2 April 2019

Sudan: Weekly Press Columns Digest

analysis

Lina Yagoub, Al-Sudani daily newspaper, began her column by expressing her puzzle on whether she would write about ousted president Beshir and his clinging to power for 30 years until the last minute, about Gen. ibn Oaf who resigned only 24 hours after taking power as chairman of the Transitional Military Council (TMC), registering a patriotic stance, about new TMC Chairman Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, about the custody of the NCP leaders or about the resignation of Salah Gosh, the spy chief.

However, the columnist said it would be important to speak about the Sudanese people who astonished the world by defying the hardships, violence, live ammunition and teargas for four months and achieved what was considered an impossible achievement.

The Sudan is now ushering in a new phase after the people have shown great patience and the armed forces have shown fairness and protection of the protesters and have refrained from using any form of violence against them.

Al-Tahir Satti said in his column that was published on the same page of that of Lina, that the Sudanese people were not disappointed by their youths who were martyrized, injured, spent sleepless nights and defied all sorts of hazards to rescue what has remained of the country and the people.

Four months now the youths have been chanting the fall of the government which humiliated and impoverished the people and which practiced numerous atrocities that caused deaths, migration, displacement and asylum and split the country into two states, Satti said.

He added, however, that the atrocious, corrupt government has not yet fallen, saying the slogan of "falls" should not be changed into "fell" and the principle of let bygones be bygones should not be observed until the corrupts are taken to courts of justice and only at that time the government will be considered as having fallen.

It is not the UN Security Council or the African Union, but it is the vigilance of the youths that is the main guarantor of the accomplishment, said Satti, warning against the numerous ploys of the formerly ruling National Congress Party.

Al-Akhbar daily newspaper on Monday carried three columns -one criticizing the government media for the passivity they have shown towards the upheaval, another about the national dialogue parties and the third one urging the revolutionaries to embark on the national reconstruction.

In the first column, Murtadha al-Ghali criticized the silence by the government radio and television, which are financed by the Sudanese people, towards the current movement by those people against the defunct regime of ousted President Omar al-Beshir.

He wondered why the national and state television and radio services have failed to cover the protest sit-ins and demonstrations in the capital Khartoum and in the capitals of other states.

Why those media have not conducted press investigations about the demands of the protesters, about ousted Beshir and his clique and whether they are kept in safe places in hotels or villas, about the shadow battalions which Islamist Ali Osman threatened to defend the Ingaz against the upheaval of the Sudanese Professionals Association and the allied parties of the Freedom and Change Declaration Forces, Ghali said.

In the second column, Abdul Azim Salih expressed astonishment with a recent press conference in which Mayyadah Swar al-Dahab, the leader of one of the national dialogue parties which supported Beshir's regime, spoke about a role those parties would play during the new regime that ousted Beshir.

Salih wondered about an initiative in support of the new regime by those parties, 128 in number, which participated in one-fifth of the 30-year-era of the Ingaz government of the National Congress Party.

The National Dialogue parties said in the press conference that they have 494 (some say 994) recommendations they alleged would solve the political crisis, bring about peace and reinstate the Sudanese pound to its previous strong status, the columnist said.

Zakiyyah Hamid, of the third column, underlined the importance of reconstruction after the success of the popular uprising that was backed by the army and other organized forces.

He warned that the reconstruction process is not easy following 30 years of destruction, requiring hard work starting from the foundation, though, he added, the revolutionary spirit and the youth energy would certainly be instrumental in this process.

Aljareedah daily newspaper of Tuesday, among several interesting columns, published two of them of particular interest- one about widespread corruption and another about weapons and armed forces of the Sudanese Islamic Movement (SIM) that was headed by toppled president Omar al-Beshir.

Columnist Mohamed Wida'ah wrote at length about financial corruption involving billions of dollars perpetrated by leaders of the defunct regime.

Wida'ah began his column by reviewing resolutions taken by the Transitional Military Council (TMC), including consideration of the public order code, reorganization of the security apparatus, starting seizure of the HQs and offices of the national congress party (NCP and continued apprehension of NCP symbols suspected of corruption, besides freezing bank accounts of suspected institutions and individuals.

All those resolutions are to the point but were taken in a slow rhythm that might have allowed the corrupts to take precaution that would have protected them.

Among the many instances of corruption, the columnist mentioned a power station in Al-Foulah city, West Kordofan, that cost 600 million dollars that ended up to be sold as scrap, six billion dollars spent on Merowe Dam and Er Rosaries heightening Dam while the capital Khartoum in recurrent blackout and 60% of the Sudanese population know nothing about electricity in addition to billions of dollars in Chinese loans for trains for the capital Khartoum, Khartoum Airport and Sudan railways.

He cautioned the TMC chairman that his resolutions were not satisfactory and did not disclose the hideouts of the true corruption while the time is moving fast and the corrupts have not yet been checked.

In the other column that was published on the same page of Aljareedah daily Haider al-Mikashfy made reference to a statement by Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, a senior NCP figure, that they have shadow battalions and darkness bats forces to defend the party and the Sudanese Islamic Movement (SIM).

Mikashfy also reported that the police uncovered weapons buried in suburbs of the capital Khartoum that turned out to have been hidden by SIM.

Columnist Ja'afer Suleiman is of the viewpoint that the Islamic trend, with its various names, constitutes an obstacle to the development of the Sudan since the country's independence.

The Islamist organization, now taking name of the national congress party, managed exist in the Sudanese political scene, mainly by manipulating the religious emotion to pretend to the simple Muslims that they are guarding the country against secular parties, Suleiman said.

Another weapon the Islamists use is the economic force they built from internal and external sources using it for buying supporters and votes and dividing rival parties as they have done in leading the most failed regime during the past 30 years, the columnist said.

He added that some NCP affiliates, even now after their Ingaz regime has been overthrown, provocatively describe as deluded people who believe in disappearance of the NCP which they say will remain in the political scene through the polling boxes.

Columnist Mohamed Wida'ah, writing on Aljareedah daily newspaper of Saturday describes as provocative the arrival of notorious Gen. Taha Osman al-Hussein in Sudan as part of a Saudi Arabian delegation to the Sudan to express the Saudi support to the new change following the ouster of the regime of toppled Omar al-Beshir.

According to Wida'ah, Hussein, after removal from his position as director of the offices of former President Omar al-Beshir, left for Saudi Arabia and, as he possesses the Saudi nationality, was appointed in the Saudi Foreign Ministry as adviser for African Affairs.

The columnist said it was reported that Riyadh has earlier asked permission from the Sudanese government for Hussein as part of its delegation, adding that whether this report was true or whether Khartoum has given permission, the arrival of Hussein would raise anger among the Sudan people.

For this reason, the Saudi government could send Hussein to any African country but not to the Sudan, Wida'ah said.

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