Sudan News & Views (No.1)

Sudan News & Views (No.1)

 S U D A N : N E W S &  V I E W S  
        Issue No 1                                   25 April 1994             
+ Sudan: News & Views is a fortnightly Electronic Newsletter.          +
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The following is a translation of part of an interview with Dr. Hussain 
Abu Salih, the Sudanese Foreign Minister, published in Al-Khartoum 
newspaper on Sunday 3 April 1994:
It seems that the involvement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in     
the issue of human rights in Sudan is very limited. The government     
has dealt with it as a purely legal issue left to the Attorney General     
to tackle.
Abu Salih: 
No.. there is no sensitivity here. Everybody who can contribute in this 
matter is welcome. We have not abandoned our duty. We have a legal 
administration which is dealing with this matter. We have left this 
matter to the justice and judiciary systems because they are more 
capable of defense. I, for example, is convinced that the Islamic system 
is the best system for human rights in the world, but I might not be 
able to explain this to the world. I am not articulate, but lawyers are.
But is the issue here a theoretical debate on human rights in Islam or 
is it about certain practices and violations in Sudan?  

Abu Salih: 
All..All. Comparing our record with that of Israel and America, we are 
angels. Our record is far better. There is no one without  mistakes, but 
we cannot be compared with America or Israel. This issue is only for 
political pressure. We will not discuss this matter anymore because it 
is nonsense.
 But the Sudanese people who raise this issue do not compare between 
Sudan and America or Israel.They compare between Sudan and Sudan, 
because these practices are new to Sudan and has not been experienced 
before, throughout the history of Sudan.
Abu Salih: 
There are a lot of lies created by the opposition. Do not draw me into 
talking about the Opposition. I do not want to talk about these people 
who have dishonored Sudan and its people more than anybody else. Please 
pardon me, I don't want to talk about them.
 What about the extension of the mandate of Caspar Biro as a Special     
Rapporteur for human rights in Sudan and ....?
Abu Salih: 
[interrupting] ..Look, this Biro will never set foot in Sudan again. 
From now on, he is not going to enter Sudan. He is a kid with little 
legal experience. I think the biggest mistake committed by the 
government of Sudan is to accept this little kid to come and investigate 
us. It is our mistake.  
Abdel Aziz Shiddu, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, in  a 
local statement has admitted that practices by the security services  
has tarnished Sudan's image abroad. He said that it is important for  
the Salvation Revolution to abandon its policies of intimidation and  
harassment of its citizens by arrest, ill-treatment and other excesses.  
He mentioned, as examples of these excesses, the killing of engineer  
El-Rasikh and another person in Sinja, in central Sudan, by security  
officers. He added that these practices has harmed Sudan's image and  
helped in its further regional and international isolation. [source: Al-
Khartoum newspaper 28 March 1994]  
Ahmed Hassan Sa'ad, a third year student in Ali El-Sayed Secondary  
School in Al-Sahafa - Khartoum, was shot by a security officer in front 
of his colleagues on Wednesday 30 March 1994. He died, three  hours 
later, in the hospital. He was attending a student's political debate, 
when he was asked by a security officer to accompany him.  When the 
student refused, the officer took out his gun and shot him.  The killer 
joined one of the security services after leaving the same school two 
years ago. The student's father, a water engineer, was  later visited by 
tow people, who introduced themselves as members of  the security 
service, and offered their apologies for their colleagues  action. The 
authorities issued a statement denying any political reason  for the 
Lt. Gen. Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, President of Sudan, has, on 13 April 
1994, issued instructions forbidding any contact from anybody with  the 
US Ambassador in Khartoum. He accused the Ambassador of meddling in 
Sudan's internal affairs.
The whereabouts of Col. (ret.) Martin Malwal Arop, an ex-member of the 
Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation, are not known and 
is feared arrested by the security forces. On 2 April 1994, Martin's  
house was besieged by the security forces and his telephone line  
disconnected. This action follows the arrest, a few days ago, of a  
number of people, originally from Rumbeik in Southern Sudan, from 
Martin's house who happened to have a family gathering. The authorities  
had accused them of holding a political meeting.  
Prof. Mamoun Humaida, a committed NIF member and previous Vice  
Chancellor of the University of Khartoum, attacked the government's  
policy on higher education. He said that what is called the 'higher  
education revolution' is in reality a tool to destroy the nation's  
inheritance of well-established and outstanding universities and  
higher-education institutes. He attributed the failure of these  
policies to the monopoly of decision-making and the lack of  
consultation with the academic institutes. He also talked about  the 
deteriorating status and living conditions of the academic staff.  The 
salary of a university professor is now LS23,112 (Sudanese Pound) a 
month [equivalent to $30/month at the current rate of exchange]. He  
pointed out that 105 staff members had left the University of Khartoum  
in the last two years; 50 of them during the period September 1993 to  
February 1994. These included the whole staff of the Accountancy  
Department in the Business Administration School. He added that "If the  
immigration of the university staff members continues at this rate,  we 
might have to consider using final year students to teach their  fellow 
students in lower classes". He also said that universities  now lack 
books, laboratories and other teaching facilities. He gave  an example 
of Omdurman Islamic University where medical students receive  only 
theoretical lectures and have not done a single practical lesson.  He 
expressed fear that the Medical Council might not recognise these  
Degrees and the graduates of these universities might not be able to  
practice medicine.
Seven hundred students receiving Popular Defense Force's military  
training have rebelled against the bad treatment they receive in  El-
Markhiyat camp - in the outskirts of Omdurman. The students walked  out 
of the camp and staged a demonstration in Omdurman city. The Minister of 
Higher Education, Prof. Ibrahim Ahmed Omer, had warned  that the 
students will lose their places in the universities if they fail to 
return immediately to the training camp. He stressed that  this training 
is a pre-requisite for joining any university or higher-education 
institute in Sudan. It is intended to teach the  students discipline and 
the values of Jihad. Many students expressed their unwilling to go back 
unless they receive guarantees of better treatment and improved 
conditions, even if this meant their dismissal from the university.
A Sudanese citizen, Adil Mahgoub Hussain, 26, has hijacked a Sudan  
Airways plane (Boeing 737) in an internal flight from Khartoum to  
Dongola in Northern Sudan on 6 April 1994. The plane which was carrying  
93 passengers and 6 crew, was forced to fly to Egypt. The Egyptian 
authorities directed the plane to Aluqsor airport where the hijacker  
gave himself up to the Egyptian police and demanded political asylum in 
Egypt.The plane and its passengers returned safely to Sudan.
In a television interview, President Omar Al-Bashir said that he  
doesn't find the time to read the newspapers or watch television.  The 
only time he watches TV, he said, is on Friday morning when he  watches 
the Children's program. He commended the children's program and said 
that it is the only program he enjoys watching.
The Minister of Finance, this month, has declared an increase of 87.5%  
in petrol prices from LS400/gallon to LS750/gallon. This is the sixth  
such increase in the last five years. It increased from LS10/gal in 1989  
to LS12/gal in 1990, LS110/gal in 1991, LS150/gal in 1992, LS400/gal in  
1993 and LS750/gal in 1994. In a statement to the Economic Committee in  
the government-appointed National Assembly, the Minister showed the 
extent  of the economic crisis by telling the Committee that petrol 
imports cost  US$28.5 million per month while earnings of all the 
country's exports  are US$12 million. He also told the Committee that 
the government's  budget deficit in the first half of the current 
financial year is  LS33 Billion.
Prof. Mohamed Hashim Awad, an Economics Lecturer at the University of  
Khartoum and an ex-Minister of Trade and Co-operatives, has also  
published an article in one of the government-controlled newspapers in  
which he outlined the following facts:
- Sudan's income during the 80's used to be US$1,350 million; $500m as 
  proceedings of exports and $850m as foreign aid from friendly 
  and regional and international organisations.
- At present, 10% of the population control 60% of the national income 
  while the bottom 40% have a share of only 8% of the national income.
- Prices has increased by 1725% since 1975.
- The Sudanese currency has been devalued by 8778% in the past four 
  The official rate of exchange in June 1989 was 1 US$ = LS4.5. The 
  current rate of exchange is 1 US$ = LS530.
Since all foreign aid has stopped due to the international isolation  of 
the Sudanese regime, and the deterioration of its exports' income,  the 
government has lately resorted to implementing many taxes and fees  on 
Sudanese working abroad. From April 1994, every Sudanese working  abroad 
would have to transfer through the official channels, part of  his 
earnings. The amount to be transferred annually varies from $300  to 
$1,000 according to salary. A similar amount is also charged as tax.  It 
has also been reported recently that the University of Khartoum will  
require students whose parents are working abroad to pay tuition fees of  
$1,500 to $3,000 per annum in US dollars.
The following is a translation of one of the articles written by  
Mohamed Taha Mohamed Ahmed, an NIF supporter, in Al-Sudani 
International, the first independent newspaper in Sudan since June 1989. 
The series  of articles written by Mohamed Taha criticized state 
corruption which  angered the authorities and resulted in the closure of 
the newspaper and the detention of its editors. Asim (the son of Hassan 
Turabi, NIF leader and the power behind the regime) has physically 
attacked and  fired two shots on Taha from his pistol. This article is 
written in  response to the comments made by Ali Osman Taha, the second 
man in the  NIF hierarchy and Minister of Social Planning, on the issue 
of corruption.  Ali Taha said that he considers corruption as a normal 
behaviour and does  not worry him. His Ministry is at present conducting 
a comparative study  of corruption under the present and previous 
Mohamed Taha Mohamed Ahmed writes in al-Ray (opinion) page in Al-Sudani 
al-Dawlia (Reproduced in Al-Khalij, 8/4/94):

"When Mr Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, the former leader of opposition in  
parliament, resurfaced as an executive and became Minister for Social  
Planning, his appearance did not mean a reduction in the prestige of  
the Salvation [Revolution] which rejected sectarianism and declared  its 
nationalistic credentials. The leader of the opposition did not  
participate in any of Sadiq al-Mahdi's governments even during the  
coalition with the NIF. For the masses, the man represented its present  
struggle and its future hopes, because he was part of them. The son  of 
a simple soldier who spent his childhood and youth in the poor  
districts. A man like him is always close to the hearts and minds of  
the masses. This enchantment continues even after those leaders forget  
their origins.

Ali Osman Mohamed Taha gained popular trust very early in his life not  
because of any special qualities or ingenuity that set him apart from  
other Islamiscists, but because the Islamic movement has promoted him  
with its media, writers and propaganda. Brilliance in the Islamic  
movement does not belong to individuals no matter what they claim or  
think, but it is the talent of the Islamic movement as a whole in its  
collective thinking, activity, and Jihad.  Any individual who try to  
promote himself without recognising these facts will get no where and  
only collective action will guarantee the survival of the Islamic 
movement. We are reiterating the basics to safeguard the cornerstones 
that, in  order to protect, several were martyred.  The Islamic movement 
in Sudan  today is half a century old; older than most of its current 
leaders. Ali Osman Mohamed Taha was the Islamicist candidate in Burri 
for the  People's Assembly under Nimieri.  He was supported by the 
Islamicists;  students, youth and elders. He was again promoted by the 
Islamic  movement to become the leader of opposition in 1986 after the 
election.  Sadiq al-Mahdi considered him to be too young but we were 
proud of his  enthusiastic youth.

The youth in the NIF were the ones who nominated him for leadership. He 
managed to win over more experienced elders such as Ahmed Abdel  Rahman, 
Mahdi Ibrahim and Ibrahim Ahmed Omer.  Above all this, the  youth of the 
NIF nominated him to the position of the Deputy Leader at the time when 
Dr. Hassan Turabi wanted to keep the issue of his  deputy unresolved.

We reiterate all this because of Mr Ali Osman Mohamed Taha statement  in 
al-Multaga magazine, in which he described the criticism of the  papers 
for the revolution as superficial. He seems to be more concerned about 
the revolution when people are calling for the protection of  public 
money to prevent it from being wasted. People said the  revolution knows 
the sacred nature of Sudanese wealth when it executed  currency dealers.  
But not long after that, currency dealers were  arrested for one day 
only and among them there were the chosen ones. One of them was arrested 
for only one hour because he is the son of a leading figure [this is a 
reference to Asim Hassan Turabi]. This led to people in the streets 
making fun of the whole issue.

All people should be equal in front of the law. You should remember the 
story of Omer Ibn al-Khatab with the son of Omer ibn al-As, his governor 
in Egypt when he used the power of his father to beat a commoner.

The internal front is strengthened by the rule of law and its supremacy  
over the leaders and their sons.

We are saying this despite those who advise us to criticize privately  
and behind the scenes, or those who will accuse us of giving the enemy 
something to smear the revolution. We say it because there is nothing 
more dangerous for the revolution than those who corrupt from within.

There should be no whispering, everything should be said publicly. Mr 
Ali Osman Mohamed Taha knows more than any one else that poverty  is 
much obvious under this regime and people are tolerating the  situation 
and giving the Islamic program, which is being targeted by  the arrogant 
world, a chance, but their patience and tolerance is not going to last 
if we allow the wealth of the Moslems to be  squandered or stolen.  Look 
at what is happening in Kordofan. Burning will continue because millions 
are being squandered. Questions should be asked about several sums and 
incidents and the regional government should be investigated."  
The Sudanese Ambassador to Somalia, Abdel Bagi Mohmed Hassan, was  
kidnapped in Mogadishu last week. The kidnappers who belong to the  
Hawadla tribe, demanded that an amount of US$103,000 be returned to  
them before they release the Ambassador. They claim that this money  has 
been confiscated by the Sudanese security from a Somali activist who was 
passing through Khartoum, and was detained for three months.    
At least three people are reported killed in clashes between 
demonstrators and police and security forces in Wad Medani in central 
Sudan on 19 and 20 April 1994. The riots were sparked as  a result of 
acute shortages in essential commodities such as  bread and petrol. The 
demonstrators burnt one of the Islamic banks in the city. The 
authorities have ordered the closure of the  University of Gezira and 
all schools in the region.   
    *   'Sudan News & Views' is an independent (non-partisan,       *
    *    non-governmental) electronic publication based in London   *
    *    working to advocate peace, human rights and humanitarian   *
    *    aid for the Sudan.                                         *

Date: Sat, 2 Jul 94 14:26:34 BST
From: Yasin Miheisi <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: SNV-1

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

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