Weekly Press Columns Digest

Weekly Press Columns Digest

KHARTOUM (Sudanow) ــــــ Three articles have attracted the editor’s attention from the week’s press commentaries. They have tackled the recent defiance by militia leader Mohammad Hamdan Dagalo (Hemaidti) that he would resist attempts to merge his forces in the national army, the recent high government hikes on the prices of fuel and the evacuation of a government building previously seized by Bashir’s former vice president Ali Osman Mohammd Taha.

Dr. Zuhair Alsarraj has lashed heavily against the recent claim by deputy chairman of the Sovereignty Council(the head of state), commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) Mohammad Hamdan Dagalu (Hemaidti), that the merging of this force into the national army will lead the country into trouble.

Wrote DR. Zuhair in the daily publication Aljareeda (the newspaper):

The recent talk by Hemaidti that merging his RSF Forces in the national army would “breakup” the country is a blatant, clear, threat that he would oppose this merger by force.

He (Hemaidti) has said the RSF is not a division or platoon of the army, but a big army endorsed by an elected parliament (he means the dissolved National Assembly of the deposed regime) and operates according to a law.

In short, Hemaidti says he will not allow anybody to control the RSF and will not allow these forces to be merged into the national army, even if that could lead to war and the country’s breakup. 

  Are these the words of a responsible person who occupies the position of the Sovereignty Council deputy chairman and commands strong forces like the SRF?!

The notion that the SRF functions according to law adopted by an elected parliament is no more than an absurd story.

Neither the law nor the  parliament that adopted it are sacred. It can be annulled with a tick of a pencil, just in the same way many legislations and laws endorsed by the fallen regime’s institutions  were cancelled.

But the question that has to be asked should be: Why doesn’t Hemaidti approve of the merger of

the SRF in the national army, if he is in goodwill towards this nation?

The correct situation is for the country to have a one military command that controls all the other forces of different types.

Hemaidti should understand that the SRF have no future outside the military set up of the Sudanese armed forces.

That is also what should be understood by the leaders of the other armies and military organizations.

The natural situation for all of these armies is to be merged peacefully in the national army under the command of the  Sudanese Armed Forces General Commander according to the law and traditions of these Forces and not according to the wishes of those armies’ leaders. The Sudanese Armed Forces is a military institution that has a strict law and a military system and one military command ever since it was launched at the beginning of the last century. It had continued to maintain these traditions and regulations despite the attempts of the fallen regime to weaken them to the interest of the SRF which were basically launched as military militias that took part in the killing and displacement of Darfur citizens where they were known as the Janjaweed.

They were later on given this official status by the enactment of the RSF law of 2017, despite a memo to the contrary by the  Ministry of Justice that considered the move unconstitutional because it contradicts the Armed Forces Law. Ever since, Hemaidti had taken full control of this Force.

Yet the future is not in the interest of Hemaidti in any way.

The status quo will not remain as it is today.

Neither the people, the army nor the international community will accept the existence of an armed force that can go out of control at any time, lead to chaos and “breakup” the country as Hemaidti is threatening.

I must indicate here previous statements by the president of the UN mission in Sudan that stability will not be achieved in Sudan in the presence of several armies.

I must also indicate the ongoing peace talks between the government and SPLM/North (Alhilu) whereby the two sides have agreed upon the existence of a single army.

That is what caused Hemadti air his recent threats, out of fear for his own interests.

About the recently announced harsh government hikes in the prices of benzene (from 150 to 290 pounds a liter, 93.3 percent), gasoline (from 125 to 285 pounds a liter, 128 percent) wrote Mr. Taj Alsir Osman in the electronic publication Alrakooba (the shack):

These price hikes will continue at a time when the citizens suffer to obtain fuel, with motors standing in long ques and for hours to get their supplies. This is the third fuel price hike under PM Hamdok’s  government and still there was no abundant fuel for transport, agriculture, industries and the bakeries to the accompaniment of lies that the government spends about an annual $ one billion in fuel subsidies, while in fact there is no subsidy and the government is solving its problems at the expense of the masses. 

The state is placing more burden on the citizens to tackle its high spending on the government machine, the security and defense. All of this is coupled with a continuous increase in the prices of foreign exchange which means more hikes in the prices of fuel and other commodities and services.

The rise in the prices of fuel will sure lead to an increase in the cost of the
rest of commodities, services, transport. For instance passenger buses linking the country’s regions have raised their ticket prices between 140-200 percent, while most of the regional gas stations have stopped.

The increase in fuel prices will lead to more inflation and poverty, with lots of factories, farms and crafts getting out of the production cycle.

Unemployment will increase and so will the country’s debt. All of this can be attributed to this government’s continued tendency to succumb to the prescriptions of the IMF and the World Bank, as did the defunct regime.  

What other alternative can be given?

The alternative is to dismantle the parasitic capitalism of the defunct regime, the restoration of stolen money, state control on gold and oil companies, telecommunications, the army, security and the Rapid Support Forces companies. The state should take  monopoly of the gum Arabic, cotton, cash crops and livestock trade.

Steps should be taken to reform the banking system and attract the expatriates transfers by giving them more incentives.

The state should boost the agricultural and industrial productivity, change the currency and increase taxes for banks and telecoms and cut spending on the state machine, the security and the defense.

The sums thus collected should be spent on education, health, the rest of services, wages and pensions.

But this government is working in earnest to solve its economic problem at the expense of the hardworking masses, burdening them with more price increases.

This  is a continuation of the deposed regime that represented the interests of the Islamic parasitic capitalism.

Another hot issue of the week was the forceful retrieval of a deluxe house from Bashir’s former vice president Ali Osman Mohammad Taha.

The decision was in implementation of an order by the high-level commission assigned to trace and retrieve government money and properties usurped by operatives of the defunct regime.

The commission had said the house was built by a Chinese constructor to the interest of the state security. But the house was unlawfully  diverted to Mr. Taha.

A legal order was issued to return the house to the government of Sudan. Ali's family refused to obey the order and tried to resist the authorities. But the authorities firmly ordered them out of the house.  

On this issue wrote Ms. Lubna Ahmed Hussein in the daily electronic publication Sudanile, giving a reminder that the evacuation was upon legal order and bringing to memory how Taha and his ruling clique had wronged a lot of Sudanese, sending their families out in the streets for no reason other than they had opposed the government. She said:

Professor Mohammad Hashim Awad, a former finance minister and professor of economics at the University of Khartoum who supervised hundreds of theses ….Who hasn’t heard of this name? After all this long, productive service he should have received the honors he deserved. But, instead, he received order to evacuate the University house he was living in .

At the time Prof. Awad was preparing to leave the country for long medical treatment abroad.

His salary was stopped and his family was evacuated from the house while his daughters and sons were preparing for their examinations.     
Dr. Omar Nur Aldayim, deputy chairman of the National Umma Party and a former minister of agriculture was put under arrest in the early days and years of the Salvation regime. His family was evacuated without any notice from their own house (not that of the government). Nobody was ready to listen to the cries of the children and women horrified by the sounds of gunfire opened in the air to scare them off their own property.

Mariam, Awadiyya, Haj Ishaq, Tiyya, Sheikh Ibrahim and  hundreds of thousands others in the Nuba Mountains were made to flee their homes without any clothes or food and settled down in creaks and caves.

Similar numbers were made to quit their homes in Darfur.

The explosive barrels burned their homes (I mean the nests they made of mud and straw). When these displaced left their homes to where they did not know, the Antonov planes chased them and the water holes they drank from were buried.

The genocide was not just killing. It was displacement and the destruction of livelihoods.

They were humans- God accept them within His mercy.

For the defunct regime men, a person from those was cheaper than the price of the bullet that killed him. The burying of drinking water bores, the displacement of inhabitants, the death of some out of thirst on their escape road. That is what the Salvation people had done. Those miserable creatures are awaiting Godly justice.

And while the water wells of those poor people were being put out of order, there were palaces being built, at the expense of the food and lives of those people.

To Taha’s family: The money is the government’s, not your father’s. And if Taha had used to be paid $10,000 a month since the night he took power in a military coup in 1989, the total calculation now amounts to $33 million and a few hundreds. What right has he in that money.?

This house was constructed for $6 million against the security’s budget. Or they will tell us it was built for God’s sake?

It is a wonder that those who still classify themselves as Islamists, are filling the social media with cries for the confiscation of “the palace”.

The cost of that construction, let alone the land price, could have built sixty primary schools in the urban areas and 600 schools in the countryside.

Just to remember sirs: Taha is the one who said the government would not provide food for the public in five or even fifty years, because they were after building their Islamic renaissance, not providing food. 


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