Sudan: Weekly Press Columns Digest

9 August 2020
analysis

The incident in which young men from the resistance committees that back the government were to bully and jeer sovereign state member General Shamseddin Kabbashi when he was on a dinner invitation at the home of a journalist known for his support for the defunct regime had received lots of coverage and comments from the week's publications.

The second issue that also loomed very large on the press was the devastating rain downpours and their disastrous losses in humans and properties.

The third issue that caught press attention was the revelations of PM Hamdok that he received a phone call from the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in which he was reported to have said his government was close to delete Sudan's name from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Writing in the Alrakoba (the shack) electronic publication, Mr. Bakri Alsayigh said:

The local press and some websites of concern with Sudanese affairs were busied by the incident in which sovereign council member General Shamseddin Kabbashi was verbally harassed by young men from Alhittana district in Omdurman when he was on social visit to the home of journalist Jamal Angara. The press had exaggerated the incident describing it as a 'demonstration'. The fact of the matter is that it was a petty demonstration of few boys who shouted slogans against general Kabbashi and condemned his visit to the district. It is a demonstration like tens of thousands of other demonstrations the country had seen during 19 December 2018 up to now. It is sad that the Sovereign Council (the country's biggest head) would interfere in this empty issue that deserves no attention, and would defend Kabbashi's alleged hurt pride in Alhittana.

It was in no time that we could digest the weird conduct by the sovereign council that we were surprised by a more weird news piece: The press has reported that the Army General Command had condemned the incidents that accompanied Kabbashi's visit to the area in which the young men uttered words that 'do not conform with the heritage and traditions of Sudan.' The Army also said it condemns the incident and keeps working to maintain the nation's social fabric and peace. It considered the insults hurled at Kabbashi insults to the Army, based on the symbolic position of the military member of the sovereign council.

Added Sayigh: No matter whether what the boys had done was right or wrong. This little incident should not have created this euphoria and should not have received this exaggerated media attention!!

Here I have to ask: Is Kabbashi above criticism, unaccountable?

The answer to this question does not require any schooling. As long as Kabbashi has delved into politics and accepted to become a politician beside his job in the Army, he has to tolerate criticism, verbal attacks, demonstrations and the insinuations directed toward him like any other politician. Kabbashi and the other sovereign council members should know that demonstrations against them would not come to a halt as long as there is inaction on the part of the council. All through the last 12 months we have seen no achievement from this council, under its chairmanship of General Alburhan.

The first time that the World had known that there was a sovereign council in Sudan was when Alburhan visited the Ugandan city of Entebbe on 2 February 2020 to meet the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

One final word for General Kabbashi: Don't be angry from the demonstrations staged against you. For if the council or the government had presented anything tangible for the country's kids, such a demonstration would not have taken place.

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Sarcastic writer Alfatih Jabra had written in the daily Aljareeda, under the title "The Rainy Season Has Come All of a Sudden!". He said he used to write under this title on annual basis since 2009, during the rule of the deposed Bashir. Ever since the rainy season of 2009, the rainy season used to come and the rains used to pour in, exposing the lies in the government statement's that everything was in place for the rainy season and that the necessary plans and precautions were taken.

But every year we used to see that what the officials were saying was not true. There were no preparations despite the officials' statement that they had held coordination meetings of all parties concerned where all issues related to the rainy season, including the water drainage systems, were discussed and decided upon.

Then the Revolution took place and I was hopeful the situation would be reversed. But things remained the same: The rainy season came 'all of a sudden' and the rains, as we used to see during the years of the deposed regime, were tools of destruction, instead of being rains of bounty and boon. They scare the citizens and destroy their homes and properties, even their souls.

Why should the situation have remained thus all these years, even after the regime change?

Why did the municipality fail to get prepared to counter the downpours this year? Where did the municipalities revenues milked from the poor citizens go? Where do the billions of pounds collected from taxes and duties go? Where do the sums earmarked for countering the rainy season problems go? Why do we let this annual catastrophe recur every year?

It is high time for the government to take this issue seriously and reconsider the situation of the cadres who failed to dispense their duties in the right way.

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Writing in Altayyar, Ms. Shamae'l Alnoor, appeared hopeful of the imminent deleting of Sudan's name from the list of countries the US says support terrorism.

She has based her ideas on the recent phone call by the US secretary of the State Mike Pompeo to PM Hamdok after which the latter appeared happy that the sanctions would be lifted soon.

Wrote Shama'el: All indications show that the removal of Sudan's name from the US terror list is imminent, in particular after Sudan had settled fines ruled by American courts for alleged Sudanese role in terror attacks on US targets in Yemen and East Africa, claims Sudan continued to deny.

The removal of Sudan's name from this US list would pave the way for the flow of investments to Sudan. It will also help the writing off of Sudan's heavy debts. All in all, there will be a chance for the Sudan economy to improve. This chance requires diligent effort domestically and radical economic change, otherwise the removal of Sudan from this list would be fruitless.

When the US lifted its economic sanctions on Sudan towards the end of President Obama's mandate, experts engaged in workshops, symposia and conferences that advised the then government of Omar Albashir to undertake real economic reform for the US decision to be feasible.

The most outstanding of those proposed measures was for the government to take the courage and fight corruption. Another important measure was to radically reform the banking system.

But the government at that time ignored those recommendations and considered the US decision a political victory.

So now, before the US lifts Sudan from the terror list, the government is required to conduct a surgery in the economy. Another important thing is that the parties should reach a peace agreement that could create the political stability required for economic growth.

Another firm measure the government should take is for the Ministry of Finance to have full control of the government revenue by dismantling the parallel economies run by the military.

Up to now there is no mechanism that watches the government performance. This requires the quick appointment of the legislature. If formed, this legislative council can monitor how public funds are spent and spot possible corruption.

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YH/AS

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