Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Raheem
In the morning of Monday 12 December, the Sudanese president declared the dissolution of the National Assembly (parliament) and imposed a state of emergency throughout the country. He explained in a decree he issued later that the state of emergency will last for three months. In another decree, the president ordered the suspension of some articles in the constitutions, which stipulate the competency of parliament in appointing the Walis, and he transferred this competency to him.
In order to perceive the motive behind these decisions and the event that followed them, it must be noted that the issue of Sudan is not linked to an international struggle, but rather to a political legacy left behind by the former international state of affairs, and to the outcome of the current international situation’s fallout. What is remarkable is that while endeavouring to arrange the statuses of the Great Lakes region and the African Horn, America has adopted most of the regimes and the opposing rebel movements, and since the countries of the region used to adopt the opposition movements of one another, it was imperative for America to restructure those regimes in a manner that leads to ending the role of the opposition, which will in turn lead to settling the disputes between those countries and to the stabilising of their situations. Sudan is one of these countries and it occupies a very strategic geopolitical position, for she borders nine countries and the stability of Sudan will naturally be reflected upon the neighbouring countries.
The Events in Sudan
America brought in the current regime of Al-Bashir in 1989. Al-Bashir succeeded in overthrowing the former prime minister Sadiq Al-Mahdi from power, and he had prior to that held this post in the wake of the 1986 elections, one year after the coup d’état staged by Siwar Al-Thahab, when in his quality as leader of the National Salvation Council, Al-Bashir had held the post of Head of State, prime minister and Chief of Staff. America inspired also her agent Hassan Al-Turabi, leader of the Islamic Front in Sudan and Chairman of the National Assembly to raise the banner of Islam and implement the (Islamic laws) due to the impact of this banner to attract and rally people’s support and make them gather around the regime in order to pull the carpet from under the feet of the Ummah’s Party. Al-Turabi was keen to maintain the state of tension and instability in Sudan and the surrounding areas until he succeeded to rally the opposition around the Islamic Front, including the Ummah’s, which joined the rest of the opposition groups since 1995, under what is called the (National Democratic Front).
In order for America to achieve the stability of Sudan and be able to deal with its rulers directly, and in order to settle all the disputes between the regime and the opposition movements, as well as the neighbouring countries, it was imperative for her to lift its name from the list of states that sponsor terrorism, which Sudan was part of it since 1993. In order to achieve this, America endeavours to restructure Sudan and bury the (Islamic laws) which the regime claimed to have been implementing, and remove Al-Turabi, whose name was linked to the implementation of these laws and to the instigation of tension between Sudan and the neighbouring states, and whose shelf-life has now expired. The United States has assigned the task of dealing with the situation of the regime in Sudan to Egypt and Libya, via what is known as the Egyptian-Libyan initiative, which aims at maintaining the unity of Sudan while leaving the separation of the south a mere probability and subject to a referendum.
In order to achieve this, a meeting took place in Djibouti on 25 November 1999 between the Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir and the leader of the opposition party, i.e. the Ummah Party, Sadiq al-Mahdi. An agreement was reached regarding the announcement of the principles of achieving a comprehensive political solution, known as the (Appeal of the Country), which stipulates the establishment of a pluralistic federal democratic system, that respects the religious, cultural and ethnic pluralism, and adopts a free market policy. It also stipulates the determining of an transitional period of four years, after which a referendum will be held in the south, in order to allow it to chose between a voluntary union with decentralised powers or separation. The agreement has also determined the mechanisms of the political solutions via the EGAD and the Egyptian -Libyan initiatives.
It seems that the political solution will be concluded through the Egyptian -Libyan initiative, because Sudan for its part has recognised all the opposition parties through this initiative, and which in turn has gained the approval of all the Sudanese sides, including the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Sudan, which signed the agreement in Tripoli, and then its leader John Garang returned to declare that the EGAD is better as far as his movement was concerned due to the fact that the Egyptian -Libyan initiative does not explicitly stipulate the right of self-determination, upon which the southerners insist.
The Sudanese information minister Ghazi Al-Utbani mentioned that Sadiq Al-Mahdi had come to Djibouti after he briefed the chairman of the Democratic Assembly (a coalition between the northern opposition and the southern rebels), Uthman Al-Mirghani, and he mentioned that the Sudanese government was in constant touch with Al-Mirghani and its delegates. Uthman Al-Mirghani is also the leader of the opposition party, the Federal Democratic Party. In a statement broadcast by the Libyan media, this party hailed the Libyan efforts to activate the Egyptian -Libyan initiative aimed at achieving stability and peace in Sudan.
This solution will pave the way for the opposition to return from exile and end the differences between the countries of the region. The Sudanese president has invited the opposition parties in exile to partake in the government once they become merged under one (broad national front). He also stated during an interview with the French Press Agency AFP on 20 December 1999: “We call for the formation of a broad political front, that will bring together most of the political forces existent in the arena.
The Sudanese information minister stated that a governmental committee has decided to hold talks with the opposition about a host of constitutional amendments as a prelude towards a national reconciliation.
With regard to stabilising the situation in the region and settling the disputes between the various countries of the region, the decision of Al-Bashir were met with widespread support from Egypt, for the Egyptian foreign minister Amru Moussa declared that Egypt supports wholeheartedly the steps undertaken by the Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir to control matter and stabilise the situation in this brethren state. Egypt has endeavoured to broaden the scope of support for Al-Bashir to include Libya, Saudi and Qatar. She has also began normalising her diplomatic ties with Sudan, which have been severed for five years.
The Sudanese president for his part visited Egypt on 22 December 1999 and Al-Ahram newspaper reported him as saying that he would concentrate during his visit on studying the Egyptian -Libyan initiative for national reconciliation in Sudan. This visit was preceded by a short visit to Libya, where he met the leaders of Uganda, Eritrea, the Congo and Libya. He also signed four treaties with the leaders of these countries. The agreement signed between Al-Bashir and Gaddafi stipulated the activation and the consolidation of the various mechanisms aimed at improving the ties between Khartoum and Tripoli. The agreement between Al-Bashir and Musifini, president of Uganda stipulated the restoration of diplomatic ties to ambassadors level and the settlement of all the issues that had caused tension between the two countries. Al-Bashir has also agreed with the Eritrean president Assyas Afurki to hasten the implementation of the agreements that had been signed before and proceed forward the return of normal bilateral relations.
The Sudanese daily “Public Opinion” mentioned that Gaddafi had revealed that he received a telephone call from Kufi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations, in which he expressed that the United Nations had high hopes for the Tripoli quinqueliteral summit. He added that the United Nations would be prepared to adopt any resolution that the Summit may conclude. It is clear from the aforementioned that the decisions of Al-Bashir is deemed as a declaration of the start of the executive steps aimed at shaping the regime in Sudan anew, so that it could officially enter America’s new world in the wake of a wicked plot aimed also at linking stability and the achievement of economic growth of the country to the cancellation of the so called Islamic orientation of the regime and the establishment of a (democratic, pluralistic system that adopt a free market economy), and in other words a secular Kufr system.
The Media Forum of Hizb ut-Tahrir
23 Ramadhan 1420
30 January 1999