Home | Comment & Analysis    Saturday 21 April 2018

Bring Sudanese troops home now

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By Salah Shuaib

The Sudanese troops fighting hard now in Yemen, who were sent there by order of al-Bashir, should return home. The process of implementing this task is much challenging. But, we urgently should initiate a broad and stormy civil movement to help our sons get out from this Iranian-Saudi sectarian conflict.

Thinking profoundly about this dilemma, we should have a comprehensive perspective to deal with the high casualties facing our young troops participating in that war zones. In the absence of justifiable ethical reason concerning the participation of the country’s armed forces in the conflict, the news of the systematic death of these Sudanese youth in the Yemeni battlefields is painful, sad and Heartbreaking.

Almost all the soldiers sent to Yemen are victims of poverty, which is caused by Al-Bashir’s policies. Whether some of them have volunteered to join the mission or are merely ordered by the government to participate in it, they are all faced with a painful reality. Given the fact that there is no place for them in the country’s miserable workplaces, fighting for Al-Bashir is their only option available to them now.

Thus, the single aim our troops pursue in Yemen is to secure their economic status only by killing their war rivals. The other reason for this participation in war is that al-Bashir seeks the Gulf’s internationally influenced boost so that he could attain a personal advantage from sending our troops to the pyre.

Since he is almost always obsessed and surrounded by an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court, ICC, al-Bashir, in putting our sons in the battle front-line, targets two things: sustaining his regime economically and maintaining his regional defence against the ICC’s inevitability.

Last week, according to a Radio Dabanga report, "hundreds of Darfuris were reportedly transported from El Geneina airport in West Darfur to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in two large aircraft, for military training. They will then be deployed by Sudan in the war in Yemen."

Sources in El Geneina told Radio Dabanga that "the recruitment process is carried out by officers of the UAE. According to the sources, "each recruit who is fit to fight and is no more than 30 years old would be given SDG1 million (*$55,000) in advance to sign a service contract for five years."

Ironically, despite that al-Bashir has ventured to send Sudanese these troops to fight in Yemen, but his regime didn’t get any assistance from the Kingdom, the initiator of the Yemeni war. And this proves that al-Bashir’s priority in this sectarian conflict was to get personal gains from it since he is more preoccupied with the ICC issue, rather than by protecting the holy lands, as he justified his decision to enter Sudanese troops in the battlefields.

Paradoxically, while Sudan witnesses now severe economic crises under the watch of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries- even the worst fuel crises are currently existing - Egypt has been receiving all kinds of political and mouthwatering economic assistance from the same countries, despite the position it took to send no single soldier to Yemen.

Unfortunately, Sudan has lost the Hala’ib Triangle due to the regime’s adventures to assassinate the former president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, during the first half of the 1990s. Also, Alfashga, a fertile agricultural land located in eastern Sudan, has been counted as lost, too.

Ironically, al-Bashir sent the Sudanese soldiers to die fighting on behalf of others while his main responsibility requires instructing the troops to liberate their occupied lands.

Besides, some Sudanese provinces significantly suffer from the absence of security, where criminal gangs daily attack citizens. Known as having active human smuggling and trafficking networks in its eastern borders, Sudan has failed to stop such disgraceful acts.

Also, some gangs that terrorize citizens exist in the country’s capital, as its security officials acknowledged; subsequently, the localities have failed to curb this new phenomenon.

In fact, deploying Sudanese troops to help enhance security in Khartoum and other areas, instead of fighting in Yemen, is a necessarily needed task. But, it is certain that al-Bashir’s interest has always been above the people’s, so do not be surprised by his deliberate recklessness of the security of his own country.

The regime’s fake parliament has ignored discussing the president’s decision to send Sudanese troops to Yemen. In fact, most of the members of parliament themselves are always instructed to follow al-Bashir’s policy, and not to state a word of objection or rejection.

But, it is strange that the Popular Congress Party’s parliament members have preferred not to question the Sudanese defence minister about the escalation of the death toll of the Sudanese soldiers engaging in the battlefields.

Of course, the so-called independent media working in the country cannot criticize the regime’s military matters. Therefore, the Sudanese opposition should exercise pressures on al-Bashir to withdraw the country’s troops who are playing the role of the mercenaries.

In fact, all previous Sudanese governments were keen to take neutral positions in the Arab conflicts and willing to contribute to solving them peacefully. Social media efforts, which is the only room for our opposition parties to connect with the victims’ parents, must be intensified to lobby for bringing our sons back home.

Since there are no any convincing moral justifications for Sudanese troops to participate in such a sectarian conflict, which helps only in deepening the existing gap between Sunni and Shiite, all of us should stand firmly against the continuation of the presence of our troops in the Yemeni battlefields. We must act now and campaign to bring these troops back home.

Still, there is room to preserve Sudanese soldiers’ souls who bear the responsibility of escalating the heavy combat, even though Saudi Arabia’s troops are the ones who should bravely be responsible for achieving the mission.

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



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