4 June 2017

Sudan: At Last, Bitter Opposition Figures in the State House in Raman

Sanoasi and al-Hassan al-Mirghani take oath before the President

At his Republican Palace desk, sits Ibrahim al-Sanoasi, successor of Islamist Leader Hassan al-Turabi, as Presidential Advisor in Ramadan.

Sanoasi's inauguration of his seat in the Republican Palace ushers in an era of national harmony. Sanoasi, who left the government office in the company of Sheikh Turabi following their fall out with the Government, is back to draw a new scene in the future of Sudan, in compliance with the outcome of the National Dialogue Conference that saw lots of ups and downs. For sure, Sanoasi will not be alone in the search for an all-embracing national unity.

It is a political irony that Sanoasi who left the government 18 years ago, in what has landed in the annals of Sudan history as "The 4th of Ramadan Presidential Resolutions", is back to government office on the 4th of Ramadan!

It is sure that Sanoasi will not be the only one who inaugurates the era of national conciliation. There are others who have taken the same position and seek to achieve the same objective of national peace after long years of conflict with the Government. We can remember the scene four years ago when Kamal Omar, the then political secretary of the Popular Conference Party (PCP) -Turabi and Sanoasi's party - was remanded in custody in Port Sudan. But now the man will spend the holy month in the National Assembly (parliament), representing his party and doing the best he can to realize the objectives of the National Dialogue Conference that he, Omar, likens to a bridge that can carry Sudan from the years of feuding and fighting and put it on the road for peace and stability.

But the National Accord Government had not stopped at the station of the Popular Congress Party, otherwise it have been genuinely called the government of the unity of Islamists. The government has, indeed, overstepped such a definition by bringing other bitter enemies of the government into its ranks. For who could have imagined Mubarak al-Fadil al-Mahdi of the Umma Party, to be part of the new government after long years of confrontation with the government. Ramadan has come this time with al-Mahdi sitting in his office facing the Nile trying to draw a different image of Sudan when the country can exploit its resources for the welfare of the people in his capacity as Minister of Investment. Mahdi is seeking to exploit the spirit of conciliation and open new pages that overcome the residues of the past.

It is now high time for Sudanese to stand in unison for a better future for the country. It could be said that the blessings of Ramadan have carried Mahdi to a new station where all strive to lead the country's ship to the harbor of peace and security.

And in Ramadan of last year the armed groups started a new march forward towards conciliation by declaring a total freeze of military operation in respect of the holy month. This small token had mushroomed in a number of peace deals that saw many rebel leaders joining the National Dialogue Conference and, consequently, became part of the government with a genuine desire to take part in national reconstruction. One touching outcome of this is the picture of a women who laid down her arms in Darfur, replaced them with pens and paper, and became member of the legislative council of the Nahr al-Neel State in the North.

But that picture was not unusual for PCP leading figure Kamal Omar, who in a statement to Sudanow, said it is imperative for the country to go forward towards national reconciliation. "Forgiveness is a true Sudanese trait and apart from participation in the government or not, every politician should be forgiving and should understand that forgiving is the way towards the unity of Sudan," said Omar.

For University of Khartoum's Sociology Professor Awad Ahmed Suleiman forgiveness and conciliation are part of the composite of the Sudanese personality that helped Sudan to avoid a lot of blood baths.

Some observers say that Sudanese politicians delve into a state of hibernation during the fasting month of Ramadan when political confrontations give way for social interaction, a matter that narrows differences. "We have to build on this spirit towards more rapprochement, cohesion and stability," according to one observer.

And if Sanoasi is happy about this positive development towards national concord, one would remember that it the government duty to consolidate this national reconciliation and turn words into deeds as First Vice President and Prime Minister Bakri Hassan Salih said, announcing the new government, his government is a government of peace and the elimination of war. " That is what our citizens want and nothing is better for us than to stop the bloodletting of the one people," he said.


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