January 2, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese 1st Vice President Ali Osman Taha has defended the recent crackdown on independent pro-democracy centers and suggested they are undercover bodies whose goal is to undermine the regime.
- Sudanese 1st Vice President Ali Osman Taha (AFP/Getty Images)
Speaking at an interview on Sudan TV, Taha said that many international intelligence agencies use these centers as an "interface" to implement their agendas.
"This is no secret. There is now an American book called ’The Rogue state’. This books talks about the connection of some organization with CIA [...] in many countries. Even some Sudanese groups were mentioned by name," Taha said.
The Sudanese VP stressed that they will allow NGO’s to work as long as they adhere to the law and even if they disagree with the government.
Taha said that they will make the information contained in the book available to the public.
’Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower’ is a book authored in 2005 by William Blum in who, according to the ’Washington Post’, worked briefly at the US State department in a low-level computer-related position.
Blum said he became disillusioned by the Vietnam War, so he resigned from the US State Department and helped found the Washington Free Press, an underground newspaper.
His book became famous after the late Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden issued a public statement in 2006 recommending his book to American readers.
A preliminary examination of the book by Sudan Tribune does not show names of any NGO’s funded by CIA as asserted by Taha.
Sudan is mentioned primarily in the book in the context of the 1998 US bombing of Al-Shifaa pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum.
Late last month Sudanese authorities closed down two pro-democracy centers including Al-Khatim Adlan Center for Enlightenment and Human Development (KACE) and the Sudanese Studies Center (SSC).
Authorities claimed that SSC is carrying out activities that seeks to overthrow the regime of president Omer Hassan al-Bashir which came to power through a bloodless coup in 1989.
But there was no explanation to reasons behind the closure of KACE.
Aiming to promote peace, democracy and diversity, the KACE organized workshops on Darfur and South Kordofan crises, elections, and the South Sudan and Abyei referendums. In 2012 the Center worked on different projects, such as violence against women and youth.
Many of its different activities are funded by foreign embassies in Khartoum, and international foundations. KACE is also working on a project about the reform of school curriculum funded by the National Endowment for Democracy and another one related to the civil society participation in public affairs supported by the Open Society Institute.