28-January-2020
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Weekly Press Columns Digest

Weekly Press Columns Digest

 

KHARTOUM (Sudanow)—Congratulating Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdouk on the occasion of the Sudan Independence, US President Donald Trump "alleged" that his country is a constant partner to Sudan for guaranteeing a bright, safe and democratic future, said Mahjoub Urwah in a column he published in his new Al-Sudani Aldauliyyah daily newspaper on Sunday.

He said this reminded him of an advice by a former US President to former Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir-that he prefers deeds not words, which, according to Urwah, was a correct advice because Beshir was famous as a liar.

Urwah said in this vein, the Sudanese People who were fed up with the American promises, want to tell President Trump that they want deeds, not words, they want clear-cut resolutions about lifting the Sudan's name from the list of the state sponsors of terrorism and from the financial and economic sanctions and are not satisfied with the words and blessings which are useless and which do not guarantee a bright and safe future but they are similar to the statements of the ousted President.

President Trump and his Administration are presumably well aware that the government of the December Revolution, with its sovereign and executive components, is well distant from terrorism and extremism, a national, democratic and civilian government that respects the freedoms and transparency, a government that was born of a revolution that has toppled a corrupt, oppressive and lying regime that exploited religious slogans for empowerment and corruption, said the veteran journalist columnist.

The Sudan, Mr. President, does not export terrorism and so there is no reason for the American delay in dealing fairly with this country while the US deals with dictatorships that seized power in military coups, practice state terrorism and kill people in cold blood, Urwah said.

He warned President Trump and his Administration that if they did not reverse their treatment with the Sudan and with the countries of the world, particularly the Middle East, and if they did not abandon alignment with the occupiers and dictators, nobody would be surprised that the US would lose its international interests and influence and would have to return to the policy of isolationism.

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Documentary leaks on secrets of Sudanese Islamists during their rule and transmitted by Al-Arabia satellite Television Channel have raised an expected row, said Lina Yagoub in a column published by Al-Sudani daily newspaper of Monday.

The documentaries of which the TV Channel transmitted two serials and will transmit the third one next Friday deserve to be made public by any person who obtains them as, according to Lina, they reveal the crimes committed by the defunct regime, including the assassination of about 30 army officers in 1990.

It is not important who made the leakage of the terrific secrets of the Islamists out of meetings of the few members of the Sudanese Islamic Movement (SIM) but the important thing is the process of analyzing those documentaries which manifest that the Islamists were quite distant from the Islamic banners of "There is No God but Allah," and "No to Power, No to Prestige", pretending they were not interested in power or prestige, said the columnist.

As soon as what the Arabia Channel called devastating secrets it transmitted after 45 days of verification, senior Sudanese Islamists (including NCP chairman Ibrahim Ghandour) began to shout that the leaks were not secret but were ordinary, already made public, minutes of the SIM and NCP meetings, Lina noted.

The leaks can be used by the Attorney-General for discarding or confirming charges against the former Islamic rulers, she said.

  

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Veteran columnist Nor al-Dinn Medani has described as ambiguous the relationship between the military and civilian components of the ruling Transitional Authority (TA).

Writing in a column that was published by Al-Tahrir daily newspaper of Tuesday, Medani noted that the role played by the armed forces could not be denied in aligning with the Sudanese people and compelling the former president to step down and hand power over to the Transitional government, but it is unfortunate that the relationship between them and the Freedom and Change Forces and the Transitional government has remained ambiguous.

It was hopeful that the Sovereignty Council would have acted in full concert for assisting the Transitional government in discharging its duties but, it is regrettable that some of the military members of that Council took to the habit of making statements revealing their desire in dominating the sovereign decision-making, Medani said.

It is not in the interest of the military members of the Sovereignty Council to issue such confusing statements like the ones which were made by General Yassir al-Atta, the member of the government delegation to the Juba peace talks to Al-Saiha newspaper on differences between the FCF and the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF), describing those differences as minor and personal political squabbling and stickling, the columnist said.

He noted that the SRF is a body that was recently formed as part of the FCF and, like its behavior of hopelessly pressing for demands during the past regime, was not concerned with the peace issues.            .   

The stumbling negotiations have assured "our fears" that they would impede the peace process instead of achieving it despite the political will-power of the FCF and the Transitional government, confirming "our position" that there was no justification for holding those talks outside of the Sudan, Medani said.

"We appreciate once again the role by the Armed Forces, the Police and the Security Service in securing the popular revolution but this does not make of them a guardian to the revolution for correcting its course as implied by Gen. al-Atta, but it is sufficient for them to carry out their professional role, leaving the politicians to carry out the political action and the Transitional government to carry out its duty of achieving a just, comprehensive peace," Medani said in conclusion.

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Alyoum Altali daily newspaper of Wednesday carried two columns, one by its chief editor Muzamil Abul Gassim and the other by columnist Adel Albaz, both criticizing a deal made by the Minister of Finance and a little-known Al-Fakhir Company for Advanced Enterprises for purchasing and exporting Sudanese gold and importing basic commodities, using the proceeds.

Both columnists agreed that the company has failed to live up to its pledge of bringing the rate of the dollars down to 60 Sudanese pounds in two weeks' time, a deadline that ends on Wednesday, January 8, but  instead, the rate has climbed up to 88.5 pounds.

Abul Gassim described this pledge as a mirage as it was based on a suspicious deal that does not look like the objectives of the December Revolution which is presently engaged in fighting corruption.

He said the principles of transparency and competition were lacking in choosing Al-Fakhir Company for the task with the local unions of gold exporters and goldsmiths saying the company is not engaged in gold production and only purchases the commodity from the market, thus raising the price. They added that the Ministry did not invite other companies for bidding and that they knew of the deal only after it was announced.

The chief editor charged that the proprietors of Al-Fakhir Company had no clear records and were previously convicted of perpetrating crimes.

Albaz, for his part, bitterly blamed the Minister of Finance for striking what he called "corrupt" deal with Al-Fakhir Company without inviting other companies to tender bids for the gold exportation.

Refuting an argument by the Minister that the government was in an urgent need for hard cash for importing wheat flour and that Al-Fakhir offered 28 million dollars in exchange for concession, the columnist said the Minister could have called other companies to a meeting for collecting the cash in advance.

He said the deal was criticized by gold dealers and journalists as well as a number of political parties, including the Communist and National Unionist parties.

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Renowned columnist Zuhair al-Sarraj has expressed astonishment for some people (obviously referring to journalists of the defunct regime) pretentiously bemoaning and shedding crocodile tears in the wake of a brave decision recently taken by committee tasked with dismantling the extinct regime for sequestrating assets of some newspapers and other media outlets, including Al-Sudani daily which the columnist was one of its founders.

Narrating in a column published on Aljareedah daily newspaper of Thursday, Sarraj said that he and four other journalists established the newspaper to be named Al-Sudani as proposed by veteran journalist Mahjoub Urwah who was bitterly antagonized by influential figures of the past regime.

Ever since its first appearance in April 2006, the paper was warmly received by the readers for its courageous reporting on corruption, misbehavior and impropriety by the government authorities that classified it as an enemy of the regime, especially as it was headed by Urwah who had previously spent months of torture in Ghost Houses and had his earlier Al-Sudani Aldauliyyah newspaper and printing press confiscated.

Seizing the opportunity of failure by the founders to repay a bank loan for financing the printing press, the authorities warned Urwah either to pay the loan or go to jail and for this reason the founders had to sell their shares to rescue Urwah from prison, Sarraj said.

"We had to sell our shares cheaply in return for the freedom of Urwah and they permitted us to write in the newspaper for some time but they walked back on the contract and dismissed us," said Sarraj, lamenting the absence of justice and freedom of the press at that time.

"Why are they now bewailing a newspaper captured from its proprietors by force and bought with money of the people?" he wondered.

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His recent visit to Kaudah, the stronghold of the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement/North (SPLM/N) of Abdul Aziz al-Hilo proved that Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdouk is a man of initiatives, a broad vision and a strong will-power, said Dr. Hussein H. Hussein in a column published by Al-Tahrir online newspaper of Saturday.

 He described the visit to Kaudah and the talks with Hilo as an historic one that has removed a psychological barrier between the SPLM/N-held region in South Kordofan and Khartoum, unlike deposed president Beshir who vowed to visit Kaudah after defeating the rebels.

The columnist said the visit gives a strong push to confidence-building and to peace negotiation in Juba, adding that Islamists of the extinct regime attempted to belittle the importance of the visit and only pointed to Hilo's call for establishing a secular state "as if Beshir and his colleagues have built a Caliphate in Sudan."

Hamdouk, in a statement on his return from Kaudah, remarked that Hilo's call for a secular state is not new and is being discussed at Juba talks, adding that any armed struggle movement can place any proposal for discussion.

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