Entrenching a North-South divide, the civil war in Sudan has cost over two million lives and left more than four million people homeless in the last ten years alone. However, the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the National Islamic Front (NIF) in Khartoum on 9 January 2005 ushered in a period of hope as Sudanese people begin the long and difficult transition from war to peace after nearly four decades of civil war.
The media often plays a key role, not only in reporting peace negotiations and peace agreements to the wider public, but also as a source of wider civic education. The Sudan Mirror is a monthly newspaper developed by the Sudan Development Trust (SDT) to offer objective, factual, independent and professional coverage of Sudan’s affairs. Through the dissemination of information, the paper, which started publication before the signing of the peace agreement, hopes to promote a culture of peace and assist in the democracy-building process by promoting human rights, and to act as a development education tool. Currently, 10,000 copies are circulated monthly, by international and local NGOs, even in formerly government-held towns in the south.
WFD has supported the Sudan Mirror to strengthen its capacity and outreach, by printing a 12-page Arabic supplement to be circulated with the main paper, and providing similar translations for the newspaper’s website. The SDT’s success in training journalists for the Sudan Mirror has led to offers of support and requests for assistance from other organisations including the UN. With a readership of over 250,000 and an online version with unlimited circulation, the paper has the potential to inform people not only within Sudan, but in all its neighbouring countries and throughout the Sudanese Diaspora as well as providing up-to-date information for the many local and international NGOs, INGOs and governments that are interested in Sudan.
For more information on our work in Sudan, please contact Marina.Narnor@wfd.org