Amid Tight Relations, Sudan Suspends Pan-Arab TV channels.

Amid Tight Relations, Sudan Suspends Pan-Arab TV channels.

Sudan has closed down three Arab-language television networks, citing “unprofessional reporting and harmful publishing” as the reason. The channels, Al Arabiya and Al Hadath owned by Saudi Arabia and Sky News Arabia owned by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have covered Sudan’s year-long civil war in great detail.

Sudanese media cited Information Minister Graham Abdel Gader as stating that the suspension was brought about by the broadcasters’ “lack of commitment to the required professionalism and transparency” and their inability to renew their licenses.

Sudan Tribune of Paris claims that “harmful publishing” was another reason for Sky News Arabia’s suspension. Al Hadath and Al Arabiya asserted that they routinely renew their licenses and were not formally notified of the suspension.

Following accusations by the Sudanese army and Western media that the UAE was providing weaponry to the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), ties between Sudan and the UAE have deteriorated. The media suspensions were seen as a “clear violation of freedom of expression and the press” by the Sudanese Journalists Syndicate (SJS).

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