deep Dive 42nd Edition
Our show, #TheBigPictureKE is back with Season 2. This is an issue-based fact-checking and current affairs show by Africa Uncensored. This show brings you great guest and big picture conversations that are of essence to everyone of us.
In the first episode of the big picture season 2, Africa Uncensored's journalist Raquel Muigai talks to Principal Secretary, State Department for Housing and Urban Development Charles Hinga on the Housing Levy fund. Check it out on our YouTube Channel.
We will also have new episodes every Thursday on this link. Don’t miss out!
Update on Sudan – Reporting in the crossfire
Last week at Ayin Media (which means “to see” in Arabic) we were covering another harrowing personal story about the conflict in Sudan. Our independent media house has continued to cover the conflict --now entering two months long -- from the restive capital, Khartoum despite the seemingly endless shelling and gunfire between two security forces competing for dominance.
This story focused on a man named Ahmed from north Khartoum who has not been able to flee the conflict like thousands of others due to the high transport costs. But this is not Ahmed’s main concern. Since the conflict started, his area of the city has lost access to water after a refinery was damaged in the fighting. He has been unable to wash the body of a relative that was found lying in the street two days ago. By Muslim custom, the body of the deceased must be washed and buried the following day. Now Ahmed feels helpless with diminishing control over his own life and those who have recently departed from him.
This week fighting continued between Sudan’s army and the powerful paramilitary unit – the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) – this time with the latter taking over a strategic military arms factory – Yarmouk – and possibly sealing their control over the capital city. At Ayin we must confirm these incidents either by reporting in person or through multiple eyewitness accounts.
Neither warring party can tell the truth and always claims a military victory. In many ways this war is also a war of words between the two parties -where truth represents the first casualty. Disinformation is a widespread phenomenon, inciting immeasurable stress among the citizenry and challenges for journalists.
This lack of trust can also be witnessed by the repeated ceasefire breaches, with each warring party accusing the other of initiating the breach. Despite some changes in rhetoric from the military leaders –Lt. Gen. Abdelfattah al-Buran from the army and Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Daglo (popularly known as “Himmedti”) for the RSF- chances for a peaceful negotiation also appear negligible.
Delays in negotiations may also be linked to the fact that there are internal battles taking place within the warring factions. Burhan, for instance, is performing a balancing act that would impress the most accomplished tightrope walker. On one side, he must appease his political backers within the former ruling party under Omar al-Bashir, who are determined to regain power at any cost and nullify any hard-fought gains made by Sudanese youth during the revolution. Alternatively, Burhan must also ensure some distance from the former ruling party and their allied Islamists to ensure the continued support of his own forces and regional allies such as Egypt.
The greatest chances for peace may come less from internationally mediated efforts currently taking place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, but more from local, internal efforts. Tribal leaders accompanied by other civil society leaders have managed to broker a ceasefire in El-Fasher, North Darfur State. The agreement is tenuous, but it is far better than other cities in Darfur, such as Geneina, where a complete breakdown in security has led to citizens arming and attacking one another and mass displacement to neighboring Chad.
Local solutions seem to be the only hope for Sudanese – as international mediation efforts stall and aid access remains negligible – local youth committees are picking up the slack and providing emergency food, health services, among other forms of support. It was Sudan’s youth and civil society, after all, that sparked the December 2019 revolution that instigated long overdue social change and political accountability as part of the transitional period. Military solutions have never worked in Sudan’s favor – only the people can offer a viable solution.
#JoinOurNewsroom Twitter Space; 15th July 2023
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