Saturday, 5 February 2011

Liberty for the NCP

Louis Aweel
Arguing the case of his government on Thursday the security advisor of President Bashir and the former chief of the security service, Salah Gosh, made the note that the anti-NCP facebook campaign had gathered 37 000 participants, while a counter-initiative of the ruling party’s supporters had joined 48 000!  Gosh went on to say that the government had defeated the young opposition’s attempt to wage a popular revolt with the aid of the ‘civil support battalions’, a novel name for the NCP’s militias, neither police, army, nor the standard state security forces. It seems the NCP is willing to borrow aspects of the ‘Janjaweed’ experiment into the urban context, namely the militarisation of disenchanted young men ready to provide their services to the ruling party.
Compared to the zero-tolerance towards the youthful protest movement the NCP is polishing President Bashir’s proposal of a broad-based government to the established opposition parties. On Friday the Minister of Information, Kamal Obeid, stated that contacts with the opposition continue, declaring “we will not isolate any party who wants to participate”.
In an article titled ‘Change is the demand of the hour’ published last week Amin Hassan Omer, the NCP ‘intellectual’ and government lead negotiator in the Darfur talks in Doha, gave the NCP post-secession retail line a theoretical scaffold peppered with quotes from the Quran and elements of popular wisdom. Omer attempted to problematise the wave of revolts in the Arab World with the criticism that an uprising in itself is not a sign of health, since the body only shivers with fever and illness. He argued that it is the people who create their dictators and oppressors, and as such the aspired transformation should not be the change of the political leadership but the change of the political culture. “Political power, just like water, spoils with stagnation” stated the NCP philosopher.
With regards to Sudan Omer argued that the NCP has now the initiative to pioneer the transformation of political culture from ‘confrontation’ to ‘conciliation’, whereby the political elite should aspire to cooperate organically as one family for the good of the nation. To that end Omer suggested that the NCP should involve the political parties and the civil society as equal partners in a critical discussion of the constitution targeting the drafting of novel arrangements that address the current situation in the country and the challenges of its future.
Now, Gosh the facebook campaigner, and Omer the constitutionalist, evidently enjoy the liberty to argue their case at will. The flipside of this liberty is the imprisonment and torture of their civilian contenders in the detention cells of the NCP security apparatus. At least three of these unarmed ‘rebels’ Louis Aweel, a pharmacy student, Hussam Malik, a medical doctor, and Hatim Gattan, a political activist, are reportedly closer to death than life.
Gosh on Thursday did not forget to mention that the opposition’s bid for power does not enjoy any significant international support. The US, according to Gosh, knows very well that ‘stability’ in the Sudan hinges on the sustenance of NCP rule. In combination, what Gosh is saying is simply either the NCP or janjaweedisation. We already have both. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Creative Commons Licence
This work by Magdi El Gizouli is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.