Weekly Press Columns Digest

Weekly Press Columns Digest


KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - The most outstanding issues that drew press commentaries last week were the attempts by adherents of the former ruling party, the dissolved National Congress, to reassemble under the guise of collective Ramadan breakfast gatherings, the appointment of Mr. Minni Arko Minnawi, leader of the Darfuri Sudan Liberation Movement, as governor of Darfur Region and the decision by the high-level committee assigned to dig out the corrupt legacy of the defunct regime in which it sacked 56 judges and 26 state attorneys. 


Editor of the daily Aldemograti (The Democrat) Asma Juma’a, was highly critical of attempts by supporters of the defunct regime to reassemble under new sign boards, including Ramadan collective breakfast meals in which they chanted threats to the transitional government (both military and civilian) and promised to regain the power they lost as a result of the December 2018 Revolution. She writes:

The people of Sudan have hated the Islamic Movement, have hated everything which is related to that movement and is opposed to any reconciliation or settlement with them, because the people thoroughly well know they will never honor their promises nor will they commit to proper conduct. They are prone to betray the people whenever they get the chance to. For that, the Sudanese People are eager for the Government to legally put an end to their activity, block their return to power and put an end to the chaos which has now become a profession for them, because they are criminals and the country should be protected from them.      

In reality, the Government was very lax with them, a matter that gave them the feeling that they will be safe from any questioning and so they came out openly active under the name of the Islamic movement and with their writers never feeling any shame for what this movement had done to the country and its people. 
For the second time in Ramadan, the Islamic Movement is announcing a collective breakfast. In the first time, they assembled, and with them a number of government employees. They took breakfast and started a political program which was broadcast live and which was seen and criticized by the citizens. And when the authorities moved to stop it, it was over, having achieved its aim. That was what encouraged them to organize another breakfast for which preparations were completed and at the moment the event was to start, it was dispersed by police tear gas. My view is that an order should have been put in place banning any activity they may think of. But what can we say? There are some who still work in the government who help these people.  
Very strange is the position of this government. It enacted a law for the removal of the legacy of the defunct regime. It formed a high level committee for this purpose. These measures should have been enough to stop any argumentation about these people. But still we see some hesitation in this respect.

I think it is imperative for the Islamists to back from their criminal conduct and refrain from any provocations against the people who tolerated their injustice for 30 years. This behavior will not engender but more dislike for them. Feel ashamed Islamists. Try to be humans even for one time.      

About the appointment of Mr. Minni Arko Minnawi, leader of the Darfuri Sudan Liberation Movement, as Governor of Darfur region, which is now rising controversies here and in Darfur, wrote Mr. Haydar Almikashfi in the daily journal Aljareeda (The newspaper):

Aside from the criticism surrounding the appointment of Mr. Minnawi as Darfur Region Governor, in that it was not stipulated in the Constitutional Document and that it has come before the conference on governance and administration which is supposed to determine the number of and specify the borders of the country’s regions and states, I see there is a more intricate problem than that. I think that problem will be a stumbling block for implementing this appointment on the ground. That obstacle is one of the booby traps inherited from the ousted regime.

That regime had, from day one, encouraged tribalism. It was Dr. Ali Alhaj who assumed this dossier and became active in it, with the primary objective of shaking the traditional allegiances of the National Umma (Nation) Party in the West of Sudan. The means adopted in this drive were to buy the support of tribal leaderships, sow the seeds of sedition among the tribes loyal to the Umma party and its religious wing, the Ansars. The regime had struck deals in which tribal leaders and sheikhs were chosen on political grounds. That practice did not stop at Darfur. It was exercised in all the Sudanese territories, though at varying degrees. It was natural, then, to hear or read in the media about this or that tribe announcing support to the President or taking an oath of allegiance to him or an entire tribe joining the dissolved ruling party, the National Congress. Contagion then spread into the regional institutions and into the central government bodies. We have heard about the appointment or selection of central ministers along tribal considerations and on tribal power sharing. The ministerial portfolios used to be taken according to that. Many times a ministry was divided into two or three smaller ministries to give room for the representation of tribes. The regime had carefully played this game of tribal balances.     

But very soon the magic could not work and problems erupted, mostly due to tribal or ethnic causes. That had obliged the regime to skip the constitution that does not authorize the president to sack federal state governors unless in case of emergency. Here the president fired seven state governors and succumbed to tribal pressures by tailoring out new federal states to the satisfaction of major tribes. That had exhausted the state treasury, created a flabby executive system and removed qualified cadres, rendering the tribal factor the sole qualification for progressive partisan or executive positions. So, what can Mr. Minnawi do about this situation?

Writing in the electronic publication Sudanile, Mr. Mohammad Alhassan Osman, a former judge, commented on the decision by the high-level committee assigned to address the corrupt legacy of the defunct regime which sacked 56 judges and 25 state attorneys, striking a comparison between this measure and what was done by the defunct regime in the country’s judiciary:

The commission in the Judiciary that took these decisions is made up of testified, qualified and neutral judges and barristers.
But the judges massacre during the Salvation regime in which 89 judges were axed out by the Islamic movement organization is a different thing. The lists were not put in order according to rank or seniority. You could have found an appeal judge preceded by a second degree judge. This had never happened in the Judiciary. Even judges transfers used to be arranged according to seniority. Some of those sacked had quit the judiciary’s service even before they were dismissed. The sacking of those judges during that regime was euphemistically justified as “for public interest”. That was totally in contravention with the experience certificates issued for those judges, which were written by the most decent employees of the judiciary. Those were Ali Mahjoub and Samira Mahdi. The least rating made for those judges was “good”, embroidered with a certificate of good conduct. In the light of that, those lists should have been ones for promotions and not for dismissals. But the then Chief Justice stopped those judges pensions. So, we lost our right to salary or pension, a policy of starvation for judges who have children and elderly parents to support. Those were moments of suffering and hardship. The Salvation regime was not contented with our dismissal. It also wronged our children and our parents. But we stood fast. None of us had cried. It should be noted that the judges dismissed by this high-level committee in the first list still enjoy all the privileges of the judges: government houses, full salaries, drive government cars and use the government benzene!! They also did not forget their share of eggs and milk from the judges cooperative society shop. The difference is very big between how the Salvation regime had treated the judges it dismissed and the present treatment of the dismissed judges.

Regardless, the judges dismissed by the Salvation regime had borne all those pressures with courage and steadfastness, while the social media groups of the Islamists are about to burst with much crying for the fate of their fellows.

We say to them: Damn you. You have buried alive the army officers in 1990 after the failed coup attempt and who beseeched their executioners to “Please kill us before you bury us”. And you did not heed their pleas and brought the bulldozers to heap sand on them and still no one of them had uttered even the single word “Ah”.        

You did not take mercy even upon the young kids you killed in the popular defense force camp at Alailafoon when you opened fire on them when they tried to escape the camp to spend the Holy Bairam Holiday with their families. You opened fire on them while they were sinking in the river or were bleeding from bullets. They did not cry as you do now. True, you are the disciples of your Sheikh Turabi who used to preach the limb amputation and the stoning of convicts and when he saw the execution of those rulings in Kooper Jail he could not bear it and fainted. 
If we compare the judges dismissed by the salvation regime to those dismissed by this revolution, the difference is very big.

The judges dismissed by the Salvation regime were the bravest, the most decent and the most qualified. Their bravery is demonstrated in that they were the first to challenge the Salvation regime when that regime cancelled the country’s constitution.

 And because the judges are the protectors of the constitution, they gathered together from around Khartoum and decided to forward a memo considering the military coup illegal and asking the army to return to its barracks and reinstate the constitution.

They signed collective resignations and asked the military council to make its choice. And when the military heard of this, it hastened to dismiss 57 judges on 20 August 1989.  But this did not deter the judges. They once again collected resignations. And the resignations continued in a series. 

Now the judges dismissed by the revolution committee have the right to two appeals; One at this high-level committee and the other at the committee formed by the chief justice from three high court judges. This is indeed the justice we are looking for.




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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