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Sudan: Omar Al Bashir Faces The Natural Fate

Since the end of the colonization period, the Middle East and the Horn of Africa region has been a fertile ground for breeding dictators. Its countries seemed perpetually locked up in a competition on who produces the worst dictator. Surprisingly, the endless neck to neck race didn’t produce a single winner. They all won.

Finally, Omar Al Bashir, the deposed president, the Dancing Queen of Sudan, lost. They lowered him from the podium and made him sit on a wooden throne, inside a metal cage. He is not likely to dance again anytime soon.

Al Bashir came to court accompanied by an entourage similar to the one that accompanied him during the last thirty years. A convoy of military cars with heavily armed guards escorted him like a wounded animal to a Khartoum court where he told the judge of his address: Kober prison! That is where he has been staying since the military deposed him in April.

The Sudanese News Agency reported, as expected, the 75-year old Al Bashir told the court about the source of a stash of money in grain sacks found in his possession. In June, the chairman of the military council had confirmed it seized more than $100 million cash money in different currencies at Al Bashir’s residence.

According to reports, Al Bashir admitted in court that he received $90 million from Saudi Arabia. Of course, Saudi Arabia, the generous donor, the new big daddy of the region’s dictators. However, the throng of about 80 lawyers defending Al Bashir has rejected the accusation of “illicit gain” charge against their client.

The court also discovered the Saudi heir apparent has sent Al Bashir installments of cash through Sudanese expatriates living in Saudi Arabia. They must have appeared at the airport pretending to be carrying gifts of Mecca Zemzem water from MBS. The Saudi faucet in Al Bashir’s residence has been spitting dollars since 2015 when the late King Abdalla ruled Saudi Arabia. A smaller faucet had also spitted at least $1 million from a UAE sheikh.

A Sudanese activist commented, “the stash of different currencies found in Al Bashir’s residence gave the impression he runs a currency-exchange business on the side.”

The ex-Sudanese dictator will have to present more explanations when he visits the court again. He will probably make more visits to the court, more than a patient visits his dentist for a root canal treatment. Major charges will likely be thrown at him: the Darfur genocide that started in 2003, displacing millions of Darfuri civilians, and causing the death of hundreds of thousands more. The International Criminal Court and other world organizations are spearheading the charges. But the warmup for all of the charges will start with trials on the crime of killing demonstrators before his removal from office. Once the trials are over in Sudan, the sympathizers of Al Bashir should hope Slobodan Milošević’s cell in the Hague is treated with a coat of fresh paint.

The credit for unseating Al Bashir on April 11 goes to the relentless and free-spirited Sudanese people, particularly the Kandakas, the Sudanese women whose exemplary role must be imitated to start a new phase in the struggle to liberate Africans.

At last, the 11-member Sovereign Council composed of five-members of the Transitional Military Council ( TMC) and five from the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) is formed. The Sovereign Council has elected the eleventh member, Dr. Abdalla Hamdouk, who arrived in Khartoum from Addis Ababa to lead the government.

Dr. Hamdouk, a renowned economist, worked out of Addis Ababa as the secretary general of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, in addition to his role serving as an expert consultant to the Sudanese government.

The Sovereign Council members were expected to be sworn in on Monday, however, they postponed the ceremony for a few days.

Another major achievement is the appointment of a Sudanese Copt in the Sovereign Council; the Copts were relegated to the sidelines by successive military regimes.

The Isaias Afwerki Angle

After a year-long jamboree celebrated prematurely, the ill-fated agreement between Dr. Abiy Ahmed, the PM of Ethiopia, and Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea, has remained elusive with no tangible progress. Observers still believe Dr. Abiy jumped too fast into the Isaias pool.

Until recently, Isaias Afwerki had enjoyed a considerable influence in the Sudanese politics and seemed confident his influence will never wane.  Since the early 1990s, Isaias has been blackmailing Al Bashir by taking advantage of the anti-terrorism campaign led by the West. However, the people of the region know that the governments that the West supports and  cajoles have made the region a breeding ground of all types of discontent and instability, and extremism.

Taking advantage of the situation in the early nineties, and encouraged by president Clinton, Isaias hosted, trained, and armed different Sudanese groups and declared his intention to overthrow the Al Bashir regime. But when he failed in realizing that, he used the armed groups as a bargain chip to pressure the Sudan, which offered him concessions in matters of security and economy. Finally, in October 2006, Isaias’ pressures paid handsomely when he played a role in the negotiation between the Sudanese Government and its opposition groups that operated from Eritrea. The settlement (Eastern Sudan Agreement) secured senior position for Isaias’ men in the Sudan, including a few gubernatorial and ministerial portfolios. Thereafter, it became so difficult  for Eritrean dissidents and opposition groups to operate in Sudan.

For most of the last twenty years, Isaias’ intelligence operatives and hit men roamed freely in the Sudan terrorizing Eritrean dissidents. Meanwhile the Eritrean ruling party’s economic arm upgraded its wide network of smuggling agants, money transfer and exchange operators, as well as other trading ventures in eastern Sudan.

Sometimes it seemed as if a few Sudanese security officers received their orders from Eritrea as they harassed Eritrean dissidents and escapees by returning them to Eritrea, under duress. The whereabouts of many of the forcefully returned individuals is still unknown but no doubt they faced the fate for which the Eritrean government is notoriously known—arresting citizens and making them disappear.

Last June, PM Abiy floated a proposal to mediate between the Sudanese, the FFC and the TMC. Both accepted the offer which became a joint Ethiopian and African Union project. Isaias did not like that and advised the TMC to reject “foreign interventions”, and that could only mean Abiy Ahmed’s mediation. However, he didn’t mention anything regarding the several visits his allies, the Saudi and UAE diplomats, made or the meetings their ambassadors held in Khartoum.

Last Saturday, the leader of Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Chad, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, and the Ethiopian envoy,  attended the  agreement signing in Khartoum. In addition, Ambassador Mahmoud Derir, the Ethiopian and  Mohamed El Hassan Labbat, African Union Envoy, and many accredited diplomats in Khartoum attended. As expected, Isaias Afwerki’s absence confirmed his rejection of the agreement reached between the TMC and FFC. A Sudanese opposition member said, “Isaias thinks he has the absolute power to dictate conditions in  Sudan.”

Finally, like everything with good beginnings in the region, there is a chance (though slim) that the current agreement could collapse if the Sudanese do not manage to insulate themselves from the current regional menace—mainly the ambitions of Saudi Arabia and UAE. Sudan must be cautious in dealing with Isaias Afwerki, resist the urge to support the retired Libyan General Hifter, be very diplomatic with Egypt, and treat its relations with Ethiopia with honesty. Importantly, the leaders need to consider the strategic importance of a stable Eritrea to the stability of Sudan.

About Awate Team

The PENCIL is awate.com's editorial and it reflects the combined opinions of the Awate Team and not the individual opinion of team members.

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  • Paulos

    Selam My Good People,

    I encourage everyone particularly the young to watch Kbur Ayana Abona Weldeyesus Amar’s interview with Assenna. It is an insightful interview.

    • Hope

      GM Doc!
      Thanks for doing this on my behalf.
      After finishing listening to the entire interview last night,I attempted to say here what you recommended but ….it would not get an attention and wt it would /it would if Dr Paulos said it.
      BTW,Berhe Y.,Ustaz and Nebbar Tegadalay Uncle Weldeyesus Ammar is one of my most reliable sources,among few other Senior ELF and EPLF Tegadeliti, of what I have been saying /reporting about that Sadist and Psychopath Dictator.

      Ustaz Welde-Yesus Ammar was one of the top 10 WANTED (LIST)ELF Cadres and Officers to be executed by the same Beast’s Death Squad since 1983 or so and I heard his name listed thru Radio Dimtsi Hafash when I was at Gonder College of Medical Sciences,GCMS/AAU ,now Gonder Univ,in 1986 or so.

      Amusing and more than sad that ,that same Beast is still controlling everything and in a stronger position despite all these unheard of ….
      “Thanks to Hope et al’s flip-flopping status and other enablers!
      Right?
      Nah…thanks to the failed/corrupt ELF and Opposition and its Leadership.
      My only feedback to Uncle is:
      Despite he tried his best to blame the ELF Leadership ,he showed some bias, understandably as a Politician.

      • Blink

        Dear Hope
        Have you ever read his small joking book that he wrote while in Iraq ? I remember his red cover small book telling all rubbish things about every Stone he can dig out . This interview was also just second grade of it . Dear Hope why would he be wanted in 1983 . The man in his paper in 2016 submitted to some western meetings pointed 5 points of bad start for Eritrea in 1991 and the point he included was “the total absence of pressure/support or advice on the need of successful political transition in 1991 by Eritrea’s immediate neighbors as well as by the United Nations and the rest of the international community.” weldeyesus Amar is a patrician vendetta against his political opponents , he has tons of interviews that many lost counting and the only visible issue he raised was his hate for EPLF . This outdated political views of Aboy weldeyesus is simply showing his old attitude that he swim in Iraq cities .

        Dear Hope Ato weldeyesus Amar and many are all over the place decorating their failed political game, as a foreign relation of EPDP he simply was a horrible person to hold the position, he has never taken and responsibility for his party crime against Haraka nor does he count the priest hand killer of his party because he has a party that he and his colleagues die to blame and that is EPLF . Ato weldeyesus Amar main informative man was an American journalist called American journalist, John E. Duggan which he informed him that EPLF was not a capitalist military organization and with that Ato Weldeyesus Amar tried to say much of his suspension to be realistic. The man has interviewes and many of them which is by the way BORING BORING . I find him annoying just like Amanuel sahle but in a different way . Ato weldeyesus is trying to decorate his wishes which is all about his wishes from ELF mining and in that mining there was not a single thing that can be used now , all old and non existent.

        Ato weldeyesus Amar main regret in his life must be his failure to join EPLF .

      • Hameed Al-Arabi

        Ahlan Hope,

        Today, you have added me one more disquiet.
        What did your uncle say?
        Is there any news about the clinics?

        Your uncle failed to read why Isaias hates him. Mr. Ammar contests Isaias in the same business – ጸግዒ ምሓዝ :: ጎቦ ምትሓዝ . The reason, he doesn’t want to sit beside him or ride a taxi with him.

        Mr. Ammar said in 1978 about 85% of ELF were from the highland of Eritrea. I think most of this percentage were members of the labor party. At that period, the leaders of ELF were the leaders of the labor party. Furthermore, most of the cadres of ELF were members of the labor party. If that was the reality on the ground, then why did the leaders afraid of the 85%? Mr. Amar failed to say honestly the leaders of the ELF were busy chasing their opponents – the reactionists – and were also busy recruiting new members to the party. Mr. Ammar divulged himself as a partitionist by saying the leaders were afraid of 85%. He exposed to us his mind contents – what he has in his warehouse.

        Secondly, he failed to speak about those who were opposing the labor party inside the ELF. He was more interested to show his divisionist side. Mr. Amar before he speaks about the sickness of Isaias he should cure himself of the fatal disease he holds. The role of Mr. Amar was very clear inside the opposition. He always takes ጸግዒ and played a destructive role inside the opposition. He was one of the principal entities that hindered the opposition from being effective. I guess it would be much better if he revises his mind contents.

        A person whom Hope praises should be a crippled person. Hope admires Isaias and Amar, who both hate pluralism. Isaias is the mite of the nation and Amar of the opposition.

        Al-Arabi

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Dr Paulos,

      Wedi Ammar is one of our few references of our history Who had /has great contribution in raising the consciousness of Eritrean nationalism in the 50s and 60s, when Eritrean nationalism was not popular,

      • Paulos

        Selam Professor A. Hidrat and Hope,

        I have always been a big fan of Aya Amar to the extent that I have read every single article he penned under Menhot Weldemariam. His English so lucid, a prototype of old school where the construct is impeccable to say the least. What is even more remarkable about him is that, one would take him for a devout religious person when his words are measured and hardly impulsive when that is the norm particularly in our culture. He said only of the things he is so sure about when Amanuel asked him about Isaias, for instance. May God bless him!

  • Ayneta

    Awate:
    One thing that Bashir’s disgraceful fall reveals is the fact that he was not only killing his innocent countrymen at will, but more importantly, it exposed how flatulent he was as a person. He amassed huge collection of liquor in his residence while touting about ShariA, and killing people who didn’t adhere to it. He had plenty of opportunities to make his country better and he chose the wrong way and squandered it all.

    He also stashed more than 100 million dollars in his residence as per court reports. 100 million dollars and other currencies in cash! Mind blowing to say the least. These African leaders are simply soulless. He received millions from the Saudis alone. What kind of person keeps this amount of money in his residence? This guy was not only brutal but also sloppy.

    For those who view Isaias Afwerki as selfless, penniless, and corrupt free, let this be a permanent reminder. No leader is corrupt free if he chooses to shelf the rule of law and govern based on personal cues and haphazard ways, not matter how simple, layman he
    looks outwardly. Following this news, no person in his normal state of mental health would refute the possibility that IA has likely received millions from the Saudis and Emirates alone. It is more than probable that IA has millions wired by Saudis as a reward for his participation in the Yemen war. This is on top of the unaccounted 2% diaspora tax, income from mining sector. Bashir’s debacle and subsequent financial exposure have made it clear without any shred of doubt that leaders like IA likely has also millions of
    dollars stashed somewhere. The question is : how much of that money is in his residence.
    Even more importantly, when will his supporters realize such simple logic and come to their senses? That is the million dollar question!

  • Brhan

    Hello Awate,
    In deed very good news analysis and it would have been better if it address an important issue which is the people of Sudan
    What special ingredients do the Sudanese people have and how is that making them different from the rest of Horn African countries’ people : first to struggle and then start the steps to establish of civil government.?
    I have heard a lot good things about the Sudanese but one thing makes me admire them more is their tolerance. So this culture of tolerance must have played a lot to the army and the opposition to reach to this wonderful agreement. That is why the Sudanese use the word سمح / سمحة to mean good but the word also relates to تسامح which means tolerance.

  • Kaddis

    Dear Awate –

    Very well written. We are proud and slightly ‘jealous’ of our Sundanese brothers for their courage to negotiate almost from scratch. Kudos to the military, particularly, to come to the table in good faith. Lets hope this move helps us gain control of our decisions in the region. Never felt this much interference in our internal issues than these days.

    Greetings from Addis

  • Hope

    Selama All;
    Another beautiful analysis but the Editorial MISSED one major thing:
    The DESTRUCTIVE and DESTABILIZING role both Al Beshir and TPLF Juntas played against Eritrea.
    That is a big SCAM.

    • Hameed Al-Arabi

      Dear Hope,

      I was searching the whole morning for you. As you know I am worried.
      Is there any news about the clinics?

      Al-Arabi

      • Hope

        Ahlen Ya Arabi:
        Thanks for your “ kindness”!

        I went to a Psychiatrist to consult him about Al Arabi as to how to help him .

        He said:

        Start with STAT Psychotherapy Sessions followed by basic Medications and if he does not do well with both modalities,to subject him to the final option:
        Shock Therapy but if that fails, to LOCK HIM UP IN the Psy Unit 24/7 on 1:1 Care!

        • Hameed Al-Arabi

          Ahlan Hope,

          I asked you about a specific issue, and you went hallucinating. I am very sad for your critical health condition. It is amazing you speak about a university at Halib Mental and ፍንጢራ base at ጫዕዳኹረኽ::

          Sawa is an improper place for colleges or schools. It is applicable for agriculture, but for those who draw their knowledge from a rotten pool make it a school for children.

          I will repeat my inquiry suppose you regained your mind.
          Is there any news about the clinics?

          Al-Arabi

          • Hope

            Hahahah Al
            Now you are EXPOSED with your pants down!

            You sound like those few Muslim Blin “Traitors”,who feel ashamed of their Blinship and rather respect Arabic simply coz they are Muslims!

            That is the main fear and concern/skepticism of most Eritreans that FANATICS and Extremists like you will declare Islamic as Eritrea’s State Religion and declare an Islamic Arab Republic of Eritrea!

            And” HELL NO “is the answer!

            I specifically addresses your concerns and questions on our Catholic and invited you to think outside of the box and your narrow Religion based Fanatic Politics!

          • Hope

            Al Arabi:
            The mod deleted my comment on your well deserved persona and characterization!

            Read me again as I answered all your questions addressed your concerns and gave you some good stuff to digest on.

            Talk about Nation Building and Unity in Diversity, not about fanatic and extremist ideology and attitude.

          • Hope

            Congrats Ayte Mod:
            That would be a blessing in disguise.
            Your insults, racist and discriminatory bigotry as well as your uncalled for threats and intimidation cannot be tolerated either.
            Practice what you preach.