Sudan: Digest of Newspapers Columns

2 January 2019

KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - It is unfortunate that the Sudanese Islamists cling to a fossilized and antiquated position and are incapable of changing that position to cope with the developments.

This was how journalist Lina Yagoub began her daily column of Thursday last week on Al-Sudani daily newspaper, criticizing what she regards as an unchanged position of the Sudanese Islamic Movement (SIM) that now grips power in Sudan.

She said the SIM leaders and members base their political line on the very name of their movement to gain the sympathy of the simple Sudanese Muslims and on alleging that their arch foes, the Communists and Ba'athists were infidels.

The columnist quoted Communist Party Leader Mohamed Mukhtar al-Khatib as saying their enemies (the Muslim brothers) previously attempted to place barriers between them (the Communists) and the community, but now the society understood the reality of members of the Communist Party.

She said the government of the Islamic movement resort to denial and falsehood to try in vain to convince the people that what they see is not true, like alleging the fuel crisis is over while the people see the queues at the gas stations and that the dollar will drop down next Monday but, instead, it climbs up.

An old proverb says if you want to 'kill' a subject you only form a committee to look into it.

This statement was made by renowned journalist-columnist Haider al-Mikashfy in Al-Akhbar daily of Thursday, commenting on a recent decision by the Sudanese government on formation of a committee for enquiry into the incidents that accompanied the on-going nation-wide anti-government demonstrations.

He said experience in Sudan showed that highly catastrophic and bloody incidents involving many lives, were forgotten, or left without action, by time while committees of enquiry were holding frequent meetings and the members getting remunerations and the results go undisclosed, with the authorities relying on time for the people to forget the issue.

Mikashfy cited as examples the Ailufoon incident, about 30km southeast of here, in which 25 popular defense students were forced to drown to death while they were attempting to flee the compulsory military training camp, and the air-crashes in which, the columnist implied, senior government officials, including First Vice President Al-Zubair Mohamed Salih, were killed.

The gravest questions the committee that was recently formed to investigate the incidents in the present incidents include who killed the martyrs and what method and how can the grievances that cannot be forgotten by time, be mitigated?

The state of Israel, since its establishment in 1948, has been exerting efforts for building wide-scale relations with the African countries for several political and economic reasons, including improvement of its image in the global forums.

The Chief Editor of Alintibaha daily newspaper, Al-Nour Ahmed Al-Nour, said Israel is interested in establishing ties with the African countries for the strategic importance of those countries, especially those of the Nile Basin, first to exploit the water of the river and secondly, to use it as a pressuring card on the Sudan and Egypt, politically.

The economic motives for the Israeli concern with Africa, Nour goes on, stem from the African natural resources, such as diamond, gold, timber and petroleum and the prospects of having Africa, with its 1.2 billion population, a market for the Israeli exports.

With the ebb of the Jewish immigration from Europe and America, Israel seeks to attract into it thousands of African Jews from Ethiopia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya and to employ the remaining Jews as a pressure on those countries for supporting it in the international arena, said the columnist.

He made reference to an extensive tour made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that took him to a number of African countries where he made promises of assistance in projects of development, modernization of the agriculture, the technological transformation, education, health and natural resources.

After taking part in what was dubbed disastrous budget last year (2018), some parties participating in the NCP-dominated government disavowed and criticized that budget as if they had not approved or even seen it.

Today and after the approval of the 2019 budget, the Popular Congress Party (PCP) criticized in a press conference the expenditures and revenues of the budget, claimed that there are groups within the government that monopolize the commodities and alleged that they are participating in the government just to prevent the country from collapsing, said Al-Tayeb al-Mikabraby in a column carried by Al-Akhbar daily newspaper of Friday.

What sort of a partnership is this? Mikabraby said the PCP is participating with the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and other parties in a government in which it is powerless and could do nothing.

He said the PCP partnership is a mere décor to make people think it is not only the NCP that it is the actual ruler of the country; wondering about the nature of the partnership with the NCP in which the PCP cannot remove a person or group they believe harmful to the country.

The columnist warned the PCP and other junior parties that they are equally responsible for any mistake or disaster that befalls the people as a result of the policies of the government.

"You cannot renounce all the sins while you are enjoying the privileges of your positions in the ministries, councils, states and committees," Mikabraby addressed the PCP.

Columnist Abdul Rahman al-Amin, in a column carried by Assayha daily newspaper of Saturday, quoted the imam (prayers leader) of a Khartoum mosque, Dr. Abdul Hai Yusuf, as advising in a sermon the government to bring to account and punish those who were behind the growing economic crisis if it wants to find a way out of the present ordeal.

Sheikh Yusuf, according to the columnist, also advised the government to lift the injustice that fell upon the people as God responds to the aggrieved appeal against the oppressor and that God supports a just government even if it is infidel and bars support from an unjust government even if it is a Muslim.

The imam has recommended that the government has to observe equality among the people and to drop the policy of favoritism in employments, something which he said was behind the decline of the civil service.

For this reason, according to Yusuf as quoted by Amin, numerous young men and women who were graduated from the universities did not find jobs and remained unemployed. Besides, the government denied them opportunities of entertainment and pastime, shutting down, for instance, the movie theatres where they can pass the longtime of unemployment.

Amin said an important advice Dr. Yusuf delivered was for the governmental committee of enquiry to speed up investigation into the killings that were perpetrated during the demonstrations and identify the murderers as Yusuf pointed out that the Islamic faith considers murder an extremely grave crime that is more serious than demolishing the Kaaba.

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