News from Sudan
New regulations for civil society organizations threaten civic space
A new set of regulations severely restricting civil society organizations registered under the Sudan Voluntary and Humanitarian Works Act of 2006 surfaced unannounced on social media in late February 2021 and bearing the approval of the outgoing Minister of Labor and Social Development – Lena Al Shiekh.
Dr. Muawia Shaddad, chairperson of the Confederation of Sudanese Civil Society Organizations (CSCSO0 issued a strong statement denouncing the regulations and describing them as worse regulations that have ever been produced since the passing of the law under the former deposed regime of the National Congress Party. He went further to deny any association of the technical committee that was formed by the Ministry in early 2020 (established to provide technical support and assistance in reforming the law and institutions governing civil society and of which he was a member) with these new regulations.
Meanwhile, the Sudanese Development Initiative convened a roundtable event with representatives from prominent civil society organizations to discuss the new regulations and the response of CSOs to what was described as a major setback for civic space following the revolution. The regulations are organized under five different areas – registration of international organizations, registration of national organizations, registration of networks, access to funding for national organizations, and employment of international staff in national organizations.