KHARTOUM (Sudanow) – Some most-noted issues of the foregoing week as reviewed by certain columnists include the consent by US president, Donald Trump, to remove Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism; the recent visit to Khartoum by ICC prosecutor Fatou Binsouda, and the popular demonstrations staged in celebration of October revolution anniversary (a popular uprising that uprooted a military dictatorship on 21st October 1964).
In his column at ‘Elsudani’ newspaper, Dr. Abdel-latif Albooni, commented on Donald Trump’s announcement that he would remove Sudan from the notorious list of countries sponsoring terrorism, on which Sudan has been enlisted ever since 1993.
Dr. Albooni lamented the injustices incurred upon Sudan as a result of such listing, where Sudan has incurred huge political, economic and diplomatic losses. Therefore, Albooni sees in such delisting a cause for popular celebration, and invites all academicians and researchers to study the exceptionally unbalanced and deformed relations between the US and Sudan over the period from 1993 until now.
Dr. Albooni described as an apparent success for Sudanese negotiators the prevention of forging a direct link between normalizing ties with Israel and the delisting of Sudan as state sponsor of terrorism. Yet, Albooni admits that there may be some undisclosed links as the issue must have had many intricate dimensions behind the scenes, and therefore he urges Sudanese policy-makers, decision-takers and executives to heed the errors and loopholes of the past.
A number of columnists commented on the recent visit to Khartoum by ICC prosecutor Fatou Binsouda to discuss cooperation with the local authorities in relation to atrocities committed in Darfur region and the handing-over, or trial, of certain suspects including the ousted president, Omar Elbashir.
Editor-in-chief of ‘El-Saiha’ newspaper, Mr. Eltahir Satti, expressed sentiments against the ICC, dubbing it as ‘the court of the Prejudiced versus the Oppressed’. He stressed that from this perspective, African rulers would place political gains over justice considerations in dealing with orders and sentences passed by the ICC, such as is happening right now.
From another perspective, columnist Yousuf Elsundi, of ‘Eltahrir’ e-newspaper, demanded that the Sudanese transitional government should hand over Omar Elbashir, and the other accused, to the ICC to stand trial for war atrocities and crimes against humanity, since Sudan’s law has no clearly-defined provisions for such charges.
On another note, Mr. Zuhair Elsarraj, of ‘Eljareeda’ newspaper, was in the opinion that the Sudanese transitional government has no real intention to hand over ousted president Omar Elbashir and his co-suspects to the ICC, advising his readers not to be fooled out by the smiling reception paid to ICC prosecutor, Binsouda, by general Himedti and PM Hamdouk during her recent visit to Khartoum.
Mr. Elsarraj strongly believes that the ruling military generals would never hand over Elbashir to the ICC for fear of consequential incrimination, especially that Binsouda has put it bluntly on the table that no one would escape prosecution and indictment, if proved culpable. Elsarraj also doubted PM Hamdouk’s ability to stand against the ruling generals’ will, specifically noting that these same generals have repeatedly announced, even after the removal of Elbashir, that Elbashir would not be handed over to the ICC.
Mr. Elsarraj further stated that even the Juba peace deal, that provided for the handover to the ICC of all wanted suspects of atrocities and crimes against humanity, did not set a specific time limit for such handover, which may leave the door open for maneuver and stalling. Mr. Elsarraj also highlighted the Juba peace deal provisions for establishing a local ad-hoc court for Darfur crimes within 90 days as of peace deal signing date, a transitional justice commission within 30 days of peace deal signing date, and the forming of a truth and reconciliation committee to become operational within two months of signing date and to continue for a period of 10 years, indicating that the real intent behind all these provisions of the Juba peace deal is to hinder the handover of Darfur criminals to the ICC and consequently delay and ultimately deny the administration of justice to the victims of atrocities in Darfur.
Journalist Sabah Mohammed Elhasan, of ‘Eljareeda’ newspaper, wrote about the demonstrations organized by December revolutionaries on the anniversary occasion of ‘21st October revolution’ to remind the transitional government of its commitments in providing remedies and solutions to urgently pressing issues of the street.
She noted the futile efforts by supporters of the defunct regime to take advantage and divert the demonstrations in their favour by raising voices and slogans condemning the transitional government. But such futile efforts have been met by strong response by revolutionaries shouting in unison “We’d better live under hunger than under Muslim brothers’ rule”, stated E
Sabah. The writer commented that the raising of such a slogan in this specific time of basic goods scarcity and suffering clearly indicates that most Sudanese people have become surprisingly aware that the defunct regime’s erroneous ideology, false ideals and wrong practices constitute the underlying cause for all miseries and tragedies of their present time.
However, writer Sabah Flow does have a message to deliver home to the transitional government: never take things easily, as there is pressing need for urgent political and economic reforms that correspond to revolutionaries’ demands, and that immediate reforms are required to correct, redeem and adjust certain mistakes and deformities in the transitional government’s policies, plans and executive structures.
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