Home | Comment & Analysis    Monday 9 April 2018

Sudan’s chronic situation


By Salah Shuaib

The Sudanese situation has entered a new phase of absurdity. There are no looming signals to give us hope that something fruitful will happen soon in the country. This alone makes the situation more complex if not confusing, to the extent that no political expert can predict the exact direction to which Sudan is now heading. The just notion to express is that the country is now under the worst and most gloomy political and economic situation in its known history.

While al-Bashir, in a challenging way, is still joyfully dancing after every event that he addresses, the country’s societal dilemma is getting worse and worse. Thus, our Islamists have decided to continue to govern no matter what the result is. For them, the main concern now is to maintain their power sustainability, irrespective of their country’s fate - whether it will collapse or rise. This attitude is basically caused by their fears of any political and legal prosecutions that they may face for their massive involvement in corruption, mismanagement, killing and torture.

The future scenarios mentioned by many political pundits are still there, but perhaps more than one is going to be witnessed. Unfortunately, the average Sudanese citizen is now daily crunched by hardship in life. In fact, the Sudanese, after the current high increase in prices messing up their living conditions, have hoped to topple the regime through demonstrations, which took place several months ago.

Certainly, at this stage, Sudan is suffering from the misutilization of history, management and economy, but its problems are also related to religious issues. In a general observation, the economy indisputably affects everything human. But the deterioration of our economic state is due to previous presidents’ mismanagement. They have abused all political science options and, therefore, the case will not be fixed by economic scientists alone.

No doubt that the economic crisis, which Sudan is suffering from, is not a recent one or the one caused by the prevailing regime alone. It is also related to ideological and historic failures and, more importantly, to the Islamization trends that hurt Sudan’s stability.

Despite that, al-Bashir and his corrupt inner circles are solely responsible for the current severe deterioration of our economy. Since they have failed to hold themselves accountable for their doings, the president and his Islamist colleagues have damaged the country’s resources and then its economy has lost all chances of growth.

In this era, if we consult well trained and experienced economists about the shortest way to enhance economic chances in the country, they would raise the issue of political system transparency in the first place. There are no reasons for the weakness of Sudanese economy. It has a strong potential arising from its rich resources, and it can recover if a new transparent politics is to govern Sudan.
It is the responsibility of the rationally political leadership to mix the political and economic variables to maximize the economy’s yield and hence lower people’s suffering. It is the responsibility of the political leadership, too, to use the extensive knowledge and experience many Sudanese economists possess instead of ignoring them simply for ideological reasons.

Based on my own experience, I can give one example on that. My longtime friend Hassan Mohamed Noor, an economics professor, rejected all the opportunities offered to him by universities and companies in the Gulf and some other parts of the world. He preferred to stay in the country’s leading university to contribute to graduating a new generation of Sudanese economists.

The funny, yet painful, fact is that many of them left the country after graduation, leaving him there to continue his academic struggle alone. Most of his valuable utterances went almost unrecorded, together with his presentations and economic prescriptions through TV channels, academic seminars and newspapers, which no one is paying attention to, only for being non-Islamic.

One of the ideas prevailing now in the media domain is the potentiality of defeating the regime by its own election, as had been presented by our colleagues al-Sirr Sid Ahmed and al-Noor Hamed, who want us to believe in their notion of fixing the country’s direction, so our economy, among other things, could be progressing.

They argue that there is a chance to, at least, use the process to connect with urban and rural voters. They pointed out that the only way to activate our political organizations is to accept the participation in the 2010 election, meaning that we must change the regime attitude by the regime attitude itself. Besides the fact that it is a risky idea, there is no even a simple evidence, provided by both writers, that the regime’s election is primarily not a major lie. Honestly, let us assume that the opposition parties have controlled the parliament seats, can they be capable to curb Salah Gosh’s degenerate guys, or reform the army which contains many of the Islamists who are able to undergo another military coup? Frankly, my own argument is that the Sudanese Islamists look at their political Islam the same way Francis Fukuyama has looked at the Western liberal democracy, in his book titled The End of History and the Last Man, as the ultimate system mankind can achieve!
In fact, our Islamists have said that Sudan’s history has ended with an Islamic state and that the one who plans to alter it into a secular one is not yet born! Anyhow, the facts on the ground state that General Hamdan Himety alone, not the National Congress Party, is able to reelect al-Bashir for a third term!

Accordingly, it is worth mentioning that those who have founded the regime and those who opposed it live in a similar degree of political frustration, due to such a political and economic disorder. Some are so desperate that they suffer from psychological turbulences that blind them of seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
Yes, there were some Islamists who became frustrated by the status quo that was settled by their leaders before three decades ago. Now, their frustration is due to several reasons. Some are afraid of losing the impact on Sudan’s political future in the event of a radical political change, and some may be afraid that the country will turn into a secular one forever. In addition to that, there are Islamists who have lost the ability to contribute now and thus are caught between hating the regime’s leader, on one hand, and fearing of the opposition on the other hand.

For the Sudanese Islamists, the case of the political and economic dilemma is caused by the failure of the Islamic project that brought this societal mess, but at the level of opposition, frustration varies with the diversity of the opposition, where it is composed of ideological, regional, military and professional backgrounds.
With all that, one, however, wishes the Sudanese good luck to abandon their miserable situation soon and live in a progressive condition. Since the Sudanese elites have historically neglected their ethical responsibilities, failed to achieve the peaceful transfer of power, and to preserve the social fabric, the best option is to depend on the new generation. Yet, we have not completely lost hope that there is a possibility of change if the influenced, elderly elites are to assert their love of their homeland more than themselves. This is the bet.

The writer is a Sudanese journalist. He can be reached at salshua7@hotmail.com

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