Sudan: Digest of Press Columns

1 February 2019

Columnist Abdul Latif al-Boony, dissecting the economic situation, has stated that the Sudanese economy has been 'dollarized' to an extent that the American currency has gained a tremendous influence on all walks of life in Sudan, although until the early 1980s most of the Sudanese people were not aware of its existence.

Boony attributed this situation in his daily column of Sunday that appeared on Al-Sudani daily newspaper to what he called the fallacious economic policies that started in 1975 with acceptance of the prescription of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) coupled with retraction of exportation (cotton) and the rise of the international prices of petroleum.

"If we had true economists, there would have been policies that could have resisted the developments, but our gentlemen handed us over to. "Then the Ingaz came to add to the problem and the process of dollarization has gained pace by premeditated negligence of the agricultural and economic production and misuse of the short-lived petroleum production," he added.

The renowned columnist said the new budget of 2019 "has vanished since day one" and the dollar rate of 47.5 pounds that was fixed by the government committee has become a history and consequently the export has stopped.

For taking the Sudanese pound out of the intensive care unit, Boony suggested adoption of a domestic reform and improvement of the foreign relations, finding multi-billion-dollar deposits, cutting down the government spending and, most important, finding a way for bringing home billions of Sudanese assets abroad.

Veteran journalist-columnist Mahjoub Urwah says a solution for the crises that sparked protests across the Sudan require finding a rational vision that is free of personal or partisan interests.

In his daily column that appeared in Altayyar daily newspaper of Monday, Urwah warned that any substitute to the present situation must be reached in a national consensus and must avert repetition of the errors that followed the 1964 and 1985 uprisings and the chaotic situations that followed the Arab Spring in some Arab countries.

He said the economic hardships which precipitated the protests were of political roots and therefore a political solution is needed, as all economic decisions, including the general budget, stem from political decisions based on ideologies of the governments.

Any political solution requires a national accord without which such a solution cannot succeed however powerful is any ruling party, Urwah said.

In his column on Almustagilla daily newspaper of Wednesday, Yassir Zain al-Abdin likened the offspring of the ruling politicians to kids of ordinary parents in disloyalty springing from generation differences of thinking.

The columnist attributes disloyalty by some children to their parents to different ideas adopted by the new generation to the changes that normally occur in the life style causing the kids to rebel against the pattern of thinking of their parents.

He said the same theory applies to the sons and daughters of the parents who are senior officials of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudanese Islamic Movement (SIM).

For this reason, Yassir deduced, kids of those ruling parents were seen among the present demonstrations and protests against the government and the ruling 'Kaizan', the plural of 'Koaz', Arabic for ewer, commonly used among the ordinary Sudanese people as a nickname for Islamists.

Nahid Gurnas, writing in her daily column that appeared in Aljareedah daily newspaper of Thursday, ridiculed a move by the government for printing new banknotes of 100, 200 and 500 SDGs as a ploy for resolving the cash liquidity crisis.

Gurnas is of the opinion that printing banknotes with no gold or foreign currency balance would further worsen the economic situation and take it to the brink of abyss.

In response to a recent statement by Prime Minister-cum-Finance Minister Mutaz Mussa defying any person bring up any act of corruption by the Premier, columnist Mohamed Wida'ah defied the Prime Minister to answer a number of questions Wida'ah cites as examples for corruption.

Those questions, which may spark a storm of argumentation, include the purchase of emergency electricity units when Mussa was Minister of Electricity which Wida'ah said they did not meet the purpose, citing repeated blackouts.

Another question Wida'ah directed in his column that was published in Aljareedah daily newspaper of Thursday was related to the Foulah electric power station (West Kordofan) that cost 580 million dollars with a transmission line to Babanousah that cost 280 million dollars and at the end the station was sold as scraps

The columnist asked about the truth of the contract of the Nyala power station and about the fate of a project for digging two canals from Merowe Dam the government said would irrigate 4 million feddans of wheat to meet the country's consumption.

Columnist Al-Tahir Satti, in his daily column that was published by Al-Sudani daily newspaper of Saturday, has called for punishment of any person who makes a misleading statement for hiding a crime for protection of the perpetrator must be jailed for five years, fined or be served both penalties under the article of the relevant law.

Satti cited in his column a statement by Kassala State Governor Adam Jema'ah denying news on the killing of protestor Ahmed Al-Khair Awad al-Karim in security detention and alleging that the death was due to a poisoned meal he had with other detainees and security individuals.

While the same poisoning reason for the death was given by Kassala State Police Director Major General Yassin Mohamed Hassan in a similar statement, the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) said in a statement that the death was due to an acute illness the detainee suffered during the interrogation, Satti said.

At last the truth was made plain in a statement by the General Prosecution that the death resulted from torture during the interrogation and that the laboratory examination showed no signs of poisoning, the columnist said, stressing that those who gave misleading statements must be subject to punishment.

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MAS/AS

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