9 October 2017

Sudan: Press On Revocation of U.S. Economic Sanctions

analysis

Khartoum — Many distinguished Sudanese Columnists are in concordance that the revocation of the American economic sanctions off Sudan are not the final stage and that there are domestic requirements for the sanctions to bear fruit.

Among those columnists is journalist writer Osman Mirghani, al-Tayar daily's Chief Editor, who has agreed that the partial revocation of sanctions from Sudan was undoubtedly a success but he wondered whether it would make a change. In reply, he said: "Definitely No... a big NO... no change will follow this decision... the big problems of Sudan will remain in place... the sanctions were lifted with an executive decision by the former American President, Obama, last January, and, instead of preparing itself and embarking on policies of reform, the Sudanese government took to procrastination, postponement and lingering around the urgent requirements. Ten months have now passed and the expected decision that confirms the repeal of the sanctions has now been issued while the government has nothing other than the congratulatory cards and shrills of joy it has saved for this occasion.

"The road-map to which the government feigns blindness, is clear ... the economic crisis cannot be resolved before resolving the political one... and unless the government forgets about the dialogue conference and its recommendations which takes the Sudan out of the impasse, no prescription for a political reform can be found... even if the people managed to keep patience till the 2020 elections, the hardships will remain in place, even if the faces are changed, something which very doubtful.

"The political reform begins with fully stopping the war, not with a temporary ceasefire like what has been since two years ago, a full stoppage of the war and ridding the regions which have been burning from it for long years... it is true that halting the war is connected with difficult negotiations with the armed (rebel) movements, but it is truer that 99% of the cards are with the government and it can thus move the process of peace as fast as possible but it lingers.

"The second direct step is the inclusive political settlement, something which the government has remained playing around and wasting time with a dialogue that everyone knows would lead to nothing but distribution of the cake among the actors. And exactly this was what has happened... the constitutional seats have been divided and the actors remained busy with collecting the booty.

"The third step is the change. The American sanctions have persisted for 20 years for the same internal reasons which prompted them... It is now high time for making room to new brains... new concepts... new vision, something which is inevitable, considering the nature of the persons who insist on keeping the past in force in spite of the future and who take in consideration only their personal or partisan interests.

"America has lifted its sanctions from the Sudan, when will the government and its party lift their sanctions from the Sudanese people?"

Dhia al-Dinn Bilal wrote in his (Third Eye) column in Al-Sudani daily newspaper on Sunday that the greatest challenge that confronts the government after the repeal of the sanctions is the question of whether it is capable of benefitting from the repeal for improvement of the economic performance in a way that positively reflects on the livelihood of the citizens, bearing in mind that the economic crisis has become unbearable.

In his column (Sakhir Sabeel) or (Cynic on the Road) in Aljareedah daily, Al-Fatih Jabrah, wrote:

"The Chairman of the parliamentary Industry Committee, Abdulla Masar, recently spoke on the existence of a public sector company of a 600 million-dollar capital has come under the ownership of three individuals whose names he did not reveal.

"If this proved to be true, it would be a kind of corruption that the demons can perpetrate even if they join hands. Almighty God decreed that this statement coincides with the repeal of the American economic sanctions, a coincidence that makes us wonder about the usefulness of lifting the siege while we have such crocodiles.

"The problem is that the government attributes and attaches all its failures and blunders in running the country's affairs to the American sanctions which have no relationship with transforming a government company into a private inherited by three beneficiaries in a simple way, making each of the three musketeers with a capital of 200 million US dollars from the money of the poor. What is the use of lifting the sanctions under a kind of corruption unheard of in all countries of the world?

"It is a strange tolerance to transfer everything into the pockets and assets of those people who are not satisfied from eating the ill-begotten money and who mercilessly and pitilessly bite from the body of this country and as usual there is nobody to bring them to account for their deeds.

"If there is a single benefit from lifting the sanctions for the Sudanese people it will be the end of this weak pretense this regime used to justify its disastrous failure of improving the domestic conditions, including the people's livelihood. Believe me, there is no reason for optimism in absence of the rule of order and under the (modified) plunder which has become public. What is the use of lifting the sanctions while there are people who rob and find ways for detaching themselves from the crime?".

Al-Tahir Sati, says in his column in Al-Sudani daily that justice in the West is absolutely selective, turning a blind eye to injustices of the powerful and monitoring injustices of the weak people of the world. Therefore, it is only the power that forces respect or fear by others... the power of the private will, the power of the economy, the power of the institutions, the power of the laws, etc. ... if you are not powerful, nobody - whether in the West or otherwise- will respect you, even if the ruling regime is angelic, fairly distributing the freedoms and rights to the people. This is a fact.

The government should not therefore brag on the American decision of repealing the economic sanctions and show animosity to the will-power of the people (the source of power... the will-power of the people is more powerful than any American decision... whether negative or positive. If the government does not reconcile with its people, it will not reap benefit from reconciliation with others, even with the whole countries of the world, not only America. It is not a secret that the people aspire for a comprehensive peace all over the country, then a political stability that permits the peaceful devolution of power and then a freedom that does not infringe the rights of others. As the government has negotiated with the United States over revoking the sanctions, it has to negotiate with the armed rebel movements and the opposition parties, then it has to reconcile with the people over the pending issues.

Under the headline (The Minor Jihad with the Great Satan), in his column in Alyoum Altaly daily newspaper, Mohamed Latif wrote: "In order to comprehend the headline, we pose the question: Was lifting the sanctions a goal or a means? The logical answer is that the repeal of the sanctions was just a means for a greater goal of removal of the deformities of the Sudanese economy as a minimum, and as a maximum, or in other words, the final result, is the proper management and employment of the resources for achievement of the people's welfare. This mission is a great one that requires determination and a firm political administration with a strong commitment to the country and its people. The effort that has so far been exerted and the results that have been reached are a minor jihad that has achieved the means and now everyone faces the challenge of the greater jihad... the grand goal and it will be a fatal mistake to believe that the coming period and its challenges is the responsibility of the government alone; it is the responsibility of all people. It is true that the government must play the focal role of the leader, the inspirer and the example in the process of the proper management and proper employment of the forthcoming resources.

Salah Awoodha, another prominent columnist of Al-Sayhah newspaper, wrote:

"Some people, whether influential supporters or fierce opponents, may not be happy with the provocation of the sanctions. The influential supporters are pardoned as an important argument for justification of the dire situation has vanished because they are aware that the crisis is of their own making, rather than an American creation, or that the larger part of it was due to internal poor arrangements, political arrangements characterized by flabbiness and expansionism entailing privileges, luxurious budgets and consolation fees that are beyond the economic capacity of the country.

The security appropriation was 75% of the budget and the little remainder goes to the education, health, development and necessities of the people.

As for the fierce opponents, they believe that pressure on the regime generates explosion. They want the regime to be toppled by external forces, rather than by themselves due to years of impotence and are therefore disregarded by the people or America or history.

The government is now faced with bitter facts that may lessen the joy of clapping and dancing and the most important of those facts is that it has now come vis-a-vis with the people after the sanctions pretext has fallen apart.

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