Truth is on the March in Sudan
The Sudanese are in rebellion against the fraudulent and oppressive Junta-led by General Al- Burhan and Dogolo aka (Hemeti) following the October 25, 2021, Coup. This, despite the November 21, 2021, announcement of a signed agreement reinstating “Prime Minister” Abdallah Hamdok, to head an alleged “technocratic” transition government with the goal of creating a civilian-led ruled government in 2023. The feckless United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNTAMIS) “welcomed the agreement.” The Transitionary Sovereignty Council (TSC) failed over the previous two years to form a legislative council, draft a constitution, establish a constitutional court, create an electoral commission, conduct a census to fix parliamentary election districts, or ridings and impanel foreign monitors to ensure free and fair elections. Ever the optimist, US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken said he was “encouraged,” but remained to be convinced of the junta’s intentions.
As to why the October Coup was inevitable witness this policy paper by Suliman Baldo and JR Malley in The Sentry on “Revitalizing Sudan’s Democratic Transition”:
The coup is the result of warped incentive structures that trace back to the Bashir era. The security services power grab followed escalating tensions. Throughout the transition, the security services resisted the imposition of civilian oversight or constraints, balked at discussions of accountability for past atrocities, and maintained a range of commercial interests and relationships with foreign patrons. By seizing power, Sudan’s security services are hijacking the state and preserving the violent kleptocratic system of the Bashir era. Control over the state affords the security services continued opportunities to accrue wealth while shielding against prosecution.
No one in Sudan’s opposition, whether it be the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) that spawned the December 2018 protests against the Bashir/NCP regime and certainly not the Sudan Resistance Forces who didn’t sign the Juba Peace Agreements of October 3, 2021, are buying Hamdok’s lame promise in the midst of a massive nationwide Marches of Millions on October 25, 2021, that “‘I will resign if the political agreement does not serve the interests of Sudan’s people. The Central Leadership Council of the FFC after a November 23, 2021 meeting by 18 FFC members with Hamdok issued a statement saying: “whoever met with Hamdok does not have the mandate to represent the Central Leadership Council.” They doubtless were influenced by Handok’s known association with the hated former Bashir/NCP regime. In 2010, he was nominated for the position of Minister of Financial Affairs even though he rejected the offer. Following the removal of Bashir, he was selected by Sudan’s notorious National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) Director Salah Gush to become Sudan’s Prime Minister.
The Junta leaders, Generals Al-Burhan and Dogolo know that if a civilian government came into being that they and deposed former President Bashir might be remanded for prosecution by the International Criminal Court given outstanding Red Tag indictments. They were complicit in the commission of war crimes of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and human rights violations in Darfur. The combined toll since 2003 has risen to more than 600,000 killed and 5 million displaced internally, several hundred thousand who fled to UNHCR camps in neighboring Chad and other Sahel countries only to live in desperate poverty. The distress created by Hemeti’s rampaging murderous RSF/Janjaweed attacks in Darfur continues. Witness this UNTAMIS report issued during the immediate post-October Coup period:
“Reports indicate that scores of people have been killed and many others injured in fighting between Arabs and Misseriya Jebel in Jebel Moon on 17 and 19 November, with tens of villages burned and some 4,300 people reportedly displaced, many to eastern Chad. We are also alarmed at reports of rape committed against women and girls as well as reports of 20 children missing”.
UNITAMS further reminded the Sudanese authorities “that their responsibility to protect civilians is not diminished despite the current political situation”.
RSF/Janjaweed militias’ attacks forced more than 12,000 villagers sought refuge from Jebel Moon, crossed to the District of Burak, Chad. Documented by Chad TV, November 28, 2021.
Anor Abderhanman Basi Abakar, the representative of Jebel Moon villagers in a video message addressing representative of the Governor of Darfur Region said that the RSF/Janjaweed forces stationed in the area attacked and burned the villages. Furthermore, he said that the militias seized livestock looted homes, and left the villagers with nothing to survive on. These Arab tribal militias who carry out attacks against Darfur villages have been sponsored by Khartoum regimes since 1986.
Pictures of RSF/Janjaweed Attacks Jebel Moon villages on November 17-18 and 19, 2021
Note this November 25, 2021, report by veteran Darfur analyst, Eric Reeves:
What is clearest is that the [Coup-ordered information] blackout has given Arab militias (“RSF/Janjaweed”) a sense of complete impunity, and North Darfur has been the site of the worst violence. West Darfur has also seen a sharp uptick in violence by militias. Village destruction in North and West Darfur has seen rampant this agricultural season. Food security is declining rapidly,
Roiling protests throughout Sudan since the December 2018 protests seeking redress of high unemployment, hyperinflation, and inability to purchase necessities like bread have never abated. The rise of violence by Junta security forces since the October 25th coup has claimed the lives of 42 Sudanese protesters according to the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors (CCSD). The Junta security forces have used live ammunition and tear gas causing these deaths, injuring over 1,000. The Junta and its enforcers have detained hundreds, including journalists, subjecting them to interrogation and torture. Furthermore, the coup leaders have shut down all internet and social media access.
The junta has revealed itself to be the oppressive successors of the brutal regime of long-term Islamist President Basher and his National Congress Party (NCP) deposed and imprisoned in April 2019 following protests by his henchmen, Generals al-Burhan and Dogolo. They had expert counsel in the form of Putin’s ‘little green men” of the Wagner Group – the contractual equivalent of the praetorian guard for the Junta. The events since the October 25th Junta coup have given new meaning to the French expression: “plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose” – the more things change, the more they remain the same. Notwithstanding the Junta’s continued violation of human rights, opposition protesters rallied to another March of the Millions. On November 25, 2021, tens of thousands marched in Khartoum and the country’s six capitals flying flags of those protesters killed by junta security forces.
That begs the question of whether Democracy for Sudan is achievable given the power of the Junta’s security services, notably the foreign Arab tribe dominated RSF/Janjaweed despoiling Darfur and threatening other conflict zones, i.e., South Kordofan, Blue Nile and the Beja state and the backing of autocratic Arab Gulf especially, United Arab Emirates Saudi Arabia and Egypt. This is notwithstanding the US support of Abraham Accord Agreements between these autocracies and Israel, to address the Islamic Republic of Iran’s hegemonic nuclear weapons aspirations and support for Hezbollah, Houthi, and Iraqi Shia Proxies and Muslim Brotherhood terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the region.
We return to The Sentry policy paper to assess the viability of proposed mechanisms to achieve that desired goal for this strategic country in the troubled Sahel Red Sea region. The authors offer the following suggestions:
Financial pressure is essential for building the leverage needed to get the transition back on track. Governments and international agencies should impose targeted network sanctions on the Sudanese officials involved in the coup, as well as those responsible for subsequent abuses perpetrated by the security forces. Sanctions should target the networks of companies controlled by Sudanese military and security agencies. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) should issue an advisory on the money laundering risks associated with the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), and the companies under their control. Finally, financial institutions and the private sector more broadly should not wait for governments to act. Foreign companies, including banks, should assess their commercial ties to Sudan to ensure they are not inadvertently funding Sudan’s security services.
The objectives of negotiators must reflect the stated goals of Sudan’s population. The foundation of any agreement must be the formation of a civilian-led transitional government endowed with full executive powers. The security services—and especially their finances—must be brought under civilian oversight and control. Continued free rein over the country’s lucrative economic sectors and amnesty for the perpetrators of atrocities and war crimes should be off the table.
Other suggested initiatives by the co-authors of this article include, but are not limited to :
Remanding to the ICC for the prosecution of deposed Bashir, Generals Al-Burhan, Hemeti, and others identified as directing the commission of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and human rights violations in Darfur from 2003 to the present.
Dismantling RSF/Janjaweed militias and ejection of foreign new settler families from Darfur to allow the return of 5.4 million Darfuris in the Internally Displaced and UNHCR camps in neighboring Chad to return to their villages and securing indemnification for their losses of properties and livestock.
Purging the command structure of Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), the National Police and National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) who are identified as NCP and Islamic Movement members.
Ending the security contract with the Wagner Group.
Recruitment of internationally qualified non-NCP and Islamic Movement Sudanese to senior staff positions in government ministries.
Maintaining press freedom, access to the internet and social media platforms by all citizens.
The military junta led by Generals Al-Burhan and Dogolo aka Hemeti with NCP allies like “Prime Minister” Abdallah Hamdok in key positions in the so-called “technocratic” transitional government have no intention to establish a constitutional democracy under the rule of law with guarantees of freedom and human rights for all Sudanese. The junta will once again use the cover of the Hamdok faux civilian-led government to deepen its kleptocratic claim on Sudan’s resources while destabilizing the country through sectarian warfare displacing the country’s indigenous populations. This is clearly not in US and Israel strategic interests striving to foster stability and build an effective alliance with this major country in the critical Red Sea region of the troubled Horn of Africa. Five US administrations from Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump, and now Biden have failed to achieve these interests. The Obama Administration lifted 30 years of economic sanctions after the Bashir regime abandoned relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and support for the Palestinian terror group, Hamas. The Trump Administration renewed Sudan’s protective legal shield of sovereign immunity through compromise and release of $7.3 billion US Court awards for Sudan’s complicity in Al Qaeda attacks in East Africa and Yemen for US victims for payment of less than $337 million. Moreover, the Trump Administration facilitated the Abraham Accords between Sudan and Israel that the Hamdok regime failed to execute implementing agreements. The Biden Administration encouraged international financial organizations to provide Sudan with more than $50 billion relief of its towering indebtedness and $2.4 billion interim financing from the UAE. Moreover, the Biden administration offered $700 million to fund transition to a civilian-ruling government. It is for these reasons that we suggest that the Foreign Relations and Foreign Affairs Committees of the US Congress authorize an independent Bi-Partisan Special Investigation to hold hearings and develop guidelines for effective administration policies enabling a democratic transition and viable future for Sudan. An opportunity to initiate such an investigation is presented with the clearance by the US Senate Foreign Relations of the recent nomination of veteran Middle East diplomat John Godfrey as Ambassador to Sudan.
Lt. Gen. Abakar M. Abdallah is chairman of the Sudan United Movement (SUM). He is a native of Kutum, North Darfur, who served as a senior intelligence officer, and a Pan Sahel Counterterrorism unit commander in the Republic of Chad Army. He is a graduate of the US Army Intelligence and Security School and the US Army War College, and co-author of Genocide in Sudan: Caliphate Threatens Africa and the World.
Jerry Gordon is a senior editor at New English Review, co-author of Genocide in Sudan and former producer/co-host at Israel News Talk Radio -Beyond the Matrix.