Weekly Press Columns Digest

Weekly Press Columns Digest


KHARTOUM (Sudanow)—Columnist Zuhair al-Sarraj devoted his regular column that appeared on Aljareedah daily newspaper of Sunday to the political problems confronting the Sudan, advising the Transitional Authority to try and solve those questions relying on the country's domestic resources, instead of seeking solutions in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.

Sarraj recalled that a meeting of the Sudan Friends that was held in Khartoum last December in which 24 nations took part for consultation on offering political and economic support to Sudan called in its closing communiqué upon the Sudan and the United States of America (USA) to continue negotiation for resolving all the pending issues between them to pave the way for solving the Sudan's problems.

The Norwegian Foreign Minister who chaired the conference advised the Sudan not to rely on external resources and, instead, to develop the private and public sectors for vitalizing the country's economy, the columnist remembered.

He pointed out that in order to have the Sudan's name written off the list of state sponsors of terrorism, the US has put a number of conditions for the Sudan to fulfill, including amendments to Sudanese laws in conformity with the human rights, achieving peace and ending the armed conflicts in parts of the country, addressing the Sudan foreign debts and paying compensations to families of the American victims of the attacks on the US Cole destroyer and the American embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salam.

The columnist believes that it would be difficult for the transitional government to make the needed resources available as, according to him, it requires a long time and effort to retrieve the money looted by figures of the defunct regime and it is more complicated to have the 55 billion-dollar foreign debts be written off or cut down.

The government will find it difficult even to pay the arrear installments of 15 billion dollars and the compensations to the American families of the victims of the destroyer and embassies which Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdouk said on his return from a visit to the US that those compensations were decreased from billions to millions but he declined to give the exact figure, though Sarraj said the compensations amount to 320 million dollars.

The columnist said it would also be difficult for Khartoum to achieve peace, particularly in Darfur where a number of rebel movements, including the Sudan Liberation Movement of Abdul Wahid Nor (SLM/AW) place handing officials of the ousted regime, including Omar president Omar al-Beshir, over to the Hague International Criminal Court (ICC) as a condition for sitting down for peace negotiation with Khartoum government. This condition was turned down by the President of the Sovereignty Council and the Prime Minister who both stated that the trials be held in Khartoum after consultation with the ICC. The Transition Authority has not yet made any contacts with the ICC on the issue, said Sarraj, wondering why the government procrastinates on this issue.

All these issues require quick and brave decisions to be taken by the government, Sarraj said.



While the economic crisis renews each day and so do the rate of the dollar rate and the prices of the commodities, the government maintains an unjustified silence and shows no signs of curbing the dollar or mitigating the burden of the high cost of living, a situation that subjects the government to a "dark" fate as the masses of the people could not maintain endless silence without the government revealing what is going on, said Yusuf al-Sindy in a column that appeared on Al-Tahrir online newspaper of Monday.   The columnist called upon the government to urgently uncover to the people the reasons behind the rising rate of the dollar and why it could not control this rate, adding that it is inappropriate to display such a failure by the government for which people sacrificed their lives and it is afflictive to see the people still experiencing the living hardships now that almost a year has elapsed since the change of power.

He called upon the government to hold a daily briefing, preferably in the evenings on the television, to inform the people on steps it is taking to alleviate the hardships and he brought to mind that similar living hardships were behind the December Revolution.



The political scene in Sudan will lose a towering, influential and unique figure of Ibrahim al-Sheikh who suddenly resigned from his Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP) and from the Freedom and Change Forces (FCF) that played an effective role in the success of the December Revolution, said Tahir al-Mutasim in another column that was published by Al-Sudani Al-Dauliyyah newspaper of Wednesday.

Mutasim noted that Sheikh and a group of young people managed to build a party that succeeded in playing politics beside long-established Sudanese political parties and effectively took part in fighting all totalitarian regimes, including the latest Islamist one of Omar al-Beshir, with Sheikh leading the FCF component of the Revolution and negotiating with the chairman of the military council on the demands of the revolutionaries with the council eventually supporting the revolutionaries.

By tendering a resignation, Sheikh has set an unconventional example to the Sudanese political leaders who pursued a culture of "From the Leadership to the Grave," said the columnist.



Writing on Al-Saiha daily newspaper of Thursday, columnist Al-Tahir Satti expressed support to a recent move by Sovereignty Council President Abdul Fattah al- Burhan, describing his meeting in Entebbe, Uganda, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a breakthrough that would free the Sudan from the shackles imposed on it by the defunct regime that pursued a policy pretending to be an Islamist more than other Muslims, an Arab more than the other Arabs and a Palestinian even more than Hamas, while the Sudan was ignored and regarded as only an onlooker during Arab meetings to discuss the Palestinian issue.

As a result of this policy the Sudan paid dearly while none of those Arab nations sided with it when Israel shelled factories and killed people and when the Sudan was split into two countries, said Satti quoting Burhan as saying at a press conference he called Wednesday in which he underlined "The Sudan First" and therefore it must be the policy of interests that should be adopted because it is the language that is understood nowadays.

 The columnist referred to a statement by Burhan saying that his decision of meeting Netanyahu "was to serve the supreme interests of the Sudan."

This was the message Burhan delivered to internal and external opponents of his "courageous" move, said Satti.



Experience has "taught us" not to exaggerate in optimism, said the leading columnist Mahjoub Mohamed Salih with reference to agreement recently reached by Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt in negotiations in the American capital Washington on the duration of filling the lake of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

Salih said in his daily column that was published by Al-Sudani Al-Dauliyyah newspaper of Thursday that the three countries are scheduled to discuss also in Washington by mid-February three thorny issues with the help of the US and the World Bank.

He explained that the first one of those issues is the formation of a mechanism for operation of the Dam which the Sudan and Egypt propose that this mechanism be a three-party body, while Ethiopia insists it would oversight the operation all by itself.

The second pending issue, according to Salih, is agreement on another mechanism for coordination in accordance with the changes that occur on the Blue Nile River which, again, the two down-stream countries hold that should also be a tripartite body while Ethiopia, again, insists that participation by the Sudan and Egypt in this issue is infringement of its national sovereignty.

The third point is a proposal by Egypt for formation of a mechanism for resolving disputes expected to arise over operation of the Dam in the future while Ethiopia prefers that this duty be assigned to the Nile Basin Initiative countries where it feels certain to find support to its position.

The United States has orchestrated the previous breakthrough, said the columnist, wondering whether it would be able to convince

the three Blue Nile countries into reaching another breakthrough on those pending three issues.



The Sudan is currently experiencing a covert discord between the ruling partners despite a false stability and tranquility, perhaps this state of undeclared discord was aggravated by the shell that was detonated by Sovereignty Council President Abdul Fattah al-Burhan with his recent Entebbe, Uganda, meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the following consequences the effects of which are still dominant in the country's political scene, said columnist Hanady al-Siddeik in a column published by Aljareedah daily newspaper of Saturday.

 The event has split the Sudanese public opinion into shocked, astonished and delighted groups, said Hanady, adding that the analyses by activists and politicians that appear on the social media cannot reflect the truth of the situation and the divergent public opinions of activists who strongly support normalization with Israel and those who firmly reject the idea out of a religious sentiment or an unchanged political principle.

She attributed the mess and confusion to the lack of commitment to the provisions of the Constitutional Document that determines the relationship between the executive and sovereign bodies of the Transitional Authority, calling for abidance by this Document.


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