Weekly Press Columns Digest

Weekly Press Columns Digest

KHARTOUM (Sudanow) — In focus of the week’s commentaries were the floating of the national currency (the pound), the unruly behavior of the defendants and their attorneys in the court case of the perpetrators of the 1989 military coup against the democratically elected government, that brought the Muslim Brotherhoods to power and the smuggling of gold via Khartoum Airport. Following is a summation of some columnists’ views on those issues:

Writing in the electronic publication Altahreer (The Liberation), Ms. Awatif Abdellatif has tackled the liberalization of the national currency which she said was imperative in the fight against black marketeering in hard currencies.

The writer, who lives and works in the Gulf state of Qatar, said the decision was hailed by the Sudanese expatriates “who urged each other, both individually and collectively through their social and professional groupings to use authorized channels in their financial transfers back home.”

“The social media has heaped praise on the field visit by Finance Minister Jibreel Ibrahim, in the company of a group of ministers and economic officials, to a bank branch when the youthful mother Rumaysa, her baby on her arms, filed a complaint that a bank employee refused to immediately exchange her dollars, telling her to fill a form and come the next day.

The vibrant market, where the common man is grilled with high prices, has in its turn taken an initiative of reductions in the prices of its commodities of restaurant foods, drinks in coffee shops and vending stalls of vegetables and meat. Similarly did mobile phones and  ready-made clothes shops. The doctors clinics and physiotherapy centers have also made reductions for whoever transfers hard currency via the official channels.

The Revolution’s poet Ms. Marwa Babiker, has composed a poem urging the public to help the government put into force the new financial measures.

This wide response to the economic measures put forward by the second edition of the transitional government, after the peace partners have joined in, and which coincided with positive indications from the regional and international financial institutions need to be coupled with the removal of obstacles in order to attain full success.

Foremost among the measures to be taken in this regard is the enhancing of the banks’ work environment, systems and mechanisms. This requires the strengthening of local and international electronic networking for transfers to flow smoothly. Banks should tighten security of their branches in the face of parasitic dealers and against any employee who seeks to delay transactions.

The economy would not be straightened by one measure (the floating of the national currency and the provision of foreign exchange) without an agricultural and industrial renaissance. One more condition for the success of this policy should be to fight the smuggling of gold and food commodities.

Veteran columnist, Mr. Murtada Alghali, writing in the daily newspaper Aldemograti (The Democrat), has given an assessment of the judiciary’s performance after the December revolution, concentrating on the indiscipline of the accused and their attorneys during the last hearing in the court trying the perpetrators of the 1989 military coup that brought General Omar Albashir and his Islamic movement to power:

It has become clear that the defendants accused of the coup and their lawyers are trying to play foul with the court in a bid to reduce its respect. This should not have escaped the notice of anybody, whether inside or outside the court.

It was hoped that the court should not have allowed these foolish games, interruptions and silly requests in which the accused and their lawyers seek to delay the hearings through the creation of mindless pretexts, lengthy superfluous speeches and continuous objections that do not respect the court’s time nor its procedures and that seek to belittle the court. For, what can be understood when a defending lawyer of the defunct Salvation Government’s crimes interrupts the court judge twenty times to repeat the same request for the reduction of the sessions’ hearing time on the excuse that the defendants are a group of elders who should not be made to sit in the court for a long time.

This conduct on the part of the defendants and their lawyers renders the court hearings into a farce played on a vulgar stage, where the attorneys alternately present carelessly woven requests.

This foul play is incommensurate with the list of accusations related to the undermining of the country’s constitution and the demolition of its democratic structures through a military coup staged by a lawless ideological group.

During the hearings of this case under the resigning magistrate, the public was infuriated to the most upon the judge allowing the chanting of slogans, disorder and jesting on the part of the defendants, their attorneys and the remnants of the defunct regime who used to shout out during the court hearings. The same also applies to the lawyer who slights the judge and addresses him with ugly expressions that have nothing to do with the case.

The public has rejoiced when the former judge had chosen to step down from the case for fear of his blood pressure going higher, hoping that the new judge would deter the accused and their lawyers from such misconduct…The public still hopes so!!

We put it in plain terms: Does the 1989 military coup need all these long months to be evidenced? It was an open coup whose makers had confessed on all forums, internally and externally, and with documented testimonies from its leaders with respect to the coup preparation, timing, individuals and different assignments..etc.

Everybody is looking forward for the independence of the judiciary and the respect of the courts’ hearings. But the accused and those who defend them cannot learn lessons, nor will they stop foul play and misbehavior. They have to be checked, when necessary.

Commenting on the recent seizure of a shipment of gold aboard a plane about to take off to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, wrote Editor-in-Chief of the daily newspaper Alsayha (the Outcry), Mr. Altahir Satti:

“Contrary to what happened in previous cases, the circle of official investigations and also the public opinion accusations have included the Badr Airways Company (also) in the foiled attempt to smuggle a shipment of gold to Dubai, United Arab Emirates via the Khartoum Airport.

This did not happen in similar previous cases, when in each revealed smuggling case the accusing fingers had used to just point towards the security personnel on duty at the airport. The aviation companies were never within the circle of accusations like what has happened this time.
In the news, the authorities have taken into custody the accused and the material evidence (18 kilograms of gold) and released the plane (the crime theatre) five days after the incident.

This had never happened in previous gold smuggling cases: The authorities had used to foil the operation, detain the accused and let the aircraft go ahead with its flight, as if it were immune against detention, even for until when investigation is finished !!

There are signs the investigators should have a pause at:

First: The common factor among all the smuggling operations spotted at Khartoum airport was Badr Airways.

Second: All the gold smuggling operations discovered at Khartoum airport were onboard  air flights incoming from regional airports on their way to the United Arab Emirates. Accordingly, investigation should include these regional airports also.

Third: The customs authorities had contacted the flight’s captain and ordered him to stop the aircraft for search. What is really worthy of investigation is that the plane crew did not cooperate with the authorities until a quarter of an hour later, during which they continued to disobey
the orders. Why did they refuse to obey the orders??


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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