January 27, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - Dozens of workers from Sudan’s state TV staged a protest yesterday to denounce deteriorating working conditions in the form of aging and faulty equipment, as well as the accumulation of financial arrears.
- Sudan TV logo
The demonstrators called for the sacking of the channel’s director, Mohamed Hatem Suleiman, to end what they described as two years of “terrible negligence and deterioration”.
Sudanese police stationed several of its vehicles nearby to monitor the protests and prevent it from expanding outside the broadcaster’s premises, located in the country’s twin capital city of Omdurman.
An official working with the reporters’ pool at the station vowed to continue the protests until all their demands were met.
“Most cameras have broken down due to lack of maintenance and management has failed to buy a maintenance manual which costs no more than $50,” said the official, who asked not to be named. He went on to say the channel’s headquarters had turned into a “miserable” place.
The official also disclosed that Sudan TV’s subscriptions with major news agencies were suspended over the station’s failure to pay its dues. This is why the main news bulletin on Sudan TV no longer features world news, he said.
An editor in Sudan TV’s newsroom said that he was forced to use carbon paper due to a lack of printer cartridges. He added that some editors have to sit on tables because of a shortage of chairs and offices in the newsroom.
“There is only one device used for the production of news and shows and [this] is shared across departments,” said the editor, who also insisted on anonymity.
Sudan TV recently came under the microscope after a parliamentary subcommittee this month directed criticism at its performance, saying its airtime consists mainly of songs. It summoned the TV director to probe him on this and other issues, which included disbursing financial dues to its employees.
Sudan remains embroiled in an economic crisis that coincided with the secession of South Sudan in 2011, which took with it most of the country’s oil wealth.