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President of Sudan's Press Council Defends Closing of Foreign Papers


The government of Sudan has banned five newspapers from operating. President Omar al-Bashir issued a decree last week ordering the closure of the Khartoum Monitor, Sudan Tribune, Ajrurus al Huria, the Juba Post and The Democrat. The editors of the Monitor and the Tribune described the directives as racist, and aimed at muzzling English newspapers owned by southerners.

But the secretary to the press council in Khartoum al-Obeid Ahmed defended the move, saying the Publication Act of Sudan prohibits foreigners from publishing newspapers in sudan. John Tanza reached al-obeid this afternoon in khartoum and asked him to explain the motive behind this new development.

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    John Tanza

    John Tanza works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters and is the managing editor and host of the  South Sudan In Focus radio program.
     
    Before joining VOA, John worked in Nairobi, Kenya where he established the first independent radio station (Sudan Radio Service) for the people of Sudan. He has covered several civil wars both in Sudan and South Sudan and has been engaged in the production of civic education materials for creating awareness about post conflict issues facing Sudanese and South Sudanese. John has interviewed South Sudan President Salva Kiir, former Vice President Riek Machar, Vice President Wani Igga, leader of Sudan’s Umma Party Sadiq Al Mahdi in addition to other senior United Nations and U.S government officials in South Sudan and Washington. His travels have taken him across to Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Egypt, Ethiopia, Syria, DRC Congo and parts East Africa where he reported on the South Sudanese diaspora and the challenges facing them.
     
    A South Sudanese national, John enjoys listening to music from all over the world, reads academic books, watches documentaries and listens to various radio stations on the internet.  You can follow John on Twitter at @Abusukon

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