KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - When late Iraqi President Abdul Kerim Gassim gathered his armed forces in the early 1960s and threatened to devastate Kuwait, the Arab League dispatched a joint Arab force that included a contingent of the Sudanese Armed Forces to help repulse any invasion if it occurred.
When the mission ended, the individuals of the Sudanese contingent lined up in the airport to climb their plane for the home-bound trip. At that point, a prince of the ruling family showed up and handed each soldier an envelope stuffed with banknotes and precious wrist-hours.
The Commander of the unit, Major General Siddeik al-Zaibug, waited until His Highness finished his job and shouted loudly to the soldiers: "Column, Attention … Envelopes Down." When all soldiers put down the envelopes on the ground without grumbling, the Commander shouted another command: "March straight". The soldiers moved forward and climbed the plane, leaving behind them the envelopes on the ground to the astonishment by everyone who was there to this honorable behavior.
The message the Commander of the contingent intended to deliver to the Kuwaiti brothers was: "No thanks, no money for a duty … we are not mercenaries."
Due to this splendid behavior and to the reputation of the Sudanese soldier at that time for bravery and dexterity, the State of Kuwait later on solicited assistance by a number of Sudanese officers for establishment of the country's first military college. The Emir of Kuwait used to visit them personally while they were discharging their mission at any time without any restrictions. Among those officers were Zaibug, then Brigadier Muzzamil Suleiman Ghandour and then Major Omar Mohamed al-Tayeb (later President Nimeri’s vice president).
The benevolent position by Zaibug and his soldiers was produced in a short movie film by producer Abbas Ahmed al-Hajj on request by the Sudanese Ambassador to Kuwait at the time. The film was handed to the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister who broke into tears when he saw the act that he had watched when he was a kid standing beside his father, the Emir.
The latter called his Defense Minister and showed him the film and the Minister also wept and ordered that the film be reproduced in 5,000 copies and distributed to all units of the Kuwaiti army.
Many years after that incident, the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister showed up to welcome a delegation led by the Sudanese Foreign Minister that arrived in Kuwait to explain the East Peace Agreement that was concluded with an armed opposition in East Sudan. The Kuwaiti Minister surprised the delegation by presenting the film and by the end of it, he announced that in honor for those soldiers, Kuwait is donating 4 billion dollars in support of the East Peace Agreement.
Those were the true Sudanese men … they served the country both when alive and dead. May Almighty God bless their souls.
Kuwaiti writer Nassar Abdul Jalil published this story in the Kuwaiti Al-Watan newspaper and explained that it was sent to him by a friend and when he was through reading the story, he began to weep.
"But I did not know the reason for my crying, was it for the splendid position of those unequalled Sudanese men or for our missing manhood?" Abdul Jalil wrote.
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