Weekly Press Columns Digest

Weekly Press Columns Digest

KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Here are summations of some press columns tackling the most outstanding developments in the country last week. In focus will be the decision to step aside by the chief magistrate of the court trying Omar Albashir and others for perpetrating the 1989 military coup that brought the Sudanese Islamists to power, the clandestine movement by some of the former rebel movements to recruit new personnel in the hope of making financial and job gains in the agreed upon security arrangements with the government and the alarming incidence of the Covid 19 pandemic in the Red Sea Region. 


Writers Saif Eddin Hamadnalla and Sabah Mohammad Alhassan were very critical of the withdrawal of the chief magistrate from the trial trying former dictator Omar Albashir and others for the 1989 military coup that brought the Islamists of the so-called Salvation Government to power. Both writers have considered the judge’s stepping aside a farce and considered him to be aligning with the accused.

Writing in the electronic publication Sudanile, Mr. Saif Eddin Hanadnalla (a barrister by education and profession) said:
The request put forward by the chief magistrate in the court trying the perpetrators of the Salvation coup to be absolved from this mission well confirms that the judge who withdrew from the case before him had not done so because of health reasons as he claimed, since the disease naturally forces its patient to quit work altogether, not just to withdraw from a certain mission dictated by his official duty.

In both cases the reason is one and common: Their inability to control the hearings, a matter that rendered them a public laughing stock, a toy in the hands of both the prosecution and the defense.

This stepping down is considered a natural outcome of the inability of the transitional government bodies to take the rebuilding of the legal set up as a priority for this transition as everybody had been calling for.

The judiciary, the attorney general and the police have remained the same as they were built by the Salvation Government.

The judge and the attorney who was at the beginning of his university education when the Salvation Government took power, was appointed upon graduation from university by that Government- appointed him and no other national.

This was in accordance to the Salvation Government criteria.

And also along these criteria he has become an appeal court judge, a high court judge or a chief attorney.

The one who joined the police college at that time is a police brigadier or general today.

Who can believe that a Revolution with this grandeur would leave the duty of achieving justice to the organs which were born from the womb of the Salvation Government against which the Sudanese people have revolted?    

On the same issue, wrote Ms. Sabah Mohammad Alhassan in the daily newspaper Aljareeda (the Newspaper):

In last July I wrote in this space under the title (The Republic of Cooper Prison) that the chief magistrate heading the court trying the1989 coup perpetrators was violating the law by his contacts and old and new relations with the defendants.

He contacts them outside the court and may discuss with them all the details away from the court sessions. He poses as a judge, a prosecution attorney and a prison director in total absence of the bodies responsible for the judiciary.

I also said that the judge had once ordered the Cooper Prison Director on telephone to allow the defense attorney to meet the accused collectively. The prison director had rejected this order as a violation of the prison law, but nevertheless, this judge’s order was carried out.

This means that his eminence is more than a judge and he knows what goes on inside the prison and  what the defendant is discussing outside the court and, accordingly, the defendant knows what to say inside the court.

What is important is that the judge was committing several violations of the law that contravene the basics of the work of the judiciary and, without any doubt, undermine justice.

The sources have confirmed what was said that the judge still deals with the defendants in Cooper Prison as if they were leaders of the Sudan who deserve a bow of obedience and respect,  no matter if this would reflect on his performance inside the court.

What this judge is doing carries explicit and implicit violations that have mostly turned the trial into a  poor comedy just lacking a good plot. 

This chief magistrate seems to have wanted to score an early goal in the Judiciary’s net when he (High Court Judge Ahmed Ali Ahmed) the other day said he was stepping aside from trial.

He attributed his stepping aside to what he said ’because the prosecution had asked the Chief Justice to remove me’.

It seems Justice Ahmed’s move is a way of face-saving because his continuation with the case truly does not serve justice.

About the case that some of the former rebel movements are bent on taking new recruits in order for them to get a big share in the national army when the security arrangements are made, wrote Ms. Asma’a Juma’a, chief editor of the daily newspaper Aldemograti (the Democrat):

The armed movements did not learn a lesson from their repeated and continued mistakes even after they have concluded peace deals with the government (Juba peace pacts) and took part in the government.

They still  behave in their selfish, deceptive and dishonest manner and try to exploit the situation and make gains in their same narrow minded attitude.

A prove of this is that they are randomly distributing military ranks to civilians in order to make big gains when the security arrangements are made.

Each movement is trying to get a share in the national army. Joining the rebel movements armies is now open, without boundaries.

And this is not an invention of mine. I know persons doing this job.. Age and qualifications do not matter. They tell you that you will not be involved in direct military action, but your salary will be delivered to you at your own doorstep every month.

This is an appetizer for youngsters to agree to get militarized and it is for this reason that some world bodies are warning against a return to the recruitment of minors in the Sudan.

This conduct is a genuine proof of these movements’ narrow-mindedness and their lack of vision.

Generally, the Government should have a clear approach in the integration of the former rebel movements’ personnel in the national army.

The Government should have standards with which it can verify who is the real rebel fighter and who is not.

As a matter of fact this is a grave issue and the armed movements have to be faced with this reality and should commit to transparency and clarity.

The citizens should also be warned against such behavior.  

What I want to say to the leaders of the armed rebel movements is to obey God, stop deception and become straight, for such a  mistake would not lead but to bad results.

Take advice from what had happened to you and thank God that the December Revolution has availed you with the opportunity to work with all the other Sudanese.

Pay attention to Darfur which does not want its citizens to be imposed on the Army.

Darfur has had enough of militarization. It wants her citizens to stay there in Darfur to work for development, stability and peace.


About the spread of Covid 19 cases in the oastal City of Port Sudan, wrote Ms. Madeeha Abdalla, the chief editor of Almeedan newspaper, the mouthpiece of the Sudanese Communist Party:

The situation in Port Sudan dictates utmost concern, not at the regional level but also at the level of the entire country.

It is an indication of a deficiency in the work of the government and the area’s civil society alike.

It is sure that the government had all the indications about the escalating Covid 19 infection cases.

The government has moved after the hike in infections.

The civil society action was also poor.

This is not just on the part of the civil society’s voluntary organizations, but also on the part of the education and health sectors and the private business sector.

Awareness about the pandemic and the ways for guarding against it is the correct way ahead to counter the disease that is killing people and dissipating material capabilities and social energies we are in bad need of.

It is sad to say that up to now we do not tend to prepare scientific reports that show the economic and social harm this damned pandemic is causing.  

This economic and social cost should be atop the enlightenment action, instead of just concentrating on the well known traditional protection procedures.

It is clear that the dominant fatalistic mentality is prevailing and recklessness about  commitment to the health and legal controls is the rule of the day amid many sectors of the society.

That is an indication of a social deficiency we have to pause at, because it tells about a negative resistance for the political change that took place in our country and also a resistance of the health restrictions which should be the first way forward towards a safe life. 

It is here that emerges the need to bind the enlightenment about the threats posed by the pandemic with the civil rights, foremost the right to live which is a right that should be preserved by the citizens and the government. Here comes the role of the civil society in the perpetration of the rights of citizenship.



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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