Home | Comment & Analysis    Thursday 15 January 2009

How Turabi Slapped Bashir in the face


By Peter Kuot Ngong

January 14, 2009 — The recent release to the media from Mr. Hassan Al-Turabi’s tongue has convinced all the Sudanese and the whole world that Omar el Bashir’s own family members and friends have laid their hands off him. Bashir has at the final point been forsaken and left for the International Criminal Court to pick him up any time they want as confirmed from Al-Turabi’s condemnation of the President (Bashir) in Khartoum.

Following the ICC decision to indict Mr. Bashir in July last year, many anti-ICC organizations mounted up and condemned the decision. This gave Bashir courageous nerve to gut out hot avowals condemning the ICC and those that are behind its actions. Some of those anti-ICC organizations that cheered Mr. Bashir included the African Union (AU), Oil ally China, Arab Gulf states, Arab League and some African leaders who committed them selves like the thrown out former South African President Thabo Mbeki. All these called for the Security Council invoking of article 16 that dictate the ICC to suspend the case for at least a period of one year. Now to my surprise all Bashir’s backers are trickily performing a rearward dance.

It is bolt from the blue hearing the way Mr. President (Bashir) has lost his prime supports; the Arab League that has been seriously backing Bashir has gone dead. The African Union that was worried about the future of the country’s peace process if ICC continues their aggression on al Bashir has gone silent. The African leaders that were influenced by Bashir’s envoys to shield him from ICC have been hushed like bribed police officers with the lead Thabo Mbeki tossed off his influential position. All these have left Bashir in an outrageous situation.

All the above are less according to my scaling of Mr. Bashir’s situation as per now, but the most abominable action that has been moved against him is the way his party, the National Congress party (NCP) is treating him. In September last year, a meeting between the NCP’s high ranking members that included Bashir and Mohammed Taha resolved that the two implementers of Bashir’s Darfur genocide conspiracies who were first targeted by the ICC be handed over. These included Bashir’s state Minister for Humanitarian Affairs Ahmed Haroun and the ruthless Janjaweed militia leader Ali Mohamed Ali Abdel-Rahaman also known as Ali Kushab. These two were to be handed over as sacrificial rams instead of Bashir. The party sent a delegate to the ICC to query the Chief Prosecutor Moreno Ocampo whether he will let go the master minder if the implementers are handed over to him but all ended in vain when the ICC lion turned down the offer and still insisted that he wants Bashir at whatever cost.

That left the party (NCP) helpless with one decision that Bashir be handed over to the ICC such that he can go and defend himself. Nevertheless, Haroun and Ali threatened that they will betray Bashir to the ICC if the government gives them up to the ICC. This decision by the NCP members made Bashir to behave like a wounded buffalo and came up with an aggressive statement that he “will never allow any Sudanese to be tried outside Sudan.” In reality, he did not understand really that all his friends have laid their hands off him.

In a meeting between Bashir and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarack, Bashir got convinced that he was now a tree with no branches just waiting for the Autumn winds to blow down. Mr. Mubarack told Bashir that the process of his fade like that of Saddam Hussein has just began and that there is no way he can help him out of that trouble. He (Mubarack) also told Bashir that the chase to arrest him will earn rebel groups a western back up and eventually take hold over the country. These secrets from Mubarack left Bashir helpless and decision less. When he (Bashir) objected Mr. Mubarack’s advice that he hands himself over to the ICC and leave Sudanese citizens in peace, the Egyptian foreign Minister publicized Egypt’s political secret that they will not stand against the ICC move, a moment that almost left Bashir dead of heart failure. When Bashir took a visit to Qatar, he told the press that he is ready to step down if the decision is purely Sudanese with no foreign interventions. He said that out of the pressure that is after him.

The above proclamation by Mr. Bashir that he will step down if the Sudanese decide so puts me to a clear conclusion that Bashir is not the NCP’s presidential candidate. He (Bashir) actually does not qualify for the candidacy as those extreme war crime charges hang around over his head. However, Bashir thinks that keeping him as the president of the country will be the main shield that will block the ICC from getting hold of him, a decision which has got no support from Sudanese.

Now that Hassan al Turabi the man behind Bashir’s regime since 1989 has surprised Sudan and the world, I came to the conclusion that “Bashir has finally been thrown out of his own family and condemned.” In his statement that “six million Sudanese are paralysed, no agriculture. Bahir is responsible and we condemn him” Al Turabi has declared his position as anti-Bashir. It is astonishing that these friends are falling apart. What has gone berserk between them after being together since 1989 facing the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) offensive together?

Al Turabi installed Bashir in to power in a bloodless coup in 1989 overthrowing Sadiq Al Mahadi’s democratically elected government. Mr. Turabi declared the war against South as ‘Jihad’ or ‘holly war’, a strategy that attracted all the Arab world into supporting the war against the Southern based Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). His (Turabi) National Islamic Front (NIF) composed of the ‘Mujahideen’ or the ‘Holly warriors’ contributed from all the Arab countries fought vigorously to keep Bashir in power. In certainty Al-Turabi was very tricky to preach to the Arab population the war launched by the SPLM/A against Khartoum as being intended at destroying Islam which is wrong. Mr. Bashir picked up that ruse from Al-Turabi and used it to swindle many Arab youth to go and fight carelessly in the battles with SPLA resulting to unnecessary loss of great number of youth.The Mujahideen were misled giving them an impression to fight careless battles of which they died like ducklings in the battles. Each soldier was given a key that he will use to open his house in heaven in case he was killed in the war. This unjustified conjecture was accepted by most Arab population and gave in for the war.

After the war was ended in a peaceful negotiation that led to the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement (CPA), Mr. Al-Turabi realized that he was dumped since the power sharing agreement was a different story. Infact he was not taken into consideration. He then took a different political direction from Bashir and started publicizing the former war secrets.
Mr. Al-Turabi went publicly saying that he regrets the strategies used during the war that led to loss of hundreds of thousands of youth stressing mainly on the Mujahideen who managed their lives carelessly during the war.

Mr. Al-Turabi’s statement resulted in to all the ‘Mujahideen’ forces resigning and scattering to their families. Now Bashir has lost his strong political backup from Al-Turabi and all the military force that he brought up behind Bashir. This has left Bashir in a vulnerable situation unable to defend himself from any further uprising or invasion. That was the first abomination Mr. Bashir received from Al-Turabi.

Now, recently that MR. Hassan Al-Turabi has seriously slapped his former friend in the face in Khartoum. I am very shocked of a man who behaves like he has no life in him. What I have understood from Al-Turabi is that he is a man beyond assassination and that is why he is always a straightforward man. With a big religious population behind him, Hassan Al-Turabi’s life can never be tempered with, otherwise Khartoum will just go on fire.
He (Al-Turabi) when on by saying that “Bashir is politically responsible for the genocide and war crimes in Darfur and should go to the ICC to defend himself” who is left behind Bashir? Who is left to shield him from the ICC? Isn’t he (Bashir) been forsaken and left for the ICC to pick up any time?

The writer is a journalist based in Southern Sudan and can be reached at peterkuot@yahoo.co.uk

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