Weekly Press Columns Digest

Weekly Press Columns Digest

KHARTOUM (Sudanow) — The editor is choosing these commentaries about three of the issues that preoccupied the pubic last week. They were: the assassination of a student in the Omdurman Islamic University campus, the reaction of the second-in- command of the Rapid Support Forces towards the rising protests against the presence of the rebel forces inside the Capital Khartoum and the success of  foreign investments as represented in the Amtar Project’s wheat cultivation in the Northern State:

About the stabbing to death of a student by three robbers riding a motorcycle at the Omdurman Islamic University while trying to snatch his mobile phone, wrote columnist Sabah Mohammad Alhassan in the daily Aljareeda (The Newspaper):

It is a very serious issue for a university student to be killed at the campus of the University, an incident that reveals a big security shortfall under which the Khartoum State lives. When announcing the student’s killing, the University has also proved its inability to protect its students. For how can the culprits enter the University Campus without anybody to stop them at the main gate? The detention of the assailants does not absolve the University from the responsibility, nor will it overhaul the University’s cracking protection walls. What has happened is more than the killing of a student: Many meanings of responsibility have also been killed.

This incident reveals that a series of crimes is on the increase by the day in the Capital. And this invites the question: How can a Capital City, whose roads swarm with security forces, police and army personnel, see such insecurity to the extent that families feel insecure within their own homes and fear for their children at the schools and universities. Many of the criminal assaults were reported by their victims in coincidence with the case of the Islamic University’s student’s incident.

If such incidents would balloon up  into a state of lawlessness in Khartoum, the Interior Minister, the Police Chief and the Chairman of the Sovereignty Council would find no excuse with which to justify this big security shortage. This is a call for the reconsideration of the security dossier over and over again.

Mr. Mohamed Musa Heraika has written a condemnation of the revelations by the Rapid Support Forces (SRF) second- in -command Abdelrahim Dagalo in which he criticized the public outcries over the presence of rebel troops inside urban Khartoum. Writing in the electronic publication Sudanile Heraika has said:

Dagalo was uneasy about the controversy surrounding the deployment of armed groups in some plazas, buildings and parks in Khartoum, the Capital, and the public rejection of these troops from wide sectors of the civilian society.

In his address, broadcast live, Dagalo has said: "yesterday the Rapid Support Forces were demonized and today the armed movements are being demonized. Khartoum is not anybody’s. Nobody has a certificate that he owns Khartoum..etc..etc…”

Dagalo has uttered more of such hallucinations in which he wanted to send threats.

If the man is aware about history,  he could have grasped the relation of this City (Khartoum)  with the peace pacts which have meant peace and tranquility, not terror and panic:

After the 1972 Addis Ababa Peace Agreement, signed between former President Nimeiri and the Southern Sudanese Anyanya rebels, the Khartoum parks did not see armed groups and, thus, remained calm. We had seen the Nuer citizens and others doing their business as usual and they did not see in the Agreement a victory or an advantage of theirs, a matter that could have turned the City’s security into a worry. We did not see armed Anyanya troops roaming the streets of Khartoum.

Then in 2005 came the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the war between the government and the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). And for the second time Khartoum and Sudan’s other cities remained calm and secure away from the activity of troops and the sounds of armor. Khartoum did not feel the war phobia or the trauma of fighters returning from the jungle.

The periods of those wars had seen a balanced address which is keen about the security of civilians and that of the fighters on the opposite side.

Citizens who have  called for the removal of armed men from the cities are the most keen about peace and about the revolution. They are the most apprehensive of what can happen from these troops. These citizens see what politicians should see. Khartoum has now turned into a personnel carrier laden with armaments and living under a fragile peace and keeping in its memory the catastrophe of the sit-in breaking whose perpetrators are still keeping their hands on the triggers in those carriers that roam Khartoum day and night.

We are in need of addresses that disseminate peace and security, not ones that call for confrontation and nor a  threatening cane raised in the air. So simple as that. Khartoum is now a city of chinaware which cannot bear what is happening. And as the Egyptians put it Mush Naqsa (has had enough).

Editor of the newspaper Alsayha (The Outcry) Altahir Satti was impressed by the high wheat productivity of the Amtar Agricultural Project in the country’s Northern State, an investment by some United Arab Emirates businesses. He considered what he saw a success of foreign investments in Sudan. He wrote:

I was in  the company of the Finance Minister who inaugurated the harvesting of wheat in the Amtar project. Genuinely speaking, what we have seen there was gratifying and portends of good. It was not just the land of the Amtar Project. All the lands of the Northern State are productive. Despite the constraints of funding and the scarcity and high cost of fuel, the wheat productivity per acre was, as usual, the highest in the country; no less than fifteen 100 kilograms bags an acre; in many cases over thirty bags.

The Amtar Project is a partnership between Sudan and the UAE Jinan company (40-60 percent) and extends over an area of 118,000 acres. Just 30,000 acres of this area was cultivated.

If it were not for the patience of the Jinan company, they would have quit the project as did Ahmed Bahjat, Alwaleed Ibn Telal and hundreds of investors who earlier escaped under the hammer of the locals and the corrupt cadres of the defunct regime.

The provocations of those cadres and the irresponsible opposition against the Project had mounted to insults, curses and the burning of palm seedlings. Consequently,  we have lost the biggest date palm growing venture in the nation’s history. As a result, a neighboring country had attracted the investors, providing them with land, water and protection.

Anyhow, the Project has stood fast, resisting the ignorance of the ignorant and the foolery of the fools, until it convinced the locals and the government of the Northern State through its viability and through its support to them in times of need!!

The Project’s full time employees count 350 workers, 75 percent of them Sudanese. Then there are experts and technicians of different nationalities. The number of day workers is 50-60, all of them from the area.

The average wheat productivity of the Project is 20 bags per acre  this season. Last year the Project had provided the country’s strategic reserve of wheat with 60,000 bags. More than this quantity is expected to be handed to the wheat strategic reserve this time.

What is really hopeful in the Northern State is not just this high productivity. There are other good omens. The locals are not what they have been, disturbing the climate of investment with demonstrations and demands, They are now more keen about the success of such investment projects.


YH /AS  

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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