Newsletter No 11 20 December 2005
News from the Media Scene:
Sudanese Media Unite to Call for Press Freedom and Capacity Building Initiatives Nation-wide

Media from northern and southern Sudan discuss press freedom and media development under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in an historic meeting on 5 and 6 December in Khartoum.

The National Roundtable on Freedom of Expression and Independent Media in Sudan was the first of its kind to be held since a fragile peace was brokered between separatists in the south and the government that operates out of Khartoum. Following two days of extensive negotiations, participants of the roundtable issued The Khartoum - Rumbeck Declaration, which contains a series of recommendations representing the interests of the media as a whole, including eradicating criminal defamation, dismantling restrictive licensing bodies, and providing much needed infrastructure and capacity building initiatives in both the south and the north.

Bringing the media and other civil society actors together will be crucial to ensure that the government respects freedom of expression and press freedom in the months ahead. A draft media law has already been accepted by the government of Southern Sudan. Meetings between media in the north and south will be held over the next 24 months to continue the process of establishing a media policy framework to present to the National Government. A draft media policy has already been accepted by the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS).

The National Roundtable on Freedom of Expression was organized in partnership with Norwegian People’s Aid, Article 19 and International Media Support.

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