Khartoum — Today marks the 61st anniversary of Sudan's national day. The celebration of this event is usually accompanied by major political developments, political changes or major announcement by the government. It was never a mere celebration, that is why not only politicians but equally the man in the street expects to listen to a speech that would mark a new government position. It was within this tradition that Sudanese politicians and leaders seize the occasion to deliver major statements. President Omar Bashir on Saturday, the eve of the independence day, delivered a speech from inside the Republican Palace to mark the occasion. Here-under is the text of the speech:-
Praise be to Allah who decides the ways ahead and peace and blessing be upon his Messenger, his kins and his companions and upon all those who follow his teachings and upon the Prophets and Messengers of Allah.
Our dear gallant and grand people
Dear guests present here
I greet you on the occasion of the anniversary of the august independence day, a greeting and blessing from Allah, and peace and blessing of Allah and his mercy be upon you.
Allow me to welcome you in this evening on the occasion of this historic day which commemorates the independence of our country. We congratulate, on this occasion, the sons of our homeland and express our pride in the efforts exerted by our forefathers, the vanguards, who sincerely worked to claim the honor of hoisting higher the national flag among the flags of other independent nations. This was a scene that personified the will of the whole society, of the united political forces will, and culminating in achieving the desire of our people to govern themselves by themselves, without any outside hegemony or dominion.
Our independence could never have been achieved had it not been for the surge of the joint national will that was crystalized in the formation of a national alliance which translated in a clear manner the will of our people, a will that comes together and the efforts that have been put together to achieve this independence. This independence was reached with the unanimous consent of all the national forces, in a scene that will remain an outstanding sign in our history. This was a clear demonstration that accord in the grand national issues is a criterion of our people and of its active forces.
Our dear gallant and grand people
Dear guests present here
Our address on the occasion of the independence anniversary in January 2014, was devoted to the launch of our national project for the reform of the public life in the country. Thus came the "National Leap Project" as a result of a scientific and scholarly assessment of a long national action process. The aim was to bring together and integrate the national efforts for placing our country in the right track. Our country, notwithstanding the fact that it has remained under the heavy burden of an unjust siege, and has been facing a number of internal challenges as a result of the loss of a considerable amount of resources that went away with the separation of South Sudan, as well as the negative impact of the multi-facet economic crisis that hit the world economy, still we were able to achieve significant success in controlling those challenges and in absorbing the negative international pressures. This necessitated the launch of the "National Leap Project", aiming to sharpen the National will. The project came within the context of a comprehensive and aspiring framework seeking to achieving a precise and rational target oriented start, that would, Allah willing, reach its objectives armed with the political will and a sincere desire for this project to complete the national edifice and to lead our country towards the pathway for a comprehensive renaissance.
Our vision in the overall reform of public life in the leap project, has targeted achieving integrated objectives in three interlinked process. Our efforts have paid off in achieving the pillars of the desired reform and reaching the reform of the political and societal environment, and in upgrading the capabilities of the state apparatus for setting the foundation for good governance that seeks to achieve development and renaissance to uplift the homeland and to promote the societal reality.
One of the first avenues of the public life reform that witnessed promises and achievement, was the convening of the National Dialogue where the idea of convening the dialogue was a purely Sudanese National invention, unequal and unparalleled in our region, be it from the stand point of the innovativeness, the soundness of the idea or from the wider participation in the process.
We based our invitation for the participation of the political forces in the National Dialogue Conference, on clear cut guiding principles, namely: it be an all-inclusive process, freedom of participation, transparency of deliberation in all subjects, and no ceilings for the discussions and no banning of any ideas or contribution, with a clear commitment from our side that the outcomes that are unanimously approved, would be implemented in full. That is why the experience of the Dialogue was unique. Sudan has never witnessed an equal experience since its independence, all along the past sixty years, with regards to two elements, the wider participation and the seriousness of the discussions and deliberations: over 90 political parties and 37 armed movements and 66 national personalities and activists from abroad took part in the deliberations, bringing in the views and visions of the Sudanese communities abroad. The National Dialogue was purely Sudanese away from any foreign influence or intervention, even from the stand point of encouragement or positive support. This allowed the national dialogue to treat the various issued and complete its work in a healthy and sound climate, thus receiving commendations from numerous observers who had been following the works and activities of the dialogue from various corners of the world who considered this experience of the national dialogue a standard model to be followed for resolution of African conflicts in the continent, and on the light of these commendations a number of countries requested they be provided with the details of the Sudanese experience to make use of it at their home countries.
The consensus with which the National Dialogue concluded its work, and approved its outcome and the signing of the various political forces on the national document, have shown the high responsibility and commitment of these political forces and their representatives in the various committees of the process, thus leading to the unanimous stand on all national issues, making concessions and providing intermediary solutions for the national issues of moral nature and passed the recommendations unanimously. This would be a good omen for setting a future political system for our country. This political system has more chances of achieving the desired goals of the society and the state in the comprehensive renaissance. Greeting and salutation and thanks to all those who have contribute in holding and in the success of the national dialogue, include the political forces, the Higher Coordination Committee, the chairman and member of the Secretariat General of the National Dialogue. Our commendations go to the media which has reported and enlighten positively, including the radio, the TV, and the print media who have acted with responsibility and briefed the people and allowed them, thus allowing the people to follow up the process and its successes.
Our dear gallant and grand people
Dear guests present here
The second process
The second process of our National leap was the societal dialogue among the various components of the community, its effective forces and civil society organizations, the intellectual, the creative people, the youth, the sports people, the students, women, the educationists and sports people at all levels of the community from the Federal up to the states, all coming together to discuss the issues related to the community, the identity, peace, unity, production, people's livelihood, and other moral issues based on lofty values of the society, the foreign relations and the development of our education, culture and sports vertically and horizontally. Over 1443 members, experienced persons and specialists included, took part in those meetings and came to conclusion which is the National Dialogue Document that opened the door wide for a wider community participation in the decision making related to the community and state affairs. These recommendations of the societal dialogue were included in the final National Dialogue Document.
In the third process were initiated a scientific and functional programme for the reform of the state apparatus and for raising and improving the performance of these apparatus to the level of the potential and resources available under the current and future challenges which make those apparatus ready and qualified and responsive to these requirement in completing the structure of a strong state building Shura and on democracy, honest competition, equal opportunities and capable of carrying out its mission of providing service to the citizens. The reform programme was able to complete its first foundation basis that would pave the way for the implementation of the reform project. The overall view of the Wathba for the reform of the state apparatus is that it is a continued need that require conducting measures and policies with structural and methodological dimensions responding to the various transformation that the country is witnessing at all levels and areas. Thus the reform that followed the foundation stage which continued from January 2014 up to December 2016 will continue and development and be transferred into a permanent work methodology in ruing the government affairs.
Dear guests present here
The second process
Two years have elapsed since the launching of the Wathba, Leap, programme in January 2014 during which we coupled the process with supervision and follow up until they reached their final stages and achieved their goals. Our efforts then moved, following this success, and immediately upon the completion of the work of the societal dialogue and the national dialogue and after the completion of the foundation stage, to the state reform programme to the state of implementation of the outcome in the following order and sequences. Thus our steps moved in various directions as follows:-
First: we introduced constitutional amendments that were recommended by the National dialogue, both the political national dialogue and the societal dialogue. These amendments are key for the establishment of a constitutional structures that opens the doors wide for implementation of the recommendations. And praise be to Allah the national assembly has approved these amendments unanimously in accordance with the spirit of the national accord that was spurred by the success of the National Dialogue Conference.
Second: we coupled this with expansion of the higher committee for dialogue- not dissolving it as some have understood- with the view to take in more members and to add to those who joined the process by signing the national document, thus the committee is converted into a follow up committee for the outcome of the dialogue the it nature from a committee of which half was from the government and half from the opposition political parties, into a committee of the national accord forces, expressing the coming phase after the signing of the national document and it would remain ready for expansion to include any force that listen to the voice of wisdom and join and sign the national document which now considered a national document, of the people and which will remain open for all to join in.
Third: we will complete the political consultations in the coming few days by declaration the formation of the higher committee for drafting the permanent constitution of the country which will be tabled before an elected parliament to ratify it. This is in implementation of the outcome of the recommendations of the national dialogue that presented solution for all the questions facing the homeland be it at the level of identity to peace, unity, economic, basic freedoms, rule, administration and the basis for our relations with the international community.
Four: We are speeding up step of consultations with the political forces to form a national accord government that would absorb and express all political forces that participated in the national dialogue and those which have joint it or that who have signed the national document. This government would enjoy broad and full political support for the formation of a government highly capable of implementing specific programme set in the recommendations of the national dialogue and prepare the ground for the elections that will take place in 2020 and which will be organized and supervised by an independent commission, elections that will be transparent and fair. Consultations are also to be made with the political forces in the coming two days as to how to best intake the additional members in the national and state legislatures, in accord and with full consent.
Fifth: in implementation of the recommendation of the national dialogue in the economic field, which call for resolve of all deformities and for distribution of resource and for restructuring assistance to help the weaker layers , the most recent economic measures taken and the directives of the 2017 budget are direct implementation of the outcome of the national dialogue and its recommendations, aimed to restore the health of the national economy and make it capable of meeting the development requirement in line with the economic liberalization policies, controlling the government expenditure and revising the priorities of the national economy and using and employing the resources for production and increasing productivity and at the same time providing the basic services in the social development, health care, drinking water, electricity, and housing while at the same time continue to redress the deformities in the structure of the system and the services and the best use of the renewable resources and potentials.
Six: keen to implement the outcome of the national dialogue, we have directed that these implementing be followed up via an untraditional method, through a matrix of commitment and a timetabled implementing schedule in accordance with specific requirement that would be followed up by the presidency of the republic, directly and in all transparency, based on measurement and on evaluation and on assessing the challenges that face the implementation an then taking part in putting the solutions that would be adopted for the solution of these challenges, leading up to the full implementation of these recommendations.
Our proud and august people
The Independence anniversary is a source of dignity and strength in which we should praise the role of the Armed Forces and the other regular forces and laud the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the defense of the homeland. We affirm that our continuous goal is the building of our Armed Forces and regular forces and to promote them materially and morally for increasing their efficiency and enhancing their situations in a manner that enables them to assume their role in defending the homeland and protecting the constitution.
Our gratitude and appreciation is also directed to the Sudanese expatriates who interacted with the state's programs and we thank them for unlimited contribution. We assure that we will do our duty toward them in the context of our endeavor to integrate the expatriate economy in the national economy through the new policies that are supporting to the attraction of the transfers and investment. We will work to promote the Sudanese Expatriates Organ so as to improve its services and to implement the recommendations, especially with regard to the adoption of programs and projects for the interest of the expatriates, besides boosting the capabilities of the national mechanism for protecting the Sudanese nationals who are working abroad and providing them with the legal aid and also to emphasize our support to the national fund for the final repatriation for settlement and to provide investment opportunities for the returnees.
In our foreign relations, we will continue, Allah Willing, to adopt a balanced foreign policy that is aimed for realizing the national interest and meeting the people's aspirations. We will continue serious work to consolidate the bonds of fraternity, friendship and respect with all countries in the world. We will remain committed to our ethical task in supporting justice and rights at the regional and international levels, and we will also work for strengthening our efforts for supporting the international peace and security which are important for the stability of peoples and countries.
I would like also to affirm our full support to the stability of the situation in South Sudan State and our keenness to implementation of the agreements which were signed between the two countries. We also express our great appreciation of the positive roles which were played by the brothers in the region for the sake of realizing peace and stability in our country. I would also like salute and to thank all the sister and friendly countries that have been helping us achieve peace and development.
Finally, I would like to affirm that the National Document which was formulated by the people of Sudan at the end of their national and societal dialogues and signed by them is obligatory and owned by all the Sudanese people who will participate in its implementation and the follow up of its implementation. We assure that the joining of the National Document will remain open for those who are holding out, and that we will remain looking forward for their participation based on our national constitutional responsibility and to affirm the keenness of the people of Sudan for the participation of all people in the national accord process.
I would like to announce the extension of the cease-fire for one month, except in case of self-defense toward enhancing the national accord atmosphere and motivating the rejecting gun-holders to think seriously for relinquishing violence and fighting and to join the national accord process.
As we have earlier declared our commitment to accept the national dialogue outcome, we also renew our serious commitment to the good implementation of national document and follow up personally this implementation together with the political and societal forces. Our main goal in the coming stage is to accomplish the seven goals of the national and societal dialogue which are represented in the good governance, realizations of peace, the expansion of security, the achievement of development which is conducive to enhancing the standard of living and improving education, giving care to the youngsters and youths, supporting innovation in all fields.
May Allah Bless You.