Journalists Covering CECAFA Survive Arrest In Darfur

Four foreign journalists covering the on-going Cecafa Club Championships in El Fasher, Darfur in Sudan were lucky to survive arrest on Saturday afternoon as they took video recording of a market in the city centre.

The four are Mike Okinyi, Jackson Njihia, both from Citizen TV in Kenya, Bonnie Mugabe from New Times in Rwanda and Bukedde’s David Kibanga. They were held in the mini bus they were traveling in for over 20 minutes before they were eventually released by plain clothed security personnel.

However, Okinyi, the head of Sports at Citizen TV told the media that they tried to explain to the security officers that they had clearance from the government of Darfur State to record not only football, but other interesting things in Darfur.

The journalists were let free after intervention by the Finance Minister of Darfur. Okinyi says they called Cecafa Secretary General Nicholas Musonye who quickly alerted the Minister.

El’sadig Muhammad Abdallah, an English speaking Sudanese who is the guide for the journalists, tried to explain to the security officers in Arabic, but they refused to believe him. Abdallah says he was scared after the confrontations with the security officers.

Njihia, the Citizen TV cameraman said he was a little terrified, but later calmed down.

But for Bukedde’s Kibanga who was making his first visit outside East Africa, it was a new experience that he will never forget. He says he feared that they could be jailed.

The 2013 Cecafa Kagame Club Championship is entering the quarter final stage in Darfur and South Kordofan States in Sudan.

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