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.