Tuesday’s newspapers reported that the head of Sudanese security, Mr Mohamed Atta, is in Libya asking Ghaddafi for extended solidarity in the Darfur affair, in other words requesting the handover of JEM leader, Khalil Ibrahim, or impediment of his passage into Darfur. The Sudanese government has also sent messages to neighbouring countries asking them not to allow Khalil Ibrahim entry into their territories. It is not stated of course what Sudan has to offer to the Libyan leader. However the messenger is of sufficient calibre to promise a lot. JEM is effectively headless, the man in charge practically a prisoner of his hotel room. If Khartoum’s diplomacy/security operation proves success he awaits at best ‘deportation’ to Doha chained by the smiles and handshakes of tenderly groomed mediators.
In a parallel universe US envoy to Sudan, General Scott Gration, speaking before a Senate committee a week ago or so, expressed US approval of AU Panel recommendations regarding a Sudanese owned process of reconciliation to complement, ok replace, the frankly ‘impotent’ ICC indictment of President Bashir; no surprise then that UNMIS and UNAMID heads, Haile Menkarios and Ibrahim Gambari, will be nodding softly in celebration of President Bashir’s ‘democratic’ swearing in Thursday in Khartoum. The UN Secretary General himself has spoken in justification of the move asking the world not to misinterpret it! Ghaddafi is to attend the happy event too. He brings, may be, the keys to Khalil Ibrahim’s hotel room with him as a token of ‘solidarity’.
Amidst international Sudan fatigue, and more pronounced Darfur fatigue, Bashir and Co have in effect received the ‘go ahead’ to complete the ‘pacification’ of Darfur in good old colonial style of punitive campaigns, the battlefields littered with polling stations. No wonder the NCP is behaving as if it had just crossed the threshold to a Sudanese 1000 years Reich. Presidential advisor and NCP Vice President, presumably a candidate for the Vice Presidency of the Republic, Nafie Ali Nafie, responding to press questions regarding the absence of opposition MPs in the ‘elected’ parliament proclaimed that Sudan’s political system embraces an alternative form of opposition, well beyond the classical version. Well, all else shelved, the NCP is contributing lessons in political philosophy. However, 26 MPs voted for a PCP candidate speaker of parliament in a tiny surprise Monday. The NCP prevailed of course, but in its ranks a number of hearts flutter with dissent, probably more than the clandestine PCP sympathetic 20 or so. Judging by the pre-election signs of largely rural cadre dissent the Northern theatre may well feature an NCP Athor.