Weekly Press Columns Digest

Weekly Press Columns Digest

KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Three of the most important events that attracted press commentaries last week were: the repercussions of reported incidents of violent crimes, including the call by the Police Chief to give immunity to his forces, the appeal by Prime Minister Hamdok to the citizens to return to the countryside to engage in farming and the call by former rebel leader Minni Arko Minnawi for the Army to stay in power after the end of the transitional period.

Writing in the electronic publication Sudanile, Mr. Najeeb Abdelraheem wrote about the recent incidents of insecurity and the justifications by the police chief that his forces are not given enough amnesty to chase criminals. He wrote:

Doctor Salah Alamin was killed by two drug control policemen and an army soldier in Wad Medani. Dr. Amin tried to resist the three men who asked him to hand them his phone and the money he was carrying. They hit with an iron bar on his abdomen, took the phone and the money and left him prostrate on the ground.

The person accountable for this heinous crime is the Gezira State police chief, the federal police chief and the chief of drug control police.

Very sadly, people are being killed and police chief, Lt. Gernal Khalid Mahdi says his forces are working under legally inadequate conditions.

What is really maddening is not the call by the police for the laws to be amended to give his forces more amnesty than they have now in order for them to fight crime.

The more catastrophic issue is his understanding of the meaning and the limititations of the required amnesty when he said "in America, the cradle of democracy, if a citizen refuses to raise his hands up as the policemen commands, the law gives the policeman the right to shoot him with his gun.”

I don’t know who has mislead his highness into this vulgar piece of information.

What happens in Sudan at the moment sadly reminds us of the infamous Ali Osman Mohammad Taha (former vice president) when he said his forces of shadow battalions, militias and the janjaweeds that protected the regime and killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in Darfur,  should “shoot to kill.”

Police Chief, Lt. General Izzeddin Alsheikh is always telling us the hand of the law will reach whoever destabilizes the security  and the stability of the country and the rule of law.

But the view before us is of unprecedented lawlessness where people get killed and the police is not just looking as spectator: It steals, and kills the citizens as Taha wanted them to do : ”Shoot to Kill!”

We are calling for Doctor  Salh Alamin’s killers to be punished together with all those who have committed similar killings. We also hope to see the police motto ”Police Under the Service of the People” put into practice.

Mr. Zahir Bakheit Alfaki, writing in the Aljareeda newspaper, has commented on Prime Minister Hamdok’s call upon the citizens to return to the countryside to engage in agriculture and animal husbandry.

Thank you Mr. Hamdok for this noble feeling and this call that came at a time when it is difficult to respond to. But what had obliged our people to seek to live in the (narrow) urban areas, leaving their wide domes, was poverty, unemployment, meager resources and inadequate services. We must know that the city was never among the dreams of these people, especially those of them who tasted stability and enjoyed the tranquility and security of the rural areas before those areas were destroyed by the fires of political action.

Mr. Prime Minister: These people had sought refuge in the “fire” of urban areas from the “inferno” of the rural areas. Their wisdom in this was that suffering in the urban areas (so harsh as it may be) is safer from the life they had left behind.

It is too early for such a call. There are prerequisites for this return to the countryside which, if you put in place, we will see the citizens racing out of  the “narrowness” of the city to the rural paradise, without any request from you for them to do so.

Just help them with infrastructures, the rehabilitation of projects and the provision of life-helping services. At that time you will not need to urge them to leave the cities. Mr. Prime Minister: Hopes only can not rehabilitate the countryside nor can they return the people to it.

ُEditor-in-Chief of the newspaper Aldemograti (the Democrat), Ms. Asma Juma’a, was critical of the call by former Darfur rebel leader Minni Arko Minnawi for the army to have a political role by the end of this three-year transitional period:

It is very sad to hear a call from those who consider themselves political leaders for the need to keep the army as a partner (in fact to be involved) in power after the elapse of the transitional period.

Mr. Minnawi, Chief of the Sudan Liberation Movement, at an organizational conference of his Movement has presented what he termed a new vision that does not end the army’s relation with power after the elapse of the transitional period. Said Minnawi: “We are in need of creating a new graded model on the way towards permanent democracy.”

Minnawi’s illogical justification for this idea is in order to prevent the army from hampering the transitional period. Conversely, Minnawi himself has warned  against the army staging a coup attempt. This is part of the double standards the political parties suffer from that caused the army to take power three times before. Some parties look for power, but not through the ballot box, in particular small parties.

Minnawi is keen about the army having a political role, because that secures for him a place in power; as a leader and without any conditions. That is because the climate of full democracy will not allow Minnawi to access power. He has no ability for democratic competition. For that reason, he prefers a stay of the military.

Minnawi is used to confusing things in order to create openings towards power. And when he felt that time is running out and the count down for the transitional period has begun, he initiates a call for keeping a place for the army that guarantees him (Minnawi) political opportunities through settlements, rewards,  power- sharing and the like.

We say this to Minnawi: The army understands thoroughly well that it is time for it to quit power, because power did not do the army any good. In fact it had distracted the army from its big duty and took very much from its record. It is now opportune for the army to disown power and wipe out any political dust from its clothes. Time is also suitable for the army to protect the civilian power against the political pirates.



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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