Weekly Press Columns Digest

Weekly Press Columns Digest


One of the outstanding developments that drew press commentaries last week was a meeting held by a controversial group claiming to be the true representative of the Forces For Freedom and Change (FFC) that lead the Revolution and formed the civilian government. Another  one was  the shutdown by an ethnic group of the main road linking the Red Sea ports with the hinterland to press for political demands. The  third development was the discovery of more cells of the terrorist group (Da’ish) in some areas of greater Khartoum.

A group claiming to be the true force of the FFC, lead by former rebel leaders Jibreel Ibrahim (now minister of finance) and Minni Arko Minnawi (now governor of Darfur region) has held a gathering at the Friendship Hall here, a meeting considered a ploy to undermine the FFC and, consequently, the civilian-lead government. Some important FFC figures have also attended the gathering but when they realized the meeting was not to unify the FFC but to undermine it instead, they pulled out and issued statements in its condemnation.

On this issue wrote Ms. Sabah Mohammad Alhassan in the daily  journal Aljareeda (the Newspaper):

The farce at the Friendship Hall could not deceive anybody. Most of its attendance was from the remnants of the defunct regime and its ousted president Omar Albashir. The rest of the seats were filled by religious schools children stuffed at the place.  

Mr. Minni Arko Minnawi, who is used to creating rifts and splinter  groups wherever he went, was a leading figure there. He had ceded from his movement (the Sudan Liberation Movement) to become assistant to the ousted Bashir. He had also broken from the opposition Sudan Call, then from the Revolutionary Front and, now, from the FFC. 
As a matter of fact, the meeting at the Friendship Hall was the brainchild of Mr. Minnawi.

Many of those who attended had hinged hopes on this man, not because he is governor of Darfur  and a signatory of the Juba peace deal, but because of his slippery personality which would not stick to any principle and his visible intention to destry the FFC. .

The remnants of the Bashir regime who assembled at the Friendship Hall and went out pleased with what they had heard from what Minnawi and Jibreel had said with respect to the effort underway to dismantle the ousted regime and clean the government bodies from their influence. They were happy to hear the two men say they were against the work of the high-level committee assigned to trace and retrieve money and properties stolen by the operatives of the defunct regime. These were the two things that  pose a threat to the remnants of the ousted regime in the most.

What is really surprising was that all who came to the Hall were taking shelter in General Burhan, the Chairman of the  Sovereignty Council (the head of state). But they forgot that Burhan (himself) was having shelter in them.

Gibreel, Minnawi and Ardol should resign from the government. The three of them went to the Hall shielded in their government portfolios. So, why don’t they tender their resignations from their government jobs first and then go to the Hall as an opposition of the government policies. The norm in political action is that  breaking away from a certain group means total withdrawal from it..

Burhan and these men want to undermine the democratic transition. In the light of that,  Burhan should not swear that he has no intention to stage a coup.
But Burhan has taken some rest this time. His advisor, Brigadier Abu Hajja, has represented him in the Friendship Hall meeting, saying: time is over! We should not waste anymore time. Everybody is keen about the completion of the structures of the political, executive and constitutional authority according to a roadmap that salvages our economy and pushes it forward! That is what Abuhajja has said. It means the undermining of the existing government and its original power base, the FFC.

What I say, Brig. Abuhajja, is that our economy is controlled by the military, which is also impeding the completion of the structures of the legal, political and constitutional authority. They are racing to undermine this effort.

Mr. Brigadier: Why do you suppose that we are that stupid, and insist upon this awkward position?  

On the  phenomenon in which some protesters shut down the major highways in some parts of the country, presently in Eastern Sudan, wrote Dr. Farraj Alsheikh Alfazari in the Sudanile electronic publication:

The shutdown of the crucial national roads is not a new phenomenon. It has happened in a number of European countries, the most outstanding of which was made by the yellow vests movement in France in 2018 .

Tribal chieftain Sheikh Tirik has copied that French closure to the letter in Eastern Sudan.

The yellow vests movement differs from Sheikh Tirik’s ‘open vests movement’ in many ways, mostly because the former was not politically motivated. It was staged by activists from the labor movement and the middle class. Contrary to that, the rebel movement in Eastern Sudan has a well known partisan background.

The World has sympathized with the yellow vests movement that consequently spread to other countries such as Italy and Belgium and came to an end when it achieved its labor demands that included a  cancelling of the hike in fuel prices.    

But the Eastern Sudan movement has won no sympathy, save from the remnants (the fulool as they are called in Arabic) of the ousted regime and some circles known to seek to undermine the transitional period.

What Sheikh Tirik and his fellows are doing is part of the moves against the creation of the civilian state.

The indifference of the external world about the mutiny in Eastern Sudan is the beginning of the problem’s solution that should be shouldered by the civilian government at once.

That solution is represented in the following: Informing the United Nations and its concerned agencies that what happens in Eastern Sudan warns of a humanitarian catastrophe that threatens the internal peace and security and that of our regional sphere.

The ambassadors of the friendly and sister countries should be notified with this also.

The civilian government should tell the World that it would embark on the breaking of this siege  by peaceful means.
This should be followed by a warning to the  rebel movement to open the road and remove the barriers or, else, the government would do that in 24 hours after the warning is made.

In case there is no response, the civilian government should begin with to use water cannons along the Port Sudan-Haya road and in the Port area to disperse the protesters as do all countries.

Tear gas can also be used.

The authorities should also make sure that no firearms are used, unless in self-defense and in the presence of state attorneys.
The civilian government can also exploit the Ministry of the Interior’s civil defense assets and the water tankers available at the Port and those that can be deployed from neighboring states  to do this job, in case the army refuses to take part in this operation.

About the recurrent storming of terror groups’ hideouts, wrote Ms. Asma’a Juma’a, chief editor of the newspaper Aldemograti (the Democrat) :

In two weeks the authorities have stormed a number of terror hideouts they said belong to the Islamic State (Da;ish).

The story of the terror cells has become a public worry. Today these cells are attacked in Jubra, Alazhari and Alhuda suburbs. So far we do not know the number of these cells or where they are hiding. For that everybody is asking the Intelligence organ about these cells and wants candid and convincing replies:

Was the door open for these terror groups in Sudan?

Are there other cells the authorities are planning to attack?

Will Khartoum see more attacks on these cells in the coming days?

Why did the intelligence storm these cells now?

Are there planned movements or threats from these cells?

If the answer is yes, why did the authorities move at this time in particular, after they have kept silent all through the previous years?

Will these cells stay with their hands tied or they will move to defend themselves? Then, why don’t we expel or calmly turn them in to the countries they came from to evade any further losses?

All of that leads us to a more important question: What do these cells want from their presence in Sudan, while most of them are made of foreigners without any support in Sudan .

The question is also that: how did they enter Sudan? And why weren’t they stopped at an early stage?

The authorities are supposed to be aware about the causes of the presence of any foreigner in Sudan, in particular those who lead an affluent life without any job to do?

Is this issue in relation with the defunct Islamic movement that might have brought them here after they have fled their countries of origin?
The Intelligence organ has to answer all these questions in full transparency, candidness and honesty for the public to be convinced that this organ has changed and become a body for serving the people and that the operations it is conducting are meant to protect the country from the danger of terrorism.
Silence consolidates the speculations that condemn the intelligence organ.

Again, how and why did these cells enter the Sudan and stay in it for years, and mixed with the population without anybody checking them? Isn’t this negligence and failure?

All in all, these operations have revealed that the intelligence still keeps its old mentality.

It is still not transparent, thinking low of the mentality of the public that is aware of all the details because it owns the playground.

Still, the public wants the intelligence to come out and reassure it and reveal all the truth about the terror cells.




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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