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Khartoum governor denies reports of resignation in wake of corruption scandal

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April 24, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The governor of Khartoum state Abdel-Rahman al-Khidir dismissed reports that he submitted his resignation following the discovery of a major corruption scandal involving his office staff.

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Governor of Khartoum state Abdulrahman Al-Khidir (Al-Ahdath newspaper)

The two employees at Khidir’s office allegedly forged his signature to transfer ownership of lands worth billions of dollars to bogus owners and sold it later for huge profit.

Sudanese authorities arrested 80 people so far in connection with this case.

Al-Khidir’s office said in a statement that the government on the federal and state level approved of measures he undertook to probe this incident and his decision to submit all relevant documents to judicial bodies for prosecution.

The uncovering of the corruption scandal of this magnitude has shocked observers and ordinary citizens alike and reinforced perception that the country faces a serious graft issue which the government refuses to recognise.

Early in 2012, Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir ordered the establishment of an anti-corruption commission to “monitor and follow what is being published in the media about corruption and to coordinate with the presidency of the Republic and other competent authorities in the ministry of justice and the national assembly in order to complete information on what is being raised about corruption on the state level”.

But after more than a year of seemingly zero activity, Bashir sacked the commission head and did not appoint a replacement dealing a major blow to demands by the public for more robust investigation of corruption.

A major economic government-sponsored forum held in Khartoum late last year called for establishing an anti-graft commission as one means of resolving the financial crisis faced by the country.

The global Corruption Perceptions Index for 2013 published by Transparency International (TI) ranks Sudan at 174 out of 175 among the countries surveyed.

(ST)

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