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Will ISIS be reborn in Sudan؟ by Elrayah H. Khalifa

05-02-2019, 00:35 AM
Elrayah Hassan Khalifa
<aElrayah Hassan Khalifa
Registered: 05-02-2019
Total Posts: 1






Will ISIS be reborn in Sudan؟ by Elrayah H. Khalifa

    00:35 AM May, 01 2019

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    In mid-December, the 2018 protests broke out in several Sudanese cities due to the high cost of living and deterioration of economic conditions. The demonstrations quickly turned from demanding economic reform into calling on Al-Bahir, President of Sudan and members of his regime, to step down. The government start dealing with protestors in an extremely violent manner. Thousands of people, men, women, young, old were detained. Some of them faced unthinkable torture. Human Rights Watch was able to obtain a video showing government forces’ extreme violence and shocking abuses against protesters. Human rights stated that “there is irrefutable evidence that Sudan is using ruthless violence and brutality against peaceful protesters and critics of the government.” However, the brutality of this government did not have a limit; they didn’t only use tear gas, rubber bullets, but they used live ammunition to disperse and stop demonstrators. As a result of these extreme measures, more than sixty people were killed and hundreds were wounded.
    Despite threats from the government, demonstrations did not stop; their numbers increased and have been remarkably steadfast and preserved until they were able to depose Al-Bashir. The demonstrators chose the General Command Building of the army as a hub for their sit-in; where they started putting more pressure on the government. Realizing that the momentum of the demonstration continued unabated, some military personnel suggested that killing a hundred or so, from the protestors, would scare the rest away and would eventually end their movement. Another famous religious leader issued a fatwa to the President; that it was okay to kill the third or half of your populations in order to maintain law and order for the rest. In the meantime millions of young women and men intransigently gathered in their hub; singing national songs chanting slogans and vowing not to return home until they win back their country. Regrettably, the international community failed to give these events the appropriate attention, until after the media caught the image of this 22-year-old woman standing on top of a car leading the protests; chanting slogans and the crowd repeating after her.

    Due to the mounting pressure, the Vice President announced that he was removing President Omer Al-Bahir. But no significant change was noticed. Demonstrators were quick to discover the shenanigans and were not impressed by this move, because they knew that this was a continuation of Omer Al-Bashir's regime. They started putting more pressure demanding the arrest of the corrupt symbols of the outgoing regime and the handover of power to a civilian government. In 24 hour time, the Vice-President whose name was Awad Ibn Auf stepped down; paving the way for another general to take over.
    Abdelfattah Burhan stepped in to became the President of the Sudanese Military Council, (SMC) which consists of 10 members. Mr. Burhan took it upon himself to respond to the demonstrators, whose demands are to immediately and unconditionally step aside in favor of a civilian-led transitional government. The European Union and the African Union already gave the SMC an Ultimatum to turn the government to civilians.
    In an insidious move, the SMC selected one of its members, Gen. Omar Zain al-Abdin, who was the head of al-Bashir’s party within the military and was trying to bring back the deposed regime, to be in charge of the political affairs. Abdin was an overzealous and extreme Islamist who, at one point, was in charge of training the followers of Osama Bin Laden when the latter was in Sudan in the early nineties. Instead of meeting with the Forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change, (FDFC) the real representative of the demonstrators, Gen. Abdin chose to meet with the remnants of the old regime, in an open affront to the demonstrators and the overwhelming majority of the Sudanese people. Among those who met with Gen. Abdin was the notorious religious leader, Abd Alhay Yousif who commemorated Osama Bin Laden. He was also famous for inciting hatred by using religious rhetoric to terrorize his opponents. And according to the council for Sudanese Religious Scholars; it was this man who issued the famous fatwa indicated earlier. He also issued a fatwa advocating for suicide attacks. These are the kind of people Gen. Abdin, the delegate of the SMC, decided to meet with.

    Demonstrators and the rest of Sudanese denounce Gen. Abdin and demand vehemently, the SMC to remove him. The SMC succumbed to the mounting pressure and agreed to oust him. The FDFC, which include; Sudanese Professional Associations, National Consensus Forces, Sudan Call Forces, and Opposing Unionist Group, formed a joint committee with the SMC to discuss the formation of a transitional government and determine the term of the transitional period. Seemingly, the Islamists, who lack the popular support and have worked diligently to undermine the demonstration movement; are now working covertly and overtly to hold back the SMC from making any decision in favor of the FDFC. The demonstrators feel that the SMC is vulnerable, polarized and as such is not capable of making any viable decision. Saudi Arabia and the UAE pledged the SMC $3 billion. In my view, this was a bribe from these two countries; to continue supporting the Saudi-led coalition war in Yamen, where Gen. Burhan, the President of The SMC, was the military personnel who oversaw the Sudanese troops fighting there. President Sisi of Egypt has a great interest in having a military government in his backyard; as he is facing severe criticism domestically and internationally after he amended the Egyptian constitution to give him another five years in power. His attempts to meddle in the Sudanese domestic affairs are met with public anger.
    The situation in Sudan is tense and I believe this is the right time for the International Community to put more pressure on the SMC to hand over the government to the civilians, who are now prepared, with their vision and personnel to rule. Inside Sudan now there are three armies: the official Sudanese military army who has been significantly weakened by the previous regime for fear of military Coup, the Fast Support militia which consists of more than 70 thousand, well-armed and well-trained forces. They have heavy military equipment more advanced than the official army, the third is the shadow militia and the security forces; which the previous government used to disperse the demonstrations.
    Patrons of the old regime would not give up without a fight; they have tried persistently to undercut this great revolution; by pursuing numerous tactics. They manipulated the social media, the only means of communications, and started spreading lies, false information, orchestrating a campaign of character assassination against the leading personnel of the movement. But all their attempts have failed. Their evil deeds; which they carried out throughout the course of the thirty years, the terms of the previous regime, and their unwavering attempts to debilitate the revolution every step of the way, credited them overriding public anger. Yes, Islamists are now Sudanese public enemy number one. For thirty years the Islamists controlled the wealth and power in Sudan and excluded the rest of the population. They built palaces to live in, drove luxurious cars, opened offshore bank accounts with millions of dollars, sent their sons and daughters to study abroad at the cost of Sudanese tax money. They further, depleted the country from its wealth and impoverished its population, most of whom moved out of the country in unprecedented brain drain. They transferred the oil and the gold revenues to their pockets. They also contracted the fertile land to the Arab billionaires; some contracts would last tens of years and the considerations of these contracts were divided among themselves.
    Accordingly, Islamists would not watch their mundane world fall apart; they would use every possible means to protect it. The only hope, if any, which is left for them inside Sudan are the security forces and the Shadow forces. These forces cannot stand against the Sudanese army, much-less the Fast Support Forces. It is highly likely that Islamists might plead with the Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood and all the terrorist organizations in the region to help them save the last stronghold of Islam. The coordination between the Islamists and the SMC’s influential members would give the former a leverage to communicate and facilitate any forces and or equipment. The Islamists are now setting the stage to orchestrate their plan by paying lip-service to the fate of Sharia in the current political change, hoping that this rhetoric could change the hearts and minds of the masses of people. If this plan fails, which all indications point to that; then they would resort to plan B; appealing to the international terrorist groups.
    Sudanese people are rightly skeptical about the way SMC members conduct themselves. At first, they assigned three members, who were known to be against the revolution, to meet with FDFC, when this conspiracy failed, they became too dismissive of the demands of the FDFC and uniquely deferential of the old regime remnants’ corrupt actions. All the limited actions which were taken against the remnants of the old regime were initiated or proposed by the citizens and the SMC had to follow through.
    The SMC perceives itself as the pivotal factor in the success of the revolution and hence should be credited with the Supreme Council; with powers correspond with those of the President of the government. I believe by allying itself with the masses of the people, the SMC did nothing more than its core duty, which is maintaining security and order in the country. It is the outstanding consensus of the masses of the Sudanese young women and men which brought the government to its knees. What The SMC has done; was declaring the death of the regime. This step alone in my judgment, should not give the SMC the upper hand to decide in the future of the country. They should not stand in the way of the FDFC to form its civilian government; a claim demanded by millions; who are now looking anxiously to reap the fruit of their historic revolution. Is the SMC ready and willing to do that or is it going to procrastinate and enable remnants of the old regime to seek help from terrorist groups in neighboring countries and make chaos in Sudan؟ One cannot rule out the fact that Islamists who are on the verge of losing their fortunes and their religious prerogatives; can use whatever it takes to regain their power. Now is the time for The SMC to play a patriot role and save the country from falling into the abyss; by turning over the power to a civilian government.

    Elrayah H. Khalifa
    Monterey California
    [email protected]
































                  

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