20-February-2020

Weekly Press Columns Digest

Weekly Press Columns Digest

 

KHARTOUM (Sudanow)— The current situation in the Sudan is inflammable, vague and difficult to analyze, said journalist Lina Yagoub in her regular column that was published by Al-Sudani daily newspaper of Sunday.

Commenting on resolutions recently declared by President Omar al-Beshir, the columnist wondered: What is going on now? Is it a full-fledged coup detat? Or is it a true attempt for a change? Or a plan and a desire for rapprochement with the public?

She questioned whether the resolutions were addressed to the ruling party, the allied parties, the present-cum-absent Sudanese Islamic Movement or others.

In an attempt to find answers to those questions, Lina said the ruling party, which has appointed Beshir as its chairman, is not prepared to have him abandon it in such critical circumstances and even believes that such a departure is unlawful.

She further wondered whether the new government of Beshir would get support by any one of the Gulf States, the international community or the big powers.

The columnist raised other questions about the imposed state of emergency and how it is going to be implemented, whether by suspending the intimidating articles or by adopting the "divide and rule" policy of imposing those articles on the adversaries and pardoning the favorites.

She said the NISS chief, in an attempt to mitigate the fears from the law, which obviously restricts the freedoms, by reassuring the public that it is aimed at overstepping the bureaucracy in addressing the economic crisis, corruption and conserving the country's resources.

If it the police and security, rather than the army, that will use tear-gas to disperse escalating protests, then what is the purpose of declaring the state of emergency? Lina asked, wishing that somebody is available to explain this "ambiguous" situation.

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The death of a youth is certainly saddening and so is the death of a policeman, Al-Tahir Satti wrote in his regular column that was published on Al-Sudani daily newspaper of Sunday.

The columnist was referring to a policeman who was recently killed by protestors flinging stones on a group of policemen riding a pick-up truck on a street in Al-Sahafa neighborhood, Khartoum South.

He is of the viewpoint that the protestors should win policemen over as friends because, he argued, they are also citizens sharing the same suffering inflicted on the civilians.

It is unwise to regard a policeman as a foe because he is not a policy-maker who is responsible for any injustice that befalls all citizens, including the policemen, Satti said.

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While demonstrations have been raging since December 19 calling for freedom, change, justice and peace, and chanting "Silmiyyah Dhid  Alharamiyyah" (peaceful demonstrations against thieves), it was announced that a meeting originally set for Sunday of an ad hoc committee for discussing amendments in the 2005 interim constitution permitting the president to serve more than two terms and authorizing him to sack an elected governor of a state was adjourned indefinitely.

Writing in his column that appeared on Aljareedah daily newspaper of Monday, Haider Ahmed Khairallah added that the proposed amendments must be repudiated for good.

The amendments appear illogical and of no value in light of the present upheaval that demands freedom and change and for a democratic transformation, the columnist said, adding that the youth who are leading the anti-government demonstrations are adamant on having those demands fulfilled.

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The Sudanese government brags about riches it has not yet possessed while it begs alms from other countries and it boasts that with its gold resource alone it can become among the world's very wealthy nations and can excel many nations which show off with the riches they possess.

Columnist Bukhary Beshir made this remark in a column carried by Alintibaha daily newspaper on Tuesday commenting on a speech Oil, Gas and Minerals Minister Azhary Abdul Gadir made at a recent meeting here with prospective foreign investors and companies in the presence of the Sudanese Prime Minister.

It is inappropriate that the Sudanese Oil and Minerals Minister declares that the oil reserves in Sudan amount to 1.6 billion barrels underground while the country stretches a begging hand for petroleum and motorists queue for hours at the gas stations desperately wishing to get fuel.

Official statements and reports say the Sudan is the best nation possessing huge resources but on the ground the country experiences acute economic crises that sparked unprecedented nationwide protests against the scarcity and high prices of the basic commodities that have erupted on December 19 and are still going on, the columnist said.

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Renowned journalist-columnist Murtadha al-Ghali began his regular column of Wednesday on Al-Akhbar daily newspaper with quotes by one of his aunts saying that an onion costs 10 Sudanese pounds (1000 pounds before Ingaz government which knocked off the three zeroes) and that preparation of a cooking pot costs 400 SGD (nearly half a million pounds).

In response to his aunt's remarks, Ghali said the life in the countryside is even harder with some people living there travel for miles to get water, others, especially the IDPs, eat patience and yet other people only long for personal safety, while the government officials talk about the noise of the currency printing houses and an astonishing statement by the Statistics Bureau about an overnight drop of the rate of inflation from 72% to 43%.

He Ironically asked his aunt how many onions could be bought with the 299 billion pounds placed at the disposal of the Ministry of the Interior, according to a report by the Auditor-General who said in another annual report on funds appropriated for people engaged in invocation of God, a private worshiping.

The government officials are not bothered with the living issues of the people but, instead, they are concerned with their own salaries, allocations and motorcars, Ghali said.

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The chief editor of Almeghar Alsyasy daily, Salah Habib, stated in his column of Thursday that the progress of a nation is not gauged by the country's area or population but in order to advance, the nation has to adopt development plans of specific periods of time.

Habib took, as an example, the State of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which was founded in 1970 and just afterwards, its late President Sheikh Zaid bin Sultan al-Nahyan asked engineer Kamal Hamzah (a Sudanese) to make his capital Abu Dhabi as beautiful as Khartoum city which at that time was in the lead of the Arab capitals with respect to the planning, order and cleanliness. Engineer Hamzah did not disappoint Sheikh Zaid.  

Although it is small in area, The UAE has now become a remarkably advanced state that is exemplary in respect to the city planning, outshining many European cities, thanks to well-studied plans.

It is now in the position of hosting and organizing global conferences such as the recent defense industries one. Although it has no foes, the UAE now manufactures advanced war industries that attracted the world and, moreover, it has become a market for the latest war devices from different countries of the world.

 

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MAS/AS  

Sudanow is the longest serving English speaking magazine in the Sudan. It is chartarized by its high quality professional journalism, focusing on political, social, economic, cultural and sport developments in the Sudan. Sudanow provides in depth analysis of these developments by academia, highly ...

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