Weekly Press Columns Digest

Weekly Press Columns Digest

KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - These are summations of three press commentaries on the week’s most important events. The three articles have dwelt on:

(1) The report presented by Mr. Volker Perthes, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sudan (SRSG) and Head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) to the UN security council on the progress of his mission.
(2) The Khartoum authorities crackdown on unauthorized street vendors that lead to violent confrontations between the security and the traders and
(3) The decision by General Burhan sacking thirty of the government universities vice chancellors and replacing them with other. 

Commenting on Mr. Volker Perthes’ report in which he explained his mission’s consultations with the country’s stakeholders about the future of the democratic transition and his joint plans with the African Union to return the country to the democratic track, wrote Mr. Mohammad Ahmed Aljack in the electronic publication Sudanile under the title "Why do UN Envoys Always Fail?"

Every UN envoy sent to the region was doomed to failure. These envoys usually fail in their missions because they deal with their assignments as do the communists who come to power in their countries. The communists come to power with ready made texts they learn by heart and seek to apply them, believing these texts are capable of solving any problem. So do the UN envoys. These believe that (elections are the solution), that (democracy is the first step toward peace) and that
Kwar is not a solutions) , that they work (to build confidence among the feuding parties), that (dialogue is the shortest route for reaching a settlement) and so on and so forth….Empty sentences followed with empty sentences .

The UN has already sent four envoys to Yemen, none of whom has made a single step forward.

The UN has also sent seven of these envoys to Libya, the last of them the American Stephaney Williams. And the UN sent the German Volker Perthes to Sudan .

It is clear that these envoys come from different cultural backgrounds, sometimes with big diplomatic, political and academic experiences. But they fail, not because their beliefs are wrong, but because their approaches to the crises have nothing to do with the facts on the ground and, so, they do not take the right position towards the problem at issue.

In these crises these envoys are just external instruments whose major aim is (to achieve reconciliation among the disputing parties). They move according to a set up of concepts made in advance… beforehand.

They usually begin their missions by creating atmospheres of optimism, believing that these  atmospheres help lessen tension. They then go to the media to say that they have made progress (but the road is still long to go), and that the parties to the conflict (now believe the road towards a solution begins with making concessions) and that (agreement on common grounds is possible through the neutralization of some differences).  

This Volker is now the biggest example of failure. He has proposed to proceed along the (step–by-step theory) in order to realize the regime’s desire to lessen the international sanctions, return international financial support to the government for the dialogue and concord wheel to go on. In other words, he has tried to present economic persuasions to the military in a bid to dig a tunnel from beneath the stick of the American sanctions in the hope of reaching a formula to be accepted by the parties for the preparation of a new constitutional declaration that leads to free and transparent elections under UN supervision.

In a speech he made, he said General Burhan will issue “measures for confidence building!!”

Volker did not understand that he is dealing with an irreparable, untrustworthy  coup regime that cannot make concessions.

Volker did never understand that the Army had unjustifiably seized power, jumped over the peace deals and the Constitutional document, detained the prime Minister and arrested the Cabinet ministers.

And despite the UN official statements calling for reinstating the civilian government, Mr. Volker had used to lag behind those UN statements and demands.

Instead of trying to seek a power sharing, he should have stood by the side of the demonstrators and urge the UN Security council to refuse to deal with these coup perpetrators. Had he done so, his mission could have stood on a better political and moral position than what it has ended to now.

The man has become part of the crisis. And if Volker would reach any settlement in Sudan that keeps Burhan and his deputy Hemaidti on any future scene, then the Sudanese will have the right to ask him; who are you? And what is the United Nations that stands in the face of the revolutionary legitimacy of Sudanese and renders the crisis makers (the military) part of a future political scene?

It is imperative on Volker and those who sent him to realize that neither Burhan, Hemaidti or the other military are the most important value.

Revolutionary consensus and the revolutionary legitimacy are the real value. The crux of the matter is that ignorance, bargaining about what is right and trying to reconcile with what is wrong are the causes for UN failure.

Before dawn Wednesday the Khartoum administrative authorities staged a crackdown on the places of street vendors, removing kiosks and other commodity display facilities on the grounds that these shops were unlicensed and deform the city’s face

Back to their places by sunrise,  the owners of these businesses found the place in shambles, with lots of goods taken by vandals.

In response the angry traders engaged the police on the scene with stones, also barricading the areas’ roadways.

On this incident wrote Mr. Haydar Almikashfi in the daily journal Aljareeda (the Newspaper):

The local authorities have for sometimes unleashed what they called “campaigns to organize markets, stem insecurity, improve the hygiene and the environment and break traffic jams caused by the street vendors.”

The authorities had used to stage these campaigns without giving the traders alternative means that help them to earn a living, given the fact that most of these traders are youths and women forced by certain conditions, civil war in the most, to leave their places of origin in Darfur, Southern Kordofan and the Blue Nile and engage in this occupation.

So, in keeping with the local adage that “cutting somebody’s lifeline is worse than cutting his neck”, these traders vowed to escalate against the authorities that sought to “cut" their lifelines. They argued that the authorities had only one aim in mind: removing them from their places,  no matter what happens to them under this suffocating economic crisis.

Their reaction was to barricade the place and challenge the campaign in which their goods were destroyed or lost.

Statistics speak about more than three thousand persons (mostly youths and women) who chose to display their merchandize on the ground, in particular in the Souq Karkar, the Jackson bus terminal, the Souq Alarabi and central Khartoum.

The problem of these street vendors, peddlers and tea makers, had used to linger around for many long years, without a just, effective solution from the authorities.

The inhuman crackdowns could not solve the problem. That is because anyone who does not find an alternative work that sustains him would not quit this business whatever the oppression and violence committed by the authorities.

True… Nobody can dispute the need to organize and put the markets in order and ease traffic within them.

But removing the disorderliness in the markets needs embarking on an integrative campaign that does not stop at just cleanliness and order, but before that lays suitable solutions for these targeted citizens. This is the most important measure to be taken but which is absent in the campaigns for organizing the markets.

What we know is that these traders had approached the authorities with a lot of initiatives and suggestions to solve the problem, which the authorities did not heed nor did they give solutions of their own. The authorities seem to know nothing other than the language of tear gas and violence. By this foolishness and block - mindedness the government continues to win new enemies and the revolutionary road wins more protesters in the face of injustice, oppression and highhandedness


General Burhan on Tuesday decreed vice chancellors of thirty government universities, replacing them with others of his own choice.

The General’s decree gave no reasons for the decision that received wide criticism on the media.

For their part senate members of the University of Khartoum and the Sudan University of Science and Technology have declared resigning their administrative offices in the two universities.

On this striking decision by General Burhan wrote Mr. Najeeb Abdelraheem in the electronic publication Alrakoba (The Shack):

The decision by the Army chief appointing vice chancellors for thirty government universities is just a pretext for appointing agroup that supports his coup and an attempt to bring back into power elements of the ousted autocratic regime. But under the ongoing revolutionary escalation, the decision would turn into a curse for Burhan and his clique. Ultimately, any confrontation between the coup authority and the people of Sudan would turn into the interest of the heroic people, the steadfast resistance committees and their objectives of toppling the military coup.

The military establishment, through its long years in power,  has turned high military ranks into a chaos, with seasoned middlemen brokering these high ranks to the interest of donkey and camel herders, coffee shop owners, plumbers, bicycle mechanics and bus conductors.

Doing so, the military rulers wanted ignorance and violence of all sorts to replace knowledge, knowledge which is considered a gateway towards tolerance and peaceful co-existence among all the components of the Sudanese society.

What the coup perpetrators are doing is a foolish game. They do not know that the Sudanese universities are not like the fake military colleges or the fake power base of the coup that includes the war lords, the remnants of the Bashir regime, the idle, the army dropouts, the mercenaries and the clowns. 

The Sudanese universities are difficult for the coup perpetrators to subdue.

It is enough here to listen to what was said by Prof. Salman Mohammad Salman, the chairman of the university of Khartoum council who said that: Burhan’s decision is not lawful nor constitutional. The authority that has the power to appoint the chairman and members of the University of Khartoum’s council is the Prime Minister, according to the Constitutional Document (2019) and the Khartoum university law of 1995. No chapter in the Constitutional Document or in the Khartoum university law (or any other law) authorizes any other person to dissolve the University council that enjoys complete legal protection throughout its mandate of four years. The Burhan decision is without any constitutional or legal support. It is null and void like all the other decisions Burhan had issued after the 25 October 2021 military coup.


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