Sudan: Weekly Press Columns Digest

18 October 2020
analysis

Khartoum — Below are extracts of some most-noted issues of the foregoing week as reviewed by certain columnists.

University professor and columnist at 'Elsudani' newspaper, Abdel-latif Albooni, commented on the recent wave of criticism against Juba peace deal. Albooni highlighted the post-signing strong critical reviews of Juba peace deal provisions by many commentators, drawing attention to the fact that such criticism could have been of much value had it been addressed to the draft version of the peace deal, especially that the draft version had been published weeks before the final signing date.

Albooni stated two reasons for such belated criticism: the first reason was the popular sense of indifference towards the whole peace negotiation process that had been going on in Juba; and the second reason was the opportunistic attitude of opposition groups, as they have, of late, raised this criticism in a malicious way to settle scores with the transitional government's components.

However, Albooni blamed the components of the forces of freedom and change (FFC), who have also expressed post-signing dissatisfaction with certain provisions of the peace deal, especially that they are the political incubator of the transitional government, whereas in such capacity they could have reviewed and protested to the deal at the drafting stage, he stated.

Albooni further criticized the national TV and official media channels for not leading a real analytical debate of the peace deal provisions at the drafting stage. He stated that such analytical debate could have been very enlightening to the citizens and might have led to amending many controversial clauses of the deal. All radio and TV interviews on the agreement, as cast from Juba, were in the form of tedious monologues lacking any sense of deep thoughtful analysis. Through lengthy interviews, the Sovereign Council member Mr. Altaeshi kept talking all the time about the three advantages of the peace deal, but unfortunately he failed to tell his audience anything about some most controversial provisions of the peace deal, said Albooni. However, Albooni set the bulk of blame on interviewers and journalists who had been covering the peace negotiations.

The writer also described some clauses of the peace deal as utopian and fictitious, stating that the realization of such clauses on the ground would require the allocation of huge fund provisions, which is impossible taking into account the current status of affairs.

In conclusion, the writer expresses hope that all the emerging controversy over the peace deal, which has unfortunately turned violent in some instances, would be part of the laboring process towards the formation of the national legislative council where the people's representatives would, henceforth, turn the deal provisions into constitutional clauses and lead a collective national democratic debate to eradicate all deformities that jeopardize Sudan's peace and stability.

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Mr. Zahir Elbakheet, of 'Eljareeda' newspaper, commented on the nomination, and recent removal, of the governor of Kassala State. He stated that the disputed nomination of governor Ammar has sparked a wave of violent protests ever since the first day.

The writer expressed the opinion that since all the complications surrounding the governor nomination are well known, Prime Minister Hamdok should've relieved the governor who acted indifferently and chose to play against all odds.

Mr. Zahir reiterates that such irrational insistence by the nominated governor, Ammar, to cling on to office has now given rise to tribal conflicts that are threatening the stability and peaceful coexistence within the whole region of eastern Sudan. Such conflicts would only aggravate the already-miserable situation of the people in eastern Sudan and add to their sufferings, and accordingly reverse the clock to the pre-December revolution status.

Addressing the Prime Minister, the writer notes that people may opt to go without bread or cooking gas seeking other alternatives, but who would they turn to when their homes and farms turn into ashes in consequence of violent conflict and fighting.

The writer concluded his article by ringing the bell that if no quick and ultimate solution was found, then the situation would be ripe for the emerging of another rebel, in light of the sparks resulting from the too much delayed removal of the nominated governor, Ammar, by the Prime Minister.

The writer concludes by reiterating that the problem in eastern Sudan is much deeper than simple nomination and removal of a governor, or withdrawal of a negotiating track. It is rather a matter of rational debate and comprehensive dialogue that leads the country, as a whole, out of political immaturity into a new stage of good governance and prestigious rule of law.

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Journalist Othman Mohammed Hassan wrote in Sudanile e-magazine about some allegedly irrational conditions imposed by the US administration negotiators for delisting Sudan as state-sponsor of terrorism. Othman quoted some tweets by the Kuwaiti academician Abdulla Alnufaisi who claims that the Americans have set 47 conditions to agree on delisting Sudan as state-sponsor of terrorism. Among those conditions are the normalization of ties with Israel and the provision of domicile for millions of Palestinians in Sudan.

Othman also quoted Alnufaisi as numerating other undisclosed more serious conditions, to the extent that Sudanese negotiators with the US side could not even dare hint to. The writer added that such severe conditions and tactics are not novel to the unkempt, vulgar and greedy capitalist attitude of the US administration under President Trump. It is evident that Trump is in bad need for the votes of undecided Anglicans and Zionist lobbies in the forthcoming elections and he is ready to venture anything to secure those votes, adds Othman.

Othman also remarks that Trump, as a practicing opportunist, knows where and when to hit to make unpaid-for gains. He well knows that Sudan is now in its weakest time being headed by a divided government within a context of serious security and economic crises. Therefore, he thinks this is the right time to dictate such unjust and irrational conditions, in support of the expansionary policies of Israel at the expense of the Sudanese and Palestinians, alike, irrespective of their wish.

The author also referred to certain American hints of possible immunity to members of sovereign and military councils which, if true, would make those generals go at full sail towards normalizing ties with Israel, stated the writer.

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