By Mahmoud A. Suleiman
November 5, 2012 — First and foremost while one does not condone any assault on the sovereignty of the Sudanese soil, it is pointless to have weapons factories serving the interests of foreign countries. This makes Sudan an area unnecessarily open for foreign military interventions. It has been more appropriate for the National Congress Party (NCP) regime to work towards containing the crises resulting from its absurd internal wars it wages against the citizens by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) in Darfur and the rest of the country. What hurts more is that the National Islamic Front (NIF) regime never learns from its fateful mistakes of harbouring terrorist groups, allowing smuggling of weapons to other countries through its territories and establishing military relations with countries classified as rogue states suspected for being in violation of the international law. Nevertheless, the regime goes on to commit the very crimes in a systematic manner without being deterred by the consequences of the mistakes resulting from intransigence, lack of wisdom in the management of the state that might arise from their baseless sheer arrogance. Such Behaviours are enough to attract and bring the hostility from those affected by the thoughtless and reckless childish acts. As long as things remain in the country at the same pace, style and state of affairs, isn’t it high time for all the Sudanese people to rise up to overthrow this nightmare, throw it into the garbage dustbin of history once and for all?
This article comes against the backdrop of the aerial strike of the Yarmouk weapons factory (Yarmouk Complex for Military Industries) in the south of the Sudanese national capital Khartoum, the seat of the National Congress Party (NCP) regime on Tuesday the 23rd October 2012. As usual, the information Minister warned that his government ‘reserves the right to strike back’ after blaming Israel for the attack. He continued to say: “We are now certain that this flagrant attack was authorized by the same state of Israel. Four radar-evading planes coming from the east bombed the Yarmouk industrial complex around midnight on Tuesday” He went on: “The main purpose is to frustrate our military capabilities and stop any development there, and ultimately weaken our national sovereignty”.
The (NIF) and its progeny the despotic (NCP) regime have been giving the same flimsy excuses for almost a quarter of a century for their failings to protect the land of Sudan and maintaining the sovereignty of the state from the violation of invading foreign powers. The failure of the (NIF) and its successor the (NCP) to maintain the Sovereignty of Sudan is attributable to their lack of legitimacy of their coming to power through the ill-fated coup d’état on June 30th 1989. Furthermore, the NCP bigots have forgotten the duty to protect the country and its people. They simply buried the moral compass behind the doctrine of self-Empowerment and fiddling for becoming superrich-wealthy and to better themselves, at the expense of the helpless citizens who live in hardship, at all costs. The people of Sudan are sick and tired of listening them through their National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) spokesman using lying machine spreading rumours, sedition and fraud. Thus, the Sovereignty of Sudan is lost at the hands of the shameless NIF/ NCP Putschists regime forever. Blessed are the old days, which went in vain from the age of Sudan under the racist minority rule who suffer from inferiority complex and claim Arabism and deny their African origin despite their physical features and facial characteristics to adapt for the climate such as black/dark skin, curly hair, thick lips and big noses expose the lie of their claims.
Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) replaced Sudan Defence Force (SDF) soon after the last British troops left Sudan for good by the end of August 1955. According to the 2011 estimates of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), a British Research Institute or a think tank, (SAF) has 109300 troops. Furthermore, the Federal Research Division of the Library of the US Congress estimated that the Popular Defence Force (PDF), the military wing of the (NCP) forms about 10000 active members whereas 85000 are reserves, deployed alongside the regular army units against the Sudanese various groups. The 2001 annual budget for (SAF) was estimated as $4 Billion. Nevertheless, (SAF) has squarely failed in the undertaking of its mission to secure the country’s borders and has instead channeled its energy into killing citizens, thwarting democracy and propping up dictators since the independence from the British on the 1st January 1956. Out of Sudan’s 56 post-Independence years the people of the country suffered 45 years under three despotic totalitarian military dictatorship regimes. Military regimes started by the 17th November 1958 Coup d’état led by General Ibrahim Abboud and his military junta of 8 generals that was ousted by a popular uprising in 1964. It followed by the 25th May 1969 coup d’état presided by Jaafer Mohammed Nimeiri, it was also overthrown by a popular uprising in April 1985, giving a respite for a democratically elected governments made up of motley coalition between contentious political parties. As expected, after just four years, the National Islamic Front (NIF) overthrew the democratically elected government in a military coup led by the then- Brigadier Omer al-Bashir on June the 30th 1989 and to date. During the lean years of the reign of the NIF/NCP the Sudanese people suffered varieties of woes in the form of torture in the infamous ghost houses, killings that amounted to ethnic cleansing and genocide in Darfur, displacement, poverty, deprivation of basic services and loss of livelihood. As it is shown, Sudan had only three democratically elected governments with interrupted parliamentary terms since independence as follows: 1956-1968, 1965-1969 and 1986-1989! There is no doubt about the catastrophic failure of the political elites that ruled Sudan after the independence. Nevertheless, the military institution in Sudan did not allow opportunity or enough time for democratic governance to be practice on the ground.
(SAF) has over the decades avoided performing its duties and evaded core responsibilities of protecting the country and the peoples against foreign enemies. Instead it became grossly part of the cause of issues of the country and the suffering of its people. (SAF) is part of the woes that blighted the people of Sudan in general and the citizens of Darfur in particular. The people of Sudan in Darfur are earnestly and skeptically asking as to whether there is any feasibility or the need for having the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) which are exploited by the (NCP) regime in targeted killing of unarmed citizens that include children, women and elderly using aerial bombardment by Russian made Mig29 & Antonov and Iranian Shihab missiles and universally banned weapons for more than ten years on the line in Darfur? The outcome of the (SAF) waged civil wars in Darfur and elsewhere is destruction of the fragile infrastructure of schools, health centres and houses of worship, along with farms and livestock, depriving IDPs the source of food by refusing access of Humanitarian Assistance to the needy, in explicit defiance to the International Community, which seems unwilling or unable to act or acting with double standards. The NCP regime controlled (SAF) has attempted to create a scorched earth policy to replace the indigenous population by bringing in mercenaries from neighboring countries to occupy the land of and looting the wealth-rich region and depriving its people of livelihoods. The arms which are produced in the Yarmouk factory are not being used to protect the national interests of Sudan; instead they are only being used against the Sudanese people – all over the country. Therefore, no one will be shedding tears in sorrow for the alleged Israeli bombing of Yarmouk military weapons factory; the gains of keeping the (SAF) do not worth the cost.
Ironically, there are a huge and uncountable number of army officers in the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) enjoy countless military titles, their shoulders decorated embellished with shiny golden badges wearing red boaters on the heads, but never fought a single battle against a foreign enemy; their task is centred on issuing orders to kill civilian populations. Such undertaking should not justify their upkeep and payment of lucrative salaries and privileges generously along with ongoing promotion to the higher senior military ranks. Political analysts indicate that the people of Sudan would be better off if they dispense with the (SAF) and invest the money for development in the fields of education, health care, infrastructure, combating poverty and illiteracy, building what have been destroyed by the senseless wars through the decades of independence.
In a televised interview conducted by the Blue Nile Channel, the (NCP) President Field Marshal Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir was asked if he would agree to the flaws in the huge budget allocated for the security and defense compared to the meager one that has been allocated for health services and education; the President replied without hesitation: “If a government’s budget dedicated for the armed forces is derisorily small, we cannot have a strong security and if any state without security, strong enemies and people will take a look above us!” The fact that the state budget did not stray too far from the ideas of President, in that the Government of the (NCP) has allocated the amount of (1700) billion Sudanese pounds for security, defense and police, and is equal to (77% of the total budget of the state, and on top of that – the amount (121) billion for the rehabilitation of buildings of the Ministry of Defence. It is obvious that the Sudanese public might find some difficulty as to what the meaning of the foregoing numerical figures without realizing the fact that the Education budget for the whole Sudan is only amounted to (31) billion Sudanese pounds!
Political analyst and writer Ustaz Saif-aldowla Hmdnaallah Abdelgader said writing an article on the (SAF) that “Since July 1940, when Sudan Defence Force (SDF) entered in the battle against the Italian forces in al-Gallabat region on the Ethiopian border during the British colonization of Sudan, the Sudanese Armed forces have not launched live ammunition against anyone other than a citizen in whose veins runs Sudanese blood!
The Sudanese minister of defense, the ICC indicted, Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein, accompanied by the chief of staff of the (SAF) and the director-general of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) Mohammed Atta has visited South Kordofan capital Kadugli and El-Fasher, North Darfur capital, on Saturday 27th October 2012 soon after the alleged Israeli attack with missiles on Al-Yarmouk military factory in Khartoum. The purpose of the visits to the two state capitals was to prepare for launching attacks against the Sudanese civilians population, instead, to ward off their intense feelings of anger for the alleged Israeli attack on the Yarmouk weapons factory on Tuesday 23rd October 2012.
It has become the norm and a tradition for the NCP regime to mobilize its killing machine to launch an attack on unarmed citizens in the Darfur region to ward off the anger arising from the humiliating defeat they have faced from a foreign aggression such as the alleged Israeli attack or from an issuance of a Resolution from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) implicating symbols of the regime in war crimes and crimes against humanity and their referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes committed against the citizens. This NCP phenomenon is a kind of feeling of inadequacy when the attainment of a goal is blocked. It is termed by psychologists as “displaced anger” which is the type of anger partially defensive displaced onto an object resembling the original object of anger! The other goal is to try to divert attention of the Sudanese people and others from what has happened to the Yarmouk weapons factory of airstrike in Khartoum. That is the truth of the matter of the systematic mistakes (AKA Crimes) since the arrival of the Muslim Brotherhoods to power through a Military Coup d’état to rule Sudan with an iron fist.
The Logo of the blokes in the military Services is used to be “We have not and will not relinquish one inch of the land of the country to an intruder” is no longer applies in the NCP Sudan. Currently, the (SAF), as the poet says in his poem which became one of the parables: (SAF) simulates a Lion’s pounce on its prey when launching killing spree on Sudanese civilians, but behaves like an Ostrich in confronting the invading foreign armies!
The Sudanese army has repeatedly failed to protect the land of Sudan and maintain its borders that include Halayeb triangle which is composed of three cities Halayeb, Shalatin and Abu Ramad in which two hundred thousand Sudanese citizens live has been annexed and occupied by the Egyptian forces. The size of the occupied land is to more than 20 thousand square kilometers. The National Salvation Revolution (NSR) did not dare even to denounce that annexation of Sudanese land by a foreign force. The silence of the NIF was due to the regime’s implication in the attempted assassination of the-then Egyptian president Mohammed Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa in 1995. More Sudanese land still remains occupied by foreign neighbouring states. The North-West Desert Triangle of Sudan is under the Libyan rule. Moreover, the Ilemi Triangle, named after the Anuak Chief Ilemi Akwon, borders Ethiopia and with a size of 10300 -14000 square kilometres (3985- 5405 square miles) disputed between Sudan before independence of South Sudan, and Kenya. The latter occupies the triangle. The triangle is in the north-western corner of Lake Turkana, formerly Lake Rudolf. In the year 1995, the Ethiopian government annexed and occupied the area of Fashaga, a fertile agricultural project, with a size of 251 square kilometers, and is located between the Rivers State and Atbara and 70 kilometers to the south of the city of Gedaref. Thus Sudan’s name under the NIF/NCP rule remains synonymous with famine, poverty, starvation and food aid. It is enough is enough and high time for all sectors of the Sudanese people to work in a collective effort to oust the failed despotic (NCP) regime.
Dr. Mahmoud A. Suleiman is the Deputy Chairman of the General Congress for Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). He can be reached at [email protected]