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Weekly Press Columns Digest

Weekly Press Columns Digest

By: Mohamed Ali Saeed

KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - The week’s columns had tackled issues ranging from the tribal feuding in some parts of the country, to the humanitarian convoy sent by the Rapid Support Forces to some isolated areas in the Blue Nile State, to the controversy surrounding Health Minister Akram Ali Altoam and the stable electric supply some attribute to the shut down of government offices because of the coronavirus pandemic that saved electric power.

In her daily column in Altayyar newspaper, writer Shamae’l Alnoor Thursday tackled the recent tribal feuding in some parts of the country:

“Every hour we receive news about excursions somewhere between tribal components. The belligerency has started by the incidents in Southern Darfur, then in Kassala and then in Kadugli. The clashes start with a quarrel or a theft and very soon the situation explodes and goes out of control.

Up to now the Government did not give a statement about what had happened and why? It just gives statements expressing anxiety and calling for reconciliation.

Despite the existence of military governors at the head of those states, the situation gets out of control for long hours and the tension continues.

Some say the remnants of the defunct regime were behind the clashes, because they still control the administration in the states. That is true. But the question: What is the role of the Government in what happens and why does it play a spectator’s role in these events?

It is for certain that what happened at the same time in a number of areas is not by chance in the most. But in order for us not to be captive of the conspiracy theory, we have to press the Government to re-impose the lost respect of the state. We need continuous pressure on the Government to do its duty as required and to answer the question: Why doesn’t it interfere at the right time?

The Minister of the Interior and the Security Chief are the most to be held responsible for the bloodletting that did not cease ever since the Government was formed. Then the question: Is the military governor of the concerned state part of the crisis?

And if Khartoum does not feel the gravity of what happens in the periphery and its consequences, that is a problem.

What has happened in South Darfur, Kassala and Kadugli will recur in the same details in other areas if the Government does not rush to contain and put an end to such incidents.

Is there an answer to the question: How could such a thing happen under military governments in the states? And if the military official is unable to stop the chaos and provide security, what is the use of his staying at the top of the government?

Time and again we say that the absence of the proposed parliament and the delay in the appointment of civilian regional governors would add more fire to the situation in the regions.

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Writer Mohamed Mahmood Raji is calling for an afterthought about the  military Rapid Support Force, which he said is facing a campaign of demonization for its role in the war zones and an alleged role in the bloody breaking of the sit in around the Army General Command in June 2019. Writing in the Altahreer electronic publication, Raji has said:

“Tuesday night I watched on the National TV a popular reception of a humanitarian convoy from the Rapid Support forces as it entered the areas controlled by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Agar in the Blue Nile Region. The convoy, laden with food and other humanitarian necessities, was received with utmost zeal from the area’s citizens, led by Commander Malik Agar himself. Agar had said the Rapid Support Force “is a Sudanese force that came here driven by humanitarian motives. We have to nurture this new spirit among us and build a national army from the Armed Forces, the Rapid Support Forces and Armed Struggle Movements in order to reflect the diversity of Sudan and  maintain its unity.”

The happiness and joy on the citizens faces was indeed very touching. The National TV’s coverage was professional, especially the interviews with civil society leaders, both men and women. All those interviewed had extolled the gesture saying that it came after long years of animosity and warring between the central government and the rebels. They said this gesture by the Rapid Support Forces does reflect the changes brought about by the glorious December 2018 Revolution, the consequent ceasefire and the free flow of humanitarian assistance to the region. It is a new beginning that could divert the prices of bullets to buy milk for children and open schools for  them, build hospitals and buy medicine for the coronavirus victims, improve the citizens living conditions and rehabilitate the IDPs, they said.

That is a summation of what those civil society leaders had said. These are simple disheartening wishes.

May be what I’m saying does not please many. The Rapid Support Forces are giving a distinct model for the different role the military forces can play in the Third World. It is a role worthy of attention by the scholars of politics, sociology and public administration. There is need to compare this experiment of the Rapid Support Forces with the experiment of the armies launched during the colonial era. There is need for a more objective look at the Rapid Support Force, away from short-sighted bias.

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Writer Ramzi Almasri Thursday lashed heavily at the perpetrators of the media campaign against Health Minister Akram Ali Altoam targeting his dismissal from the job.

Writing in the Altahreer electronic publication, Almasry considered the campaign counterrevolutionary and was motivated by special interests:

“All forces have joined hands in one moment to dislodge the tactful son of the revolution, the revolution’s gift to the people, Dr. Akram, from office.

All interest groups, many medical specialists and consultants have allied against him because they feared if this man would stay in office any longer, he would destroy the  private  kingdoms they built from the pains and tears of the sick and their families.

Many drug manufacturers and drug traders have teamed up against him because he had rejected the exorbitant prices they put for medicines without any consideration of the conditions of the sick.

Many false revolutionaries have stood against him because Akram is not a revolutionary by words but by action.. by results. We have seen Dr. Akram go in person to epidemic zones, sit with the cadres and the people, and manage to stem cholera .. cholera and not watery diarrhea as his predecessor in the Ministry had used to tell us in such outbreaks.

The alliance of the counterrevolution against Dr. Akram needs no proof. It does not need that much talk spewed out by the previous regime journalists in their columns.

The entire problem comes from the false revolutionaries who plot to stab the revolution and the revolutionaries in the back. That would be a hard stab because it comes from a close distance.

Dr. Akram did not succumb to the coronavirus pandemic that plagued all the countries of the World, rich and poor. He struggled and still struggles, and despite the meager resources he did not throw the towel.

True, some mistakes had accompanied his campaign against the pandemic and he had conceded to that and promised remedies. He fights, quits a meeting to enter another, runs right and left and, further and above, tells his people about the reality of the situation.

His frankness that brought him wide global acclaim and made headlines across the World did not please some people here. True: “The singer of the neighborhood does not entertain!”

If the campaign against Akram did not get out from the revolution’s home, what should we call the statement published on the sovereign council’s home page? The statement said the council chairman Burhan, in the presence of two ministers, the Prime Minister and some members of the freedom and change alliance have asked PM Hamdok to dismiss Dr. Akram. The poorly written statement appeared on the council’s official homepage and was withdrawn two hours later.

The only explanation for this is that the person who did this had wanted this piece of information to spread widely (and that is exactly what had happened) and then withdraw it as if it was put by mistake.

Who is responsible for this chaos, sirs in the sovereign council?

Now a message to Dr. Akram: Be careful in choosing your aids, because the blow has come from your own home, the Ministry of Health, not from the outside. And be sure, the revolution committees are capable of defeating those who work against you from outside the Ministry!

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Writer Haidar Almikashfi is drawing attention to an unexpected boon from the shut- down of government offices and institutions because of the corona pandemic: A lot of electricity consumed to run air conditioners in these facilities has been saved!

Writing in the Aljareeda newspaper on Tuesday he said:

“I was very pleased to hear the former general secretary of the food industries chamber Mustafa Hassan Bashir calling for the launch of a committee to dismantle air conditioners in government offices, along the example now in action to dismantle the defunct National Congress Party and return its properties to the Ministry of Finance.

The proposed committee would dislodge unnecessary air conditioners, sell them and give their proceeds to the Finance Ministry. No doubt this step, if taken, the committee assigned for this purpose would seize hundreds of thousands, even millions, of unnecessary air conditioners. It is not the money to be collected from auctioning these appliances that counts. What really counts is that a sizable sum of electricity wasted in these sets would be saved.

A number of industrialists have disclosed that electric supply continued to be stable during the lockdown, Bashir said, adding that the stable electric supply had also stabilized factory production and cut on the gasoline consumption that was formerly used to drive electric generators in case of power outages. He said the gasoline thus saved was diverted to agriculture.

Bashir had said their factories now produce more foodstuffs, creating a market stability of these commodities.

“The Government is the biggest consumer of electricity,” he said, urging the Prime Minister to launch a committee to tour government offices with a view to allocating one air conditioner and one fan for each office and dislodge the surplus sets, sell them in an open auction and divert some of them to hospital ICU’s.

 

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