Weekly Press Columns Digest

Weekly Press Columns Digest


KHARTOUM (Sudanow)— Osman Mirghani, chief editor of al-Tayyar newspaper, lamenting postponement of Peace Talks he wrote “if it is a football match between two teams in the center league, the public would have never tolerated its postponement for one time or for one day. But these are the peace talks waited for not only by those affected by the war and behind them the people of Sudan, but by the entire world that hinges its cooperation with Sudan’s transitional government upon the signing of a peace deal.

Yesterday, and very simply, the peace talks between the government and the armed groups were postponed. It is not the first postponement nor was it the second. For, on 11 September 2019 the government and the Revolutionary Front (RF) signed the “Declaration of Principles” that delayed the formation of the national legislative council (parliament) and the appointment of regional governors until when a peace deal is signed. The Declaration of Principles had stipulated the peace talks to commence in one month. And on 21 October 2019 the government and the armed groups signed yet a second accord in Juba called (the Political Declaration) that stipulated the beginning of peace talks in two months.

After a long wait for a complete month, the peace talks, which were supposed to take off on 21 November 2019, were deferred for an unspecified date that can probably be three weeks from now. The surprise here is the pretext for this delay as stated by Southern Sudanese official Tut Galwak, who heads the talks mediation committee: “The engagement of some rebel groups in workshops related to the peace process in the Sudan”, a reference to the Revolutionary Front’s ongoing meetings in Addis Ababa.

This has happened while another party to the peace talks, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North(SPLM/N), led by Abdelaziz Alhilu, was ready for the round of talks. Instead of going ahead with talks with Alhilu’s group, the postponement was for the two tracks: The SPLM/N and the RF.

Of course, and on its part the government consequently deferred the parliament formation and the appointment of regional governors for another month, upon the request of the RF.

In the midst of these postponements, the citizens affected by the war keep waiting for a train nobody knows when it would arrive!

As I see it, the Sudanese Government has to change the negotiation approach: Continue with the peace talks but in parallel tracks. And why doesn’t the government go directly to the stakeholders on the ground i.e the internally displaced persons (IDPs), the refugees, the homeless and the underprivileged who have been waiting for too long?

And also why doesn’t the government declare and delve into a Marshall plan for developing the three regions of Darfur, South Kordofan and the Blue Nile, not because these are regions of conflict or because they are marginalized, but because they are areas opulent in wealth that can help the Sudan if the prerequisites of development are put in place?



Columnist Mohamed Abdul Gadir, writing in Alyoum Altali daily newspaper of Monday, has called for conciliation between the Islamists and leftists for finding a common domain and reaching an end to the state of poverty and backwardness precipitated by the ideological clashes between the two camps.

Gadir supported his argument by citing public statements made by prominent left-leaning Al-Shafei al-Khidir and Al-Hajj Warraq in recent public meetings both underlining as vitally important a conciliation between the leftists and Islamists for successfully passing through the present transitional phase.

The ideological struggle has only bequeathed the Sudanese chronic misery, poverty and underdevelopment suffered by successive generations and the people will in the long-run forsake the left and right if the two sides insisted on carrying on with their political feuds, said the columnist.

He suggested to the leftists to seek to admit the Islamists who took part in the recent popular revolution into the Freedom and Change alliance and to urge those who were in support to the former regime to reconsider their position and to ask why the Sudanese people (the revolutionaries) did not take any aggressive action against them.



Hanady al-Siddeik, in a column carried by Aljareedah daily newspaper of Tuesday, has called upon the committee of enquiry into the June 3 massacre on the protesters to take into consideration a lengthy report prepared by Human Rights Watch (HRW) which regarded the carnage as a crime against humanity.

She cited the HRW as saying the report was based on pictures depicting a number of security individuals chanting "kill them", in reference to, the protesters and as accusing the organized forces for perpetrating the attack in which, besides the mass slaughter, cases of rape were also committed.

Hanady also indicated that the HRW urged the Sudanese transitional authorities to bring all persons responsible for the illegal acts of violence to account for the crimes they committed against the protesters since December 2018.

Many individuals of the Sudanese security forces, led by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), opened fire on the sit-in, Hanady quoted the report as stating.

Accordingly, the columnist went on, the transitional government should be serious enough to take to justice any person, however high-ranking he is, who proves, in a transparent investigation, to have been responsible for the attack in which tents and other belongings of the protesters were looted by the assailants.    

Such reports are very important for shining a light on the military leadership that "climbed" the revolution and for preventing them from expropriating the gains of the revolution, said Hanady, adding that cooperation with the international community, such as this world's top human rights organization would not underrate the sovereignty of the state.



Amal Ahmed Tabidy has warned against a successful counter-revolution that could exploit the tolerance by the transitional government towards the symbols of the defunct regime.

In a column that appeared on Al-Akhbar daily newspaper of Wednesday, Amal said the long struggle was aimed at uprooting the regime and make a comprehensive change of the decaying conditions and remove the policies of favoritism and shutting up all inlets for corruption besides punishment of every corrupt without any compromise in the objectives of the revolution.

She said the measures presently being taken against the leaders of the ousted regime is not proportionate to their acts of oppression and injustice, while tolerance and laxness in arresting them, withholding their properties and holding immediate and stern trials for them, encouraged those symbols into releasing statements and threats against the transitional authorities.

Amal warned against a counter-revolution, citing successful counter-revolutions in history, including one in England after which the reinstated king who formed a tribunal for trying the deceased leader of the revolt and ordered his body be exhumed and hung.



In reference to a current discussion by the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney-General over amendment of the counter-corruption code, columnist Al-Tahir Satti has reminded the two parties of a draft law which he said has been shelved since 2011 on orders by ousted President Omar al-Beshir.

Writing in Al-Sudani daily newspaper of Thursday, Satti described the draft code, named the National Anti-Corruption Commission for 2011, as the best law for the purpose.

The draft law, which the columnist proposed to be adopted, defines corruption as an act of exploiting a government position, authority or influence for personal ends whether through violation of the law, bribe, favoritism or embezzlement.

He said Beshir ordered formation of a high committee for establishment of a commission with extensive powers for fighting corruption of all sorts and the high committee formed a committee of experts which, after writing the draft, the document was referred to another committee from the University of Khartoum for final composition.

Before going through the final steps, the deposed President changed his mind and decided that there was no need for an anti-corruption commission and thus the draft code was buried, said Satti.



Columnist Suhair Abdul Rahim, writing in Alintibaha daily newspaper of Saturday, scrutinized reactions by opponents and proponents of the Freedom and Change government to a video of a university female student smoking while paging lecture notes on the street.

The Kaizan (Islamists) seized the opportunity of criticizing the new regime saying this behavior was a fruit of the civilian government, a manifestation of the misconduct by the youth under the umbrella of democracy, freedom, justice and equality and adding that the nation has thus deserted the Islamic religion, Suhair noted.

She added, on the other side, the supporters of the present regime accused the Kaizan of being behind the video to distort the image of the revolution and the civilian government.

According to Suhair, the government supporters mentioned the full name and university of the smoker, saying that she is a security student agent.

Expressing her own viewpoint, Suhair sees no disgrace or crime of a girl smoking cigarettes, likening this to coffee because both in the long run result in addiction.

However, she said that personally she does not smoke nor does she have coffee for health and financial reasons and fearing addiction but not because the two habits are unethical or irreligious.




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