Weekly Press Columns Digest

Weekly Press Columns Digest

KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Following are selected summaries from press commentaries tackling the death of Chadian President Idris Debi, the 190 rotting human dead bodies found in a Khartoum hospital morgue and the obituary- eulogy issued by the Ministry of Finance of former Finance Minister Abdelrahim Hamdi:

Wrote Mr. Yousif Alsondi in the Altahreer (Liberation) electronic publication about the killing of Chadian President Idris Debi:

Idris Debi’s killing will cast grim shadows on the already complicated Sudanese political scene. The deceased, Debi, hails from one of Chad’s common tribes with Sudan, the Zaghawa tribe. At one point in time, he also married a woman from a Sudanese tribe. In addition, he is known to have moved his forces from within Sudan to take power from former President Hussein Habri.

Debi’s historical relation with Sudan is deep and inter-winding. But at the end of the day he remains to be seen as the dictator who ruled Chad with an iron fist for about thirty years. He was killed on the  day on which he was declared the winner of a sixth term in office in an election that saw the pull out of several candidates, a matter that casts doubts on the credibility of those elections. That is Africa’s great tragedy, to be ruled by those who own weapons, not those who are elected in free votes.

For Sudan, Debi’s killing can inflame the already volatile  Western part of the country. This dictates special and quick interaction between Sudan’s transitional government and  Chad’s new military council, in a bid to secure the borders and agree upon priorities for security and the reduction of tensions in the area.

Chad represents a strategic depth for Sudan. Its political and security stability is an important element in the political and security stability of Sudan. Sudan should seek to tackle the ongoing fighting in Chad between the government and the rebels and restore peace to that neighbor. Debi’s killing is a difficult turn that may prompt the government to seek a vendetta instead of engaging the rebel forces of the North in a dialogue.

On the other hand, Debi’s death may give the rebels a moral boost, an impetus for them to continue their march towards the Capital Ndjamena.

Moreover, the deceased President had used to be a major supporter of the French policy, one of its faces of that policy in Africa. A French intervention will be in order to keep Debi’s legacy which can be represented by his Son who has now been declared president of the new military council.

All of these scenarios are well expected. But dialogue among the Chadians remains as Chad’s best option if the country wants to move towards political stability. That is the path Sudan should take as its strategic option for dealing with the situation. A stable Chad is sure to consolidate the stability of Sudan.

Under the title “The Corpses Series“ wrote columnist, Mr. Alfatih Jabra in Aljareeda newspaper:

A few days ago, the country woke up to a painful story. That is the (story) of the bodies found in a refrigerator in the Altamayyoz Hospital that count up to about 200 bodies which decomposed to the degree that their waste flew into the nearby road!   

In this way the “electric power supply” has wanted to expose to the Sudanese and the international community the gravity of the humanitarian situation in the country!

Nobody would accept the presence of these bodies nor the presence of bodies found in the morgue refrigerator of Wad Medani hospital, nor those mass graves whose cases which have disappeared like the case of the heinous breaking of the sit-in before the army general command which was committed by Bashir’s security committee. In the latter the protesters had taken refuge near to the  army headquarters but were betrayed by their supposed protectors. The link is clear. There is an attempt to conceal those crimes and destroy their features that can stand as evidence of the mean acts of these killers.

The bodies were heaped like in the way they were heaped as live bodies in quos of the usual suffering of trying to find bread, medicine, water and the other minimum means of living, with none of the officials paying attention to this suffering. The pride of man was dissipated while he was a live and now it is wasted as he is dead.

How can we understand that the morgues were taken off the electricity hotlines? Are the hospitals unable to report the power outage. What else are their responsibilities, the nature of their work in those morgues? Why didn’t the concerned officials take note of those bodies until they were decomposed?  What were they doing all that time? Did they report to their place of duty in the normal way? Or were they absent from work and still continued to collect their monthly salaries? Is it believable that anyone of them was on job and did not notice what was going on in the morgue? Weren’t they annoyed by the foul smell that disturbed the citizens of the neighborhood and the passersby?

Or was there some foul play from the sinful hands like what happens in the other ministries and government departments that have now been controlled by (those people) - Writer Jabra is referring here to the counterrevolution, elements of the defunct regime..

This matter is raising a lot of issues in which all those involved have to be punished severely (by the law), if there is a law!

The recurrent emergence of these numbers of bodies divulges how big was the number of those killed in the Army H.Q massacre. How can these criminals escape from the justice of heaven. Whatever they try to hide, will be revealed by God.

We will not see from the military anything other than we have seen so far: vengeance on all the people that revolted against their master. But what is that stopped the civilian part of the government from even giving a statement showing  anxiety about what has happened?

Veteran columnist. Mr. Murtada Alghali, was highly critical of the obituary-eulogy issued by the Finance Ministry on the passing of former Finance Minister Abdelrahim Hamdi, who engineered the controversial economic liberalization policy in the early 1990s.

Mr. Alghali, writing in Aldemograti (the Democrat), has considered the statement as full of controversies and misinformation about the late Hamdi’s performance as Finance Minister:

All of us agree upon the solemnity of death. But we disapprove of writing false testimonies about a deceased person.

For that, we have paused at the obituary issued by the Finance Ministry for its late Minister Hamdi. That obituary has transcended the (Ministry’s neutralism) and moved close to political backing. This is not a good trend, which can defeat objectivity through official state statements and notes.

If somebody wants to praise a dead person (right or wrong) that is his own business. But the problem is that the obituary of the former Minister was issued in the name of the Finance Ministry’s leaderships and its employees, though it had contained un-agreed upon considerations about the performance of the defunct regime's ministers who assumed the office during the worst of periods when the state, under what was called the economic liberalization policy, took liberty to do anything with public money. They held a boundless orgy of destruction and dismantling. This is what had happened: hundreds of government workers were laid off in a heedless act of politicization. The perpetrators feared God not!

This had subjected millions of citizens to the humility of poverty and collective subjugation.
During that period a policy of favoritism was ‘inaugurated’. The state facilities were put on public auction for the government brokers under the so called economic liberalization that turned public utilities into private ownerships for the government operatives, their in-laws, their cronies and for whoever would ride with them on the (vessel of pirates). This is what should not be forgotten. More worse, the era of economic liberalization had brought all dooms on the poor and limited income citizens.

What was meant by economic liberalization during the mandate of minister Hamdi was that the state services should be to the rich and the (new capitalism)…those who can buy the services. That translates in: If you don’t have money to pay the bill of the private hospital and private school, that is bad luck for you! And that was the approach taken by former Khartoum State Minister of Health when he frankly said “If you don’t have money for medication and education..why do you seek these services!”

It is the right of the Finance Ministry to publish an obituary for its former minister or ministers, invoking God’s mercy for him (them). But the  Ministry has no right to come out to us with a value judgment for a political minister and praise his economic approach even if that approach could destroy the economy, like what had happened during the Salvation Government which was ousted by the will of the people.

The Obituary of the Ministry of Finance has carried the names of Minister Jibreel Ibrahim, the Ministry’s First Undersecretary Abdallah Ibrahim, the Ministry’s Finance Undersecretary Amna Abbakar and the Planning Undersecretary Amin Salih Yasin. Now the question: Were  the late Minister’s policies and decisions (wise) as we were told in the obituary? Isn’t  such a praise capable of effacing the national memory by appreciating wrong deeds?! If the Ministry’s leaderships would appreciate the Salvation Government economic liberalization policies, it is possible that they would adopt and repeat them once again!



Sudanow is the longest serving English speaking magazine in the Sudan. It is chartarized by its high quality professional journalism, focusing on political, social, economic, cultural and sport developments in the Sudan. Sudanow provides in depth analysis of these developments by academia, highly ...


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