Now What in Sudan

Now, what is in the Sudan

By Sadig Al-Mahdi

The Arab, African and Islamic worlds, are rife with struggles and various aspirations. The Sudanese homeland and for a quarter of a century or more, became an arena whereby these struggles and aspirations, have found a wider space to express themselves and sometimes to prove their credence. The expected results of what could be unleashed by the modern Sudanese political experience, would have a profound negative or positive effect on the Arab, African and Islamic scale as well as the international scale. Such impact, would be apparent in the following five spheres:

  • The communist thesis generated some appeal in the Arab and African political sphere. Modern Sudanese political experience applied some of the thought and organization of that thesis. At some stage, the communist hegemony reached its peak when it was confronted and contained by the Sudanese modern experience.
  • The democratic aspiration found its heydays in the Sudanese political experience but also met more of its setbacks, thus the inevitability of the democratic option but with the necessity of both the cultural and social adaptation in order to sustain it.
  • The Sudanese climate of freedoms and political tolerance, allowed a wider opportunity for a real struggle between secularism and theocracy and the centrist or middle option of Islamic enlightenment.
  • The modern Sudanese political experience dealt sharply with the other religious and multi-cultures of Sudan.
  • In today’s world, which is facing the first world terrorist war, the present Sudanese experience represents a significant part of it. It would not be possible for me here to outline the details of the modern Sudanese experience. Therefore I will confine to deal with the latest series, the present Sudanese regime.

In what follows, I will deal with the present Sudanese experience, through eight files, as follows:

The Islamic File:

The Sudanese bodypolitic is a tolerant one; therefore all thoughts and modern organizations found their way to propagate in a way that would not be tolerant in similar societies. Leftists, nationalist, Islamist and the Africanist ideologies, all of them found in a democratic Sudan and its free press, the widest opportunities to express themselves.

One of freedom weakest characteristics is that it allows a wide opportunity to its enemies. That why coups of totalitarian ideologies were able to conspire against freedom and overthrew it and establish their totalitarian regimes.

Coups were successful against freedom because freedom by its nature opens the doors to others. Coups failed against totalitarian regimes, because these regimes are preoccupied with their security and obsessed with it, and they utilize all the state resources to defend their regimes. That how the July 89 coup, was able to sweep away democracy and to protect itself for a decade and to impose on the country, its Islamist thesis, I call it Islamist and not Islamic, as it expresses a certain brand of ideology in Islam.

A number of schools, are engaged in contemporary Islamic research. These schools vary between enlightenment and regression. The most regressive of them, are the Mowdodi, the Quotbi, and the Khomenist schools. The Mowdodi school, represents an Islamic reflection to the domination of the extremist Hindu, this situation came to arm the Muslim minority with a counter extremism which promoted political allegiance and the monopoly of power to the selected vanguard.

The Quotbi School represents an Islamic protest or rebellion to the repression that confronted the Brotherhood movement at the hands of the Nasserist regime in Egypt.

The Khomeni School represents an Islamic rejection of the Iranian Shahism, which tried to secularize Shiite Iran, in the same way that the Kamalists have secularized Sunni Turkey.

The three schools represent a counter extremism and rebellion. The modern Sudanese Islamic movement has passed through different stages from enlightenment to regression.

The Sudanese intellectual and political climate is a tolerant one and that has enabled such a movement to grow and expand. However, the successes of the rebellious and regressive movement in Shiite Iran and the subsequent USA defeat as well as the triumph of the Afghani movement in Sunni Afghanistan and the subsequent defeat of the second super power the Soviet Union, led the Sudanese movement to adopt the thesis of militancy and regression, helped by the democratic climate to stage its coup, a climate that provides freedom even to its enemies.

It is a well-established fact that the movements of militancy and regression are credible and effective in the domain of protest and rejection. However, when it comes to construct for the alternative they preach, they fall into confusion and failure and it is that which led to the destruction in the Sudan and Afghanistan and the birth of a counter movement in Iran, trying to correct and salvage the situation. This Iranian counter movement is led by Islamic intellectuals and leaders like president Khatimi.

The Sudanese Islamist experience is not an isolated incident it is a model for the experience of militant and regressive movements in power and it represents the aspirations and hopes of such movements. They are movements of militant and regressive aims, similar in their zeal and claim of truth monopoly, to the historical Khwarej (rebels) movement. However, their methods are very modern as they copy the most modern methods of other rejections movements such as the red Brigades, Black Panthers and the IRA, and if they seize power, they copy the most modern methods of Stalinist and fascist repression.

The present Sudanese Islamist experience is alien to the Sudanese climate of tolerance and political co-existence. Its performance as a regime, failed dismally to achieve even the basics of governmental provision i. e.

  • Convince a broad spectrum of its legitimacy.
  • Provision of a reasonable standard of living.
  • Provision of security.
  • Establishment of stable foreign relations.

It has become obvious, that the majority of the Sudanese people, reject this experience and that the majority of the Sudanese Muslims deplore its Islamist programme and consider it erroneous for the following reasons:

  • The imposition of Beya (oath of alliance) which is devotion of one’s life to the leader or cause. It was imposed one year after the regime-seized power Beya itself is a ritual conducted before ascending to power.
  • The declaration of Jihad (holy war) while Jihad is only permitted to be declared by a legitimate government and it should not be declared, against citizens linked with others by a citizenship charter which grant them the freedom of worship and frees them from the rules of other religions.
  • The collection of Zakat in a way that does not adhere to its legitimate rules in both collection and expenditure.
  • Calling the banks of Morabha and Salam which they have established Islamic while its interest, surpasses the interest dealings of Western banks.
  • The confiscation and impounding of property belonging to other people without fair trials.
  • Blaspheming others who oppose their partisan approach as well as branding them as traitors.
  • The practice of weird rituals unknown to Islam such as: celebrating of wedding their war dead to the mermaids of paradise, and the claim of their Sheik that he is actually wedding those martyrs on the mermaids of paradise. The use of Quranic verses similar to commercial advertisements and congregating people for what they have called thanksgiving, etc.
  • The Islamic penal code they applied is controversial and is not acceptable to the Muslim majority. Three citizens were tried and executed for contravening currency rules in the early days of the regime. It is a brutal exercise by any legal standards and extreme injustice by the legitimate standards.

The Sudanese Islamist experience is defected, and most significant that it has been applied by those who represent a minority party which betrayed the oath it performed to protect the established constitutional legitimacy and also seized power by force and forced its programme on the majority of the Sudanese people.

It dismally failed to achieve its aims and have destroyed a country in the name of applying Sharia. This experience has caused extreme harm to the Islamic aspiration in the Sudan and it actually had a negative impact on Islamic movements in a wider scale. As a result, many countries began to regard these movements with suspicion and caution especially in countries like Algeria and Turkey where the authorities, became wary of the Islamic Salvation Front so that a Sudanese experience would not be repeated whereby a similar party abandoned its constitutional and democratic obligations to seize power claiming that its Islamic programme justifies that.

The culture of violence:

The most abhorrent in the Sudanese experience, is linking the name of Islam to violence and repression in a country where political tolerance has been dominant.

The tools of repression

The Sudanese state, used to have its defense and security apparatus together with armed forces, police and other regular disciplined forces … However, with the “Salvation” regime, these bodies expanded and were made to betray their roles to become a yoke of oppression on the Sudanese people.

  • The police, has six departments: The unified police apparatus – Public order police – Total Security Police – Internal Security Apparatus – External Security Apparatus.
  • The Armed groups have multiplied to comprise 17-armed groups in addition to the known armed forces. The following groups can be listed: The popular Defense forces – Constructions Guard Forces – Southern Sudan Defense Forces – National Islamic Front Personnel Guards – Armed Afghan Arabs, Anyana-II Forces, etc, etc.
  • Militias have multiplied and ominously took a tribal shape with ten tribes now having their own militias, they are the Mesaliet – Beni Helba – Rizeigat – Meseria – Hawazma … etc.
  • In addition to the known detention bodies, the regime established the ghost houses system which transformed detention to a physical and mental torment.
  • The regime also issued repressive laws that transformed the Sudan into a modern police state.

These bodies and laws practiced repression on citizens in a brutal way, which the citizens have resisted courageously. The documentation and monitoring of these violations, led to the condemnation of human rights organization, as well as the UN Human Rights Commission which passed 8 resolutions deploring the regime’s human rights record.

The Sudan, has become a field to the culture of violence in a way not witnessed in its modern history.

  • Ten coup attempts re recorded since the first one led by General Mohamed Ali Hamed in 1990 and through to the last attempts made by a group of hard-liners.
  • Several bomb explosions and attempts happened for the first time in Sudan.
  • For the first time in modern Sudanese history, all political parties have armed themselves, ready to protect their political programmes by force if necessary. The political armed groups, now numbers twelve factions.
  • The phenomenon of repression and violence, have increased in Sudan such as detention without trial in ghost houses, beating and torture of detainees, arbitrary summarily trials, confiscation of property, and dismissal from employment and service which victims now exceeds 150,000 persons.

Perhaps the ugliest outcome of the culture of violence can be summarized in the following:

  • The administration of the way by the scorched land policy, which led to a score of civilian victims and the burning of villages and terrorizing of people especially in the war, zones south of the country and the Nuba Mountains.
  • The spread of violence within the student movement, especially the university of Khartoum, Omdurman Ahlia University and Azhari University. Sadly, many of the victims of this student violence were killed by their colleagues, the members of the NIF supported by the security forces. This series began with the murder of the female student Taya Abu Agla, and up to the killing in 1997 of student Mustafa Ahmed Al-Mardi.
  • The forcing of youth especially students to join the obligatory military service, a service of peculiar nature built on quick and incomplete training and the dispatch of the conscripts to the war zones. It is a war opposed by the popular majority, but the regime continued the policy of youth conscription by tying their education to it and using force against the student conscripts, a situation that led to the killings of many youths and students in camps of Ailafoun, Getaina, Gazira Aba, Merkhiat and Wad al Hadad.
  • Lot of citizens died under torture and others were afflicted with life scars. The number of victims reached thousands starting with the martyrdom of Dr. Ali Fadl under torture in 1990 and through to tens of victims whose tragedies were documented by the Sudanese Victims of Torture Group and up to the martyrdom of student Mohamed Abdelsalam Babkr in August 1998.

The present regime, have converted the friendly and tolerant Sudan into a field to the culture of violence.

The terrorism bag:

Terror is the use of violence, to undermine a legitimate authority or terrorize the civil society. Legitimacy in our Arab and African worlds, is built on three foundations:

  • A revolution that made a historical achievement and found acceptance to become the basis of legitimacy e. g. Egypt and the 1952 Revolution, Yemen and the 1962 Revolution, etc.
  • A family that made a historical achievement and found acceptance, thus the allegiance to it became the source of legitimacy e. g. the Sauds, the Sabahs ad the Nahyans, etc.
  • Constitutional legitimacy based on a free general election, as was in the Sudan prior to June 1989.

The Sudanese regime came to power, as a result of a conspiracy against the constitutional legitimacy since its coming to power, the regime established in 1991 what it called the Arab-Islamic popular congress. This congress became a platform for radical individuals and movements active to undermine by force other regimes and governments. All names of persons who became infamous because of their terrorist activities came to Sudan, stayed in it and established interests and relationships e. g. Mustafa Hamza, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden and Carols.

The terrorist incident, such ads the assassination attempt on Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in June 1995 in Addis Ababa and the bombing of the World Trade Center building in new York, in a addition to the terrorist groups which launched nine operations against Egyptian targets after being trained in Sudan. In all these incidents, the defendants admitted their connections with the Sudanese regime. By their statements the regime leaders act to encourage terrorism:

Hassan Al-Turabi described those who attempted to assassinate President Mubarak as Mujahdeen. Haj Nor said in the Friday address at the University of Khartoum mosque that Muslims are terrorist in accordance with their conviction, he quoted a Quranic verse  “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know.” 8:60. And misinterpreted its meaning by claiming that “to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies” means the modern terrorism.

Sudan television programmes continuously glorify acts of terrorism and symbols of terrorism especially the programme of “Sacrifice fields” on Friday 4-9-1998. Terrorism is not an isolated phenomenon and it would be pointless top deal with it in an obliterated way.

Terrorism is founded on a system that begins with an intellectual position, which claims self-divine attributes and consider this self to be the reservoir of all truth and demonize others as evil incarnate. After this blind conviction, they came to establish an organization to carry on their thought and spread it in reality, then comes the collection of money and methods of communication. In this way a network of regional and international branches is formed, linked by terrorist agenda. This terrorist organization exists in a number of countries, various regions and on an international scale.

The Sudanese regime is part of this organization, though some of the regime administrations maybe distant from it, other centers of powers within the regime are immersed in it. Such a situation can be explained through the directed split in all the policies and activities of the Sudanese regime\. Accordingly it was possible for Sudan’s UN Ambassador Al-Fateh Erwa (who supervised transportation of Flasha Jews from Ethiopia to Israel) to say that they have kicked bin Laden out of the Sudan in 1996 in response to American demands. Simultaneously, it was possible to Hassan Al- Turabi to say in the Middle-East Broadcasting Center (MBC) programme on 10-9-98, that Bin Laden is a Mojahid, an exemplary personality for the youth, and a contributor to the development of the Sudan with economic interest in it and that he left the country on his own volition so that he does not embarrass the Sudanese regime.

The Economic File:

The culture of violence made the Sudanese regime to deal with the Sudanese people as an occupational force, this has necessitated a huge spending on security to oppress the people and on the media to mislead and misinform them. This relation between a repressive government and a suppressed people reflected negatively on economic production and multiplied the budget deficit.

The terrorist pattern associated with the Sudanese regime brought to it isolation on the regional and international scale and that reflected badly on economic co-operation and foreign trade.

I will not go into a detailed economic analysis. However, it is enough to say the following facts about the last year of democracy 88 – 1989.

  • Sudanese exports totaled $850 million dollars.
  • The deficit of the internal balance was one billion dollars. The external financial balance was even.
  • Sudan used to get about one billion dollar to supplement the balance of payment as well as one billion-dollar for development.
  • The dollar free market price was 14 Sudanese pounds.

Today in the last year of the “Salvation” regime we have the following comparative figures:

  • $250 million dollars is the size of Sudanese exports.
  • The dollar is worth 2400 Sudanese pounds in the free market.
  • Sudan can get only about 50 million dollars in external aid.

To make matters worse the regime has undermined the welfare state that existed in Sudan and transformed a number of public cooperations to a private partisan sector owned by the regime supporters. The regime also dispensed huge tax and custom exemptions to organizations affiliated to the NIF party.

The door has now been opened to sanctioned corruption as a result of economic depression and social injustices, per capita income has dropped to become 60 dollars p. a. 95% of the people, now live below the poverty line as reported in a study by the institute of Sudanese Strategic Studies in Khartoum. The wealthiest 10 % of Sudanese now own 80% of the country’s wealth. The spread of injustice and poverty in this manner caused the worst social impact such as the spread of corruption, embezzlement, moral degradation and the unprecedented exodus from Sudan to all parts of the world.

The peace file:

Sayed Abel Alier spoke about the peace accords agreed to by the Sudanese to solve the southern conflict and to end the civil war, he described this process as a series of broken promises. However, the age of the independent Sudan is 42 years, the military through their coups have dominated the country for 32 years. Wherever the democratic regime reach to an agreement or understanding with the other side, a coup d’etat occurs and undermines that agreement.

This is exactly what happened in 1989 when the democratic government was about to reach a peace agreement with the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement/Army SPLM/A the coup occurred and its leaders declared that the undermining of that agreement is one of the coup’s objectives. The coup leader also declared that their belonging to the military makes it easy for them to reach agreement with the SPLM/A and that peace could be achieved in less than six months. This naïve assumption has soon evaporated to be replaced by a Jihad policy, trying to militarize the to face the civil war. The regime leaders also claimed to win the war in six month. The fact is the war has deepened and expanded and expanded during the Salvation rule. It deepened because it because a religious war, and expanded to have four fronts a southern front a western front a south eastern front, a south eastern front and south western front.

The peace talks reached a deadlock in its latest round of August 1998 in Addis Ababa. In battlefields the regime is under siege in various fronts and unable to break the siege. The resistance movements now control between a quarter to third of the country. It is a situation that made Sudan practically partitioned and under the control of more that one political partitioned and under the control of more than one political authority since 1996, the Sudanese regime started to borrow and copy some of the principles passed by the National Democratic Alliance NDA at the Asmara conference of June 95.

The regime copied some of these principles, such as making citizenship the basis of rights and constitutional duties as well as the principle of self-determination. As a result the regime signed the peace from within agreements with other SPLM/A splinted factions. However, those agreements are not worth the ink they have been written with.

  • Because, the agreements have isolated the major political forces of the country and were made with break away factions in accordance with the regime’s divide and rule policy.
  • Because the agreements, assume constitution of the present constitutional situation in the country as it is now and provide it with legitimacy knowing that it is controversial and rejected by the minority of the Sudanese people.

The regime’s position now is a total military inability and a deadlock in the negotiation position. For these reasons the regime have resorted to use the idea of self-determination in way that sacrifices the country’s interest and integrity. The idea of self-determination as it originated in the Asmara resolutions, call for a transitional period whereby the national consensus is renewed and confidence is resorted between the parties of the Sudanese political movement a situation that would convince the south to choose unity at the autonomy referendum. This should render self-determination a method to boost confidence in unity and to end future political maneuvering. However, the regime is now offering self-determination under its repressive and repulsive rule and that would guarantee separation as the result. The regime is happy with the secession prospect would relief it of the south to concentrate on the North and resume its radical agenda and attempt to expand through its programme to Islamize the neighboring and regional countries. The regime wishes to re-conquer back the south when its allies seize power, in other rich and powerful countries. Meanwhile, the regime wishes to conspire with various southern powers to blow the new southern state in the wind with tribal conflict.

The constitutional file:

The regime, appointed a national committee for the constitution, headed by judge Khalafallah Al-Rasheed and a technical committee headed by judge Dafallagh al- Radi. Regardless of the relevance of such procedures which were boycotted by all the Sudanese political forces with the exception of the NIF and its sympathizers regardless of this situation the constitutional draft of the committee was put aside to be replaced by one, that represent a political manifesto of the NIF. Turabi has described this manifesto constitution in his interview with the MBC on 10-9-98  “have been descended”, an expression confined to the revelations text. This constitution passed by the regime through the national council an institution totally dominated by the regime and was brought to a superficial referendum, is a document that represents the position of a minority party, namely the NIF and does not express the opinion of the Sudanese majority. It is a constitution that functions under the laws and auspices of the police state and guarantees its continuity. This constitution stipulates that the rights embodies in it are practiced in accordance with impending laws, a situation that render the laws superior to the constitution.

However, since the constitution was declared the state of regime’s security forced it to drop the relatively moderate practices adopted by the regime for the first half of 1998 to move towards more repressive practices, many incidents can be cited in support of this repressive move:

  • A court delivered its verdict in August 1998 acquitting the Imam of Omdurman’s Al-Higra mosque and his colleagues from the Ansar committee, which specializes in writing the Friday address. The verdict was passed and the judge ordered the release of all the defendants, however soon as they were released the internal security apparatus, re-arrested and detained them again.
  • The Khartoum university students have protested in August 98 on the increase of tuition fee, from five thousands pounds to twenty five thousand pounds. The security authorities detained a number of students and one of them died under torture, he was Mohamed Abdel Salam Babikr, a low student in his fourth year.
  • The security groups adopted a policy of beating up citizens in an organized manner; Ahfad university girl students were beaten up in more than one occasion. They have also beaten up youths and other students and lastly in September 98 they have arbitrarily beaten the youths, Siddig Al-Sadig Al-Mahdi and Abdel Rahman Sharief Mamoun.
  • Sudanese jails are full by a big number of detainees without trail headed by strugglers Al-Hag Nugdallah and Sheik Adelmahmoud Abou. (Released after 4 months without trial).

The foreign relation file:

The democratic Sudan truly practiced a balanced foreign policy, keen on the independence of its national decisions.

The ‘Salvation’ regime transferred Sudanese foreign policy from the independence of the national decision to the hostility of the national decision. That is why under this regime the Sudan has achieved the status of the Pariah State on both the regional and international level.

However, the regime came to realize the danger of such approach in foreign policy so they brought up programmed ministers to speak the language of moderation. The foreign ministers of the regime and its ambassadors speak in a soft and moderate language, but the regime’s other apparatus are programmed on the complete opposite direction. In this context, the regime’s policies can be described as emulating Janus the ancient Roman Goddess, she is a Goddess with double face, one face looks at a direction, while the other looks at the opposite direction. Therefore the regime has last it credence in the administration of foreign policy and that all those who deal with it whether regionally or internationally have come to realize that the regime addresses them moderately, through its diplomats with savage and brutal acts are prepared through other bodies.

On the 20th of May 1992, Dr. Hassan Al-Turabi delivered a testimony in the US congress in front of the Africa Sub-committee. There he showed in his speech a degree of moderation and a commitment to democracy and human rights as well as international legitimacy. Then a committee member, Mr. Howard Wolpe (Democrat), confronted him and presented to him a number of questions says something and does its opposite. At the end the member of congress said the following: “The reason I have taken this time and the reason for the force with which I have asked my questions is that there is an enormous tragedy in the Sudan that is very largely of the making of those people that are in the control of the government that this gentleman represents. I am frankly very troubled that people who do not have enough background about the Sudan in our own country might take at face value the testimony of this gentleman. This is a government that has been reported to have engaged in acts of terrorism both inside and outside of the Sudan, a government that has an outrageous human rights posture, a government that is making impossible the delivery of relief supplies to civilian populations in the southern part of the country against whom war is being waged. This is not a government that the United States should have much to do with at this point.” He said that and then departed in protest from the meeting.

The policies of the regime are founded on a directed personality spilt that allows the foreign minister and the Sudanese Ambassador in New York to say that they have kicked bin Laden out and to Turabi the Custodian of the regime, to say “Bin laden is a Mojahid and a youth exemplary and his departure from Sudan was on his own choice”. The same policies also allow Mahdi Ibrahim the regime’s Ambassador in Washington to declare in his press conference 4-9-98 that they have begged and still beg the sympathy of America for a common understanding but it is America who does not respond. By the same degree of tempting the US, the regime saves the adjectives of treason and blasphemy to their Sudanese opponents, they taunted the opposition for carrying arms and being based in foreign countries. It is the NIF that betrayed oath, violated the constitution and committed aggression against others when it staged its coup in 30-6-89.Opponents of the NIF are justified to confront it by the same weapon it used, a penalty should equal the crime committed, in this context, Ali Al-Haj was quoted as saying during the Abuja negotiations that “they would only negotiate with those who carry arms”, and Bashir said at a rally that “we came to power by the force of arms and would only be removed by the force of arms.” As for the foreign base the NIF itself benefited from the use of foreign bases during its opposition to the Nemeiri regime. So what the illegal Nemeiri regime and the not possible against the illegal Bashir regime?

The American Raid 20 August 1998:

At the time of the American raid, the Sudanese regime was facing a series of blows, they were:

  • The collapse of the peace from within agreement, and the start of fighting between its parties.
  • The constitution was born died.
  • The collapse of the IGAD talks in Addis Ababa.
  • The Cairo
  • The suspicious surrounding the regime in the bombing of the two American Embassies in Nairobi and Dar al-Salam.
  • Demonstrations in cities.
  • Discord among the leaders of the regime on major issues.

The American raid, the way it was executed and its method, gave the regime a gift allowing it to temporarily change its agenda and enjoy a degree of sympathy within the Arab league, the Organization of African Unity, the Islamic Conference and the Non-Aligned movement.

Actually both the Arab and Western media have denounced the American raid especially its Sudanese target. The American action is wrong because:

An international party, cannot be both the foe and the judge, without resort to the international legitimacy.

From our viewpoint, the American action is a political mistake because it gave the Sudanese regime the opportunity to change its agenda from its contradiction with the Sudanese people, where its position is totally wrong to a contradiction between the regime and the American government.

Pakistan is considered as a US ally but what happened caused backclash and have provoked certain factions to push the Pakistani government towards the Sharia card which is resorted to, by besieged rulers to win popular support. The opportunistic approach, to apply Sharia law was and will remain an insult to Sharia and a road that would lead to political instability.

Afghanistan and specially the Taliban movement is considered an American ally as part of the policy of Iranian containment.

The benefits gained by the regime, in the aftermath of the American raid whether politically or diplomatically or in media terms, should not allow us to overlook the following facts:

  • The Sudanese regime has a real link with terrorism and also has a suspicious relation with the Iraqi regime with regard to armaments.
  • It is the regime with its well-known policies that has made Sudan
  • The world will not be silent towards terrorism; arrangements of a serious nature should be taken to deal with this danger, arrangements to be decided by an international conference.

The Isolation Impact:

A Sudanese person in any part of the world is besieged by bad news about his country and countrymen, a situation made worse by famines and flooding adding to the hardships of the country.

The news of the floggings and heavy rains, and the victims, helpless in the face of these natural calamities brings distress and sadness in our hearts that we are unable to do something to rescue our dear countrymen and fellow citizens.

The “Salvation” regime compounds the tragedy and matters worse by its attitude of:

  • Regional and international isolation.

As for the evidence on the regime’s indifference, it took the regime a whole month after the crisis to move towards establishing an operation center to deal with the situation.

They have appointed a committee to deal with the situation in the first of September while the crisis have actually began in the first week of August.

When they started to move, leaders of the regime concentrated on supplications, while our religion is a religion of action. It is a religion of Omar’s sayings “the sky does not rain gold or silver. Work and do not corrupt our religion”. The regime tries to bridge the gap of its impotence in action by resorting to invocations.

As far as the proof of the isolation, it was evident in the belated and limited response, an indication of the isolation of the regime that specialized in harming others and losing their friendship. The Sudan has witnessed similar circumstances in August 1988. The democratic government moved within hours, and formed an emergency operation center, headed by Dr. Omar Nur ElDayem minister of Finance, and the Defense minister Gen. Abdelmajid Hamid Khalil as a Rapporteur, the center has been bestowed with emergency powers to coordinate the official effort with popular and military efforts and to lobby for regional and international assistance. The country while retaining independence of its national decision had no hostile agenda towards others and had close regional and international links, therefore the world responded positively to cooperate with the government.

The World Bank organized a big contribution of $480 million dollars, of which $120 million dollars were paid immediately; other contributed with varying degrees, Japan, Germany, Britain, Holland, France and the Scandinavian countries. As for the Arabs, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has established an aerial bridge that amounted to 140 flights, others also contributed Kuwait, Libya, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Tunisia. The African countries headed by Nigeria. As a result of the emergency, political, administrative and executive action and the national, regional and international repose the crisis had been contained and came under control in addition to the success in achieving two matters of significance:

  • A big rehabilitation operation for agricultural schemes and the service sector in affected areas of the country.
  • The finance of the agricultural season, in a big way that contributed to planting 35 million acres producing a bumper harvest.

The comparison between the Democratic regime and the autocratic is various ways confirms the superiority of the first in the issues of peace, the economy and foreign relations and other issues.

The country have also lost a lot of benefits as we have reached an agreement with Japan to survey the country resources and to establish a full and comprehensive development partnership, the special committee for this project was scheduled to visit Sudan in December 1989. We have also reached agreement with the debtors to exempt all the external debt in return to Sudan paying $160 million dollars, we have also agreed with the World Bank on a comprehensive project to rehabilitate the education system in Sudan, alas, came the “Salvation” regime with its eccentric slogans and turned matters upside-down. Perhaps the comparison between what happened to our countrymen and our country in 1988 and 1998 incarnates the difference of two regimes without rhetoric and hollow expressions.

It is however regrettable, that our people face the difference between the two experiences with the burden of hardship and suffering.

And then What?

  • The present regime has claimed that it came to rescue the Sudan. In reality the regime achieved the opposite of its claim, clearly the regime does not have an answer to the crisis it has caused as its conditions deteriorates steadily.
  • The opposition does not want to go back to square one, because the state of that square had actually contributed to the coup that has now destroyed the country. Therefore, and although the international climate now encourages to intervene against coups that overthrow elected governments as happened in Sieraleon and Haiti when a foreign power intervened and ousted the putsches and brought back the elected government … Even though, we do not call for a return to square one.
  • We do not wish a return to the past, and we do not accept the mandate of the present regime, which would lead, to increasing polarization and confrontation in Sudan.
  • It is possible, in terms of the present confrontation for the regime to collapse from within, on the impact of its failures. It is also possible for the elements of the uprising to accumulate for the repetition of the Sudanese popular experience that occurred in October 64 and April 85.
  • The regime has continuously used deception, starting from the detention of the NIF leaders at the start of the regime’s reign and until the issue of the Tawali (succession) constitution which allows the regime to recognize pluralism and outlaw it at the same time.

Therefore, the regime has completely last its credibility although the regime leaders claim, their mistrust of what is said by the other political forces, while they know very well how true we are to our word.

This means, that there is no way for direct negotiations. The only option is to accept a neutral mechanism to supervise a scheme of a return to the Sudanese people to judge and decide on all the controversial issues, the people are the sovereign and no person or party has a mandate on them.

Yes, the Sudanese have their religious, tribal and regional allegiances. These allegiances are everywhere and exist with the NIF supporters as they do with supporters of all the other political forces.

The Sudanese political parties, are however, less tribalistic than their counterparts in Africa, as they are less sectarian than heir counterparts in the Arab East.

The real choice in Sudan today, is the continuation of the confrontation state with all its consequences of hardship and sufferings, action and reaction, or a return to the people to judge and decide on the controversial issues under the supervision of a neutral mechanism accepted by all.

The confrontation will achieve a victory albeit costly for the NDA but would also bring a radical and eradicating concept in dealing with the other party.

Returning to the people would allow justice to prevail in dealing with others and settles to the needs of democracy and its balances.


October 1998