Sudan: Opposition Lambasts State of Emergency, Bashir Decrees Emergency Orders

Protest in Sudan (file photo).
2 February 2019

The opposition grouping, the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), has rejected the state of emergency recently declared by the government as unlawful and unconstitutional.

In a public statement, the FFC argued that the country is not facing an imminent danger that dictates the declaration of a state of emergency.

It considered the declaration of the state of emergency an attempt to safeguard the government.

The FFC also criticized the subsequent emergency orders issued by the government as a violation of the Constitution's Basic Rights Document and, accordingly, lack any constitutional legitimacy.

Announcing the state of emergency last Thursday, President Bashir said the ongoing demonstrations and public protests were an attempt to destabilize the country.

"I announce imposing a state of emergency across the country for one year," he said.

Bashir has also dissolved the government and appointed a new First Vice President, a new Prime Minister and a new Finance Minister.

According to the presidential decrees in this regard, Defense Minister, Lt. General Awad Ibn Awf has been appointed First Vice President, replacing Lt. General Bakri Hassan Salih. Ibn Awf will also keep his portfolio as Defense Minister.

Former Governor of The central Sudanese Gezira State Mohammad Tahir Aila has been named as Prime Minister, replacing Mr. Mu'taz Musa who has been in office for about six months. Economist Mustafa Hoali was named Finance Minister, replacing Mr. Mu'taz Musa who had kept both offices of Prime Minister and Finance Minister.

President Bashir also Tuesday effected a wide reshuffling of the brass of the Army. He appointed Lt. General Esam Eddin Mubarak as State Minister of Defense, Lt. General Kamal Abdelma'roof as Chief of the Joint Staff, Lt. General Hashim Abdelmuttalab Ahmed Babiker as Deputy Chief of the Joint Staff, Lt. General Abdelfattah Albdurhan as Inspector General, Lt. General (Pilot) Salah Abdelkhaliq Saeed as Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Lt. General Mohammed Osman Alhussein as Chief of Staff of the Land Forces, Lt. General (Marine) Abdallah Almatari Alfardi as Chief of Staff of the Marine Force,

Lt. General Shamseddin Kabbashi as Chief of Staff of the Joint Operations and Lt. General Mustafa Mohammad Mustafa as Chief of Army Intelligence.

Bashir had also relieved the state governors and replaced them with army generals.

In keeping with the declared state of emergency, President Bashir has decreed emergency orders banning gatherings, protests and strikes. The orders also permit the police to search any building, sequester money and properties, limit the movement of individuals and means of public transport and arrest persons doubted for committing crimes stipulated in the emergency law. The emergency law has banned unauthorized dealing in foreign currency and the smuggling and hoarding of raw gold, wheat flour and petroleum products.

The orders have authorized the Attorney General to cancel any immunities a suspect may enjoy and authorized him to set new tribunals to consider cases related to the state of emergency.

The orders have also banned the preparation, publication and circulation of news and information "that harm the state and the citizens, call for undermining the existing constitutional system or proliferate hate, racism and discrimination."

In the meantime, Chief Justice Abdelmajeed Idris Ali has issued an order forming the decreed emergency tribunals at both the primary and appeal levels, nationwide.

According to a statement from the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), the emergency decree and the emergency orders are "just a bubble."

It said the banning of gatherings, peaceful processions and strikes, the formation of emergency tribunals, the arrest of individuals, the banning of access to and the publishing of information are all but illegal.

The FFC said home searches and searching of individuals, sequestering of money and property and authorizing the Chief Justice to set emergency tribunals is in complete contravention of the principles of natural justice and the rule of law.

It said these measures are but a desperate attempt on the part of the regime to drag the judiciary in its crimes and violations now that its forces and militias have failed to force back our people from their objectives.

These measures are reminiscent of the inspection courts of the middle ages in Europe and a reminder of the fast track justice Courts launched towards the downfall of former Dictator Nimeirry in 1985.

This is a tried path, trodden by tyrants across ages, and the ultimate outcome of such laws is the fall of the sinister tree that put them into force.

Availing the Attorney General and the Chief Justice the authority to issue legislations for investigation and the formation of emergency tribunals is a blatant violation of the principle of separation of authorities. It has denied the legislative bodies their original right of issuing legislations and has also denied the Judiciary and the legal courts their right of the independent enforcement of the law.

The Forces for Freedom and Change urge the people of Sudan and the noble barristers to challenge and expose these measures which represent a new crime on the part of the regime and its head in a bid to slaughter and raze out the constitution.

It is a wonder how some people, in an attempt to stay near the regime under the excuse that they were seeking the implementation of the National Dialogue Conference resolutions, can tolerate such measures which have actually blown up the document of that claimed dialogue.

The eyes of history are vigilantly watching such circles as the Attorney General, the Chief Justice and members of the Constitutional Court and will record this professional, political and moral scandal of theirs.

Our proud people: These festering soap bubbles emitted by the regime and its head will not deter us from walking along the road towards freedom and change and will not save the regime from its investable fate. e will come out for him from every corner .The revolution will continue as if nothing has happened. We call on our people (the master that commands and is obeyed) to do more and to abide by the means of peaceful resistance, both old and new. Our people will triumph and nobody will break their strong willpower. Our rendezvous is the streets and roadways of the towns and villages that had never reneged from their promise. We have one sole option: To triumph ... To triumph.

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