KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - The appearance of ousted president Omar Albashir at the anti-graft prosecutor’s office to answer questions on the possession of a huge sum of foreign exchange (over $9 million) in addition to four billion Sudanese pounds and also money laundering, was received with public scorn, even dismay. The former despot looked at ease as if he was on one of his ordinary social outings with his crony Lt. General Abdelrahim Mohammad Hussein, with cameras following and a crowd of guards surrounding him
Infuriated by the scene, famous columnist Altahir Satti questioned in the daily newspaper Alsudani the seriousness of the investigation and the charges, as compared to the killings committed during Bashir’s bloody rule.
“In his first public appearance since he was toppled, Bashir, elegantly dressed, was led from his custody by the police to the office of the anti-graft attorney. The scene was celebratory, similar to the receptions he was accorded as he came in or went out when he was in office. That celebratory scene was provocative, according to some. What was more provocative was that law enforcers had given precedence to financial matters over the crimes he committed against the lives of citizens. For the first accused in hundreds of catastrophes to be charged as just a hard currency trader is indeed very saddening and shocking. The list of accusations Bashir, and all the symbols and even the grassroots of the defunct regime should face, are not as trivial as what we have seen and heard at the anti-graft office. The equation is as faulty as it is provocative. The taking of people’s lives should precede the crimes against public money. God rest the souls of all the victims of the Salvation Regime, not just the souls of the martyrs of this revolution. The memory of those martyrs should be vivid in the minds of our people and the media, especially when the authorities speak about accountability and justice. That is in order for justice to be inclusive, not selective, like when these serious offenders are tried for the possession of hard currency, while ignoring the rights of thousands of martyrs killed by the regime and the tears of their families.
The judicial authorities are well aware that staging a military coup against an elected government, like what happened on the night of 30 June 1989, is a crime worthy of questioning, and its perpetrators should be brought to justice, in order to avoid a repeat of such a crime in the future.
Yes! A military coup is the mother of crimes which should be tried by courts of law following public revolts like what we are doing now.
Then we have the victims of Darfur, Kajbar, Port Sudan and the victims of Ramadan executions and their unknown graves. In every one of the country’s states there are hoards of victims. Their families are standing at the doors of the judiciary, waiting for justice.”
Renowned columnist Dr. Abdellatif Albooni likens the standoff between the Military Council and the Opposition Forces For Freedom and Change to the folktale when two women contented in court each claiming a disputed baby was hers. To resolve the matter the sitting judge said he was to divide the baby into two halves, giving each of them one half. Here the real mother, for fear for the life of her dear baby, left the baby to her foe. Booni warns the two parties that if they continue their dispute, the country would be lost altogether:
“We now see knives being sharpened, cutlasses being raised and swords being pulled out of their sheaths to tear the Sudan apart, each readying to take the limb it wants. At this moment we are looking for those who feel for the Sudan, and they are many, undoubtedly, to forego their real share in order to save the country.
We understand the demands of the leaders of the glorious December-April revolution for a purely civilian state. But nothing can prevent the establishment of this state, in phases. For if it is possible to hold an end of the rope where this civilian state can start, why can’t we hold this end of the rope and work from inside to attain the sought state? Why can’t be a temporary waiver of some threads until we have the ability to pull them? We also understand what the military says about the need for them to be present in government in the coming stage. That is because, from their vantage point they see threats others cannot see. Nonetheless, we urge the military to accept the view of the other party about the need for a civilian state. The military can shoulder the security responsibility and leave the state administration for the civilians. And if the military feel satisfied about the security situation, they can then return to their barracks.
We also understand the view of the third party, the silent party, who now stand midway between the military and the revolution makers. Some of these had participated in the revolution and some others were on one of the ends of the former regime. This party now feels alienated. But we still call upon them to be patient and prepare themselves for the post-transitional period stage. That is because taking part in the government is not an important goal. They can participate as observers, holding the correction pen in hand, until the country crosses this critical stage. These are necessary patriotic positions that can benefit all. For if we lose this country, we will not reclaim it again, because if the judge carried out his ruling to divide the baby between the two contending women, the baby could have died. And if each of us insists upon taking a limb, there will be no Sudan for us to live in.”
It is now almost three weeks since the internet service has been cut off by order of the military council.
Wrote Columnist Ms. Shamae’l Alnoor in the daily Altayyar newspaper on this issue:
“We have delved into the third week in deprivation of our right to internet service. Until this moment none of the internet service providers had sent its customers an SMS of apology for violating their right to the internet service. Internet providing companies are not charities. They are profit-based companies. By that definition there is a system that governs the relation between the customer and the concerned company. And because these companies are profit -based they should prioritize the customer’s convenience and service, not for mere love of this customer but because he pays for the service, and this is a natural relationship. The right to internet service and access to information is a constitutional right. Over and above, this right is organized by the nature of the contract between the company and the customer. The company is committed to provide a specific service in exchange for an agreed upon sum of money. This sum is pre-paid in many cases. We don’t care if the internet providing service companies suffer losses or are compensated by the military council that ordered the service to be cut. What matters for us is our right to the service we have contracted for with the service providers, in addition, of course, to our constitutional right to this service.”
Writing in the daily Alentibaha, Columnist Mohammad Abdelmajid has tackled the statement by the deputy chairman of the military council, commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Mohammad Hamdan Dagalo (Himaidti) that a trap was set for them during the bloody evacuation of the army general command sit in, that so far claimed 128 lives and double that figure in injuries.
“Hemaidti has clearly stated that the rapid support forces, that openly sided with the revolution, were meant by the trap in order to strip them from the public love they received for helping the revolution.. I wonder how would the rapid support forces and their commander fall into that rudimentary trap while they are deployed all over the Sudan and fill the streets of Khartoum and guard the country’s borders, bridges, ports and airports, its TV and radio station. From that ‘trap’ we can say that the failure of the military council in a security and military matter that falls within the scope of its work and its specialization, brings into question its (the council’s) ability to handle the civilian, political social and sports dossiers of the country. The trap in which the military council had fallen, that targeted the rapid support forces as stated by Hemaidti, is a proof that the country is run by a council that walks into a clear trap that needs no big effort to discover. Thus the situation, how would the military council look like when dealing with more intricate external dossiers where countries’ interests intersect?”
About the generous donations military council deputy chairman Hemaiti has been offering the official state institutions wrote Editor of the daily newspaper, Aljareeda, Ashraf Abdelaziz:
“The rapid support forces collect vast financial resources, foremost from the gold mining in Jabal Aamir in Northern Darfur and also from the funds it receives from the Saudi-led legitimacy support alliance in Yemen. In addition, it has companies doing a lot of business. These companies enjoy facilitations from regional governors and have acquired a lot of road building contracts through underhand dealings A lot of money had been spent to buy political allegiance or to clear the image of the rapid support forces.
Hemaidti has been changing the wage structure of many government institutions simply in open air meetings with the employees of these bodies, without any prior studies and without observing the norms of justice among the civil service employees.
These donations did not stop at clearing the image of the military council among the government employees. They were also used to buy allegiance of the now restored trade unions after they had been frozen by the military council itself at an early stage. By the result, the dissolved trade unions returned with the same dark faces to waste the state finance and benefit from public money without any accountability.
The defunct regime’s policy authorizing government bodies to put aside lots of their earnings for their own use still exists, opening the door for these grey companies, already exempt from taxes, to control the market. These companies still operate off guard. And we now have the rapid support forces that spend in earnest. Is this money the rapid support forces spends paid according to the regulations of the public coffer? If the answer is no, why is Bashir being tried for keeping huge sums of money in his home?”
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