Title: Elsadig Elmahdi … the road from Kober to Oslo ? By Tharwat Gasim
Author: ثروت قاسم
Date: 05-31-2014, 07:39 PM
In a press conference held on Wednesday 7th May 2014, Elimam Elsadig Elmahdi said at the end of his opening statement that the security situation is worsening in Darfur due in part to the atrocities committed by the Government Janjaweed militias known as the Rapid Support Forces . Imam Elsadig warned that the situation in Darfur is reminiscent of the 2004 atrocities which resulted in the death of over 300 thousands Darfuri , more than one million injured , and the displacement of over 3 million in internal displacement and outside refugee camps.
It is to be recalled that Elimam Elsadig has , on Sunday 27th June 2004 , correctly predicted that the situation in Darfur will ultimately result, if not contained in time, in the intervention of the United Nations and the international community.
As forseen by Elimam Elsadig, on Thursday 31 March 2005, the Security Council , after receiving a report by its International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur, referred the situation in Darfur to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and required all states to co-operate fully. It marked the first time the Council had referred a situation to the Court, and also compelled a country to co-operate with it. This referral resulted in the ICC issuing arrest warrants for several Sudanese officials , including one against President Elbashir.
Wednesday 4th March 2009 , was a historic day for the ICC , Sudan, the international community and for President Elbashir. On that fateful day, President Elbashir became the first sitting president in recorded history to be indicted by an international tribunal for directing a campaign of mass killing , rape and pillage against civilians in Darfur.
The atrocities committed by the Janjaweed militias (Rapid Support Forces ) in Darfur and Kordofan regions have been repeatedly condemned by the Civil and Human Rights socities in Sudan, the Governor of the North Kordofan Province , and the international community including the United Nations Security Council, the United Nations Peacekeeping forces in Darfur ( UNAMID) , the Obama Administration and the European Union, among others . The objective being to stop such atrocities forthwith, to rally with the victims , to seek an international inquiry into such atrocities and to bring the perpetrators to justice .
On Saturday 17th May, some ten days after the press conference , the Government arrested Elimam Elsadig and incarcerated him in the main Kober prison in Kartoum , pending a trial on several counts , including one ( attempt to topple the State by violent means ), which carries an execution punishment.
Several observers believe that the unjust incarceration of Elimam Elsadig is meant to sabotage the process of national dialogue , started by President Elbashir , on Monday 27th January 2014. Elimam Elsadig is one of the main supporters of the national dialogue between the regime and its opponents , both civil and armed , to reach a political settlement of the conflict in Sudan that should result in a democratic transformation and just and comprehensive peace.
Undoubtedly President Elbashir and his cronies got scared that a real ( and not phony ) internationally- supervised national dialogue could unseat them and result in a democratically-elected government , that could hand over citizen-to-be Elbashir to the ICC and try the regime cronies on counts of financial corruption and other human rights abuses. Hence the need to throttle the national dialague championed by Elimam Elsadig in its womb , by incarcerating him on flimsy and absurd charges.
True to its designs, the regime was not duly concerned by the resultant boycott of the Umma Political Party to the national dialogue as for the other political opposition parties of the National Consensus Forces ( NCF ) and the armed Sudanese Revolutionary Front ( SRF), comprising the three Darfur armed factions and the Sudan People Liberation Movement (North) .
For all practical purposes, the incarceration of Elimam Elsadig has killed the national dialogue fetus before it is born. This unfortunate demise of the national dialogue and the incarceration of the Elimam Elsadig was decried by local , regional and international forums and distinguished personalities the world over. And for cause, Elimam Elsadig being an extraordinary and unique personality in several distinguished aspects.
On Thursday 19th December 2002Elimam Elsadig made history by introducing democratic elections and institutions in a traditional religious sect . On that historic day , the Imam of the Ansar religious sect was , for the first time , freely elected by the Ansar rank and file membership, as well as the election of the membership of several of its new-found institutions such as the Shura Council, the Executive Committee and the Arbitration Council.
On that historic day, the traditional religious Ansar sect became a democratic institution, which organizes workshops for , among other activities , the combat of female genital mutilation and other harmful habits .
The implications of such a tectonic move could be a game-changer in international terrorism and radical political islam movements.
If other traditional religious sects of the radical Political Islam such as Alqaida, Taliban, the Shebab , Islamic State in Iraq and Elsham (ISIS), Alnusra Front in Syria , Boko Haram among others , adopted the ballot box as a democratic reference for their activities, international terrorism associated with such sects will vanish overnight.
Democracy is the best and most effective antidote and pancea to all forms of terrorism.
Consequently, the international community should encourage such sects to follow in the footsteps of Elimam Elsadig and introduce democratic institutions and the ballot box in radical movements of political Islam. Democratic discussions within such sects , instead of blind religious obedience , should open many windows and forestall any acts of terrorism.
In his writings and acts, Elimam Elsadig has succeeded in marrying the Koranic principles and Prophet Sayings with modern times and norms. He preaches the real Islam of tolerance, social justice and love.
It is therefore natural of several observers to map a road that should take Elimam Elsadig from Kober to Oslo in 2015 , where he will be honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize. Compared to others who obtained such a prize , he is fully entitled to get it with full colours and honours . If for no other feat than pioneering work that should bring an end to international terrorism associated with radical political islam sects.
International prizes and honours , such as the Nobel Peace Prize , are not newcomers in the household of Elimam Elsadig. Rather it is teaming with them.
Elimam Elsadig was twice the democratic prime minister of Sudan in 1966 and in 1986 before being toppled in each case by a military coup d'etat. He is a member of the distinguished Club of Madrid of past presidents and prime ministers of democratic societies, and is soaked in other intenational acknowledgements and honoring.
In 2006, the Institute of Objective Studies (IOS) in New Delhi, India, selected him as one of the 100 great Muslim Leaders of the twentieth Century in the realm of Leaders and Rulers. He was the only Sudanese citizen in the list.
In 2007 , the Center for Development of Democracy, a local NGO, chose him as the man for Democracy for the year 2007.
In 2009, he was chosen in the 500 most influential Muslim leaders’ list issued by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Amman, Jordan, in cooperation with Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University in the United States.
In January 2013, he was chosen by UNFPA as a goodwill ambassador in combating FGM in Sudan.
On Wednesday 27th November 2013, he was awarded the distinguished Gusi Peace Prize in Manila, Philippines.
In the footsteps of other Nobel laureats before him , who were unjustly incarcerated by repressive regimes , the unjust incarceration of Elimam Elsadig should pave the road for him from Kober to Oslo in 2015 to coronate his distinguished achievements in , among others , the sustained and dogged combat against international terrorism.
In short, Elimam Elsadig is a beacon in the troubled waters of today.