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Activists launch new media center in S. Kordofan

January 16, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – A group of journalists and human rights activists are set to launch a new media center in Sudan’s South Kordofan state capital, Kadugli on Thursday.

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Annas Saeed Kuku, the proprietor said the center, which will comprise of a news section and website, seeks to strengthen and empower media practitioners and activists committed towards defending human rights at local, regional and international levels.

“The idea of this centre emerged from a historical era of our people’s struggle to achieve a better situation and a brighter future for the coming generations [and] from its title, this centre is not inclusively for South Kordofan issues, but for the entire country,” said Kuku, in an email extended to Sudan Tribune.

The media facility, he added, will also serve as a base for journalists who would play significant and positive roles for society change and promotion of human rights issues.

A group of activists and journalists with keen interests in issues related to peace, developmental and human right, including the marginalized people worldwide, Kuku further said, would administer both the center and its website.

Sudanese authorities, in December last year, closed down two pro-democracy centers, including Al-Khatim Adlan Center for Enlightenment and Human Development (KACE) and the Sudanese Studies Center (SSC).

The Sudanese government, for instance, claimed SSC was carrying out activities aimed at overthrowing the Khartoum regime, with both the European Union (EU) and the US, condemning the move.

However, there was no explanation as to why authorities closed KACE; a center aiming to promote peace, democracy and diversity, having previously organized workshops on Darfur and South Kordofan crises, elections, and the South Sudan and Abyei referendums.

In 2012, the KACE reportedly worked on different projects, such as violence against women and youth, with many of its different activities funded by foreign embassies in Khartoum, and international foundations.

Ali Osman Taha, Sudan’s first Vice President recently defended the crackdown on independent pro-democracy centers, saying they are undercover bodies whose goal is to undermine the regime.

In an interview on aired on Sudan TV, Taha said many international intelligence agencies use these centers as an "interface" to implement their agendas.

“This is no secret. There is now an American book called ’The Rogue state’. This books talks about the connection of some organization with CIA [...] in many countries. Even some Sudanese groups were mentioned by name,” he said.

(ST)