The past six months have been a spell of terror in Sudan with the death toll from the conflict between Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) exceeding 9,000. More than 4.5 million people have been displaced inside Sudan, while over 1.2 million people have sought refuge in neighboring countries according to the latest figures from the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The development has created one of the worst environments for journalists to work in. They face assaults, threats, enforced disappearances and detentions in their line of work.
On Tuesday, October 10, 2023, Halima Idris Salim, a news correspondent for Sudan Bukra, a local independent online news outlet, was run over by a vehicle owned by the RSF in Omdurman, north-west of Khartoum. She was leaving one coverage to another when the incident occurred as stated by Sudan Bukra.
According to a statement by Sudan Bukra, after the outbreak of the conflict, Salim was among the few who returned to the capital to report on the situation. Sudan Bukra has demanded an independent criminal investigation to reveal the circumstances of the incident.
In a statement, the Sudanese Journalists’ Network (SJN) said that Salim “was an example of a professional media personality who was committed to the issues of her country and its people”.
A growing number of human rights violations against journalists and other press workers have been reported in Sudan since the outbreak of the conflict on April 15, 2023. This has forced radio stations and other news outlets to close down because of the fighting and regression according to the SJN.
The Africa Freedom Expression Exchange (AFEX) offers its sincerest condolences to the family and loved ones of Halima Idris Salim. Authorities in Omdurman must undertake an investigation to reveal what happened to Salim and other journalists. We call for the release of all detained journalists. We demand that the authorities in Sudan protect the journalists and citizens and cease the ongoing conflict. We also demand that the rule of law must prevail and all perpetrators of the violence brought to book.