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Prominent journalist warns of 'monopolistic greed' in Sudan

March 12 - 2021 KHARTOUM
El Haj Warrag (Hurriyat)
El Haj Warrag (Hurriyat)

Journalist, writer, and editor El Haj Warrag, warned that the fall of the current democratic transition would lead to the downfall of central authority and the collapse of the country during an address to the end of The Week of Democratic Transformation conference.

The conference was organised by the Sudan Institute for Democracy, the Darfur Bar Association, and Wad Madani-based newspaper, The Democrat.

He also called on Sudan’s Transitional Sovereignty Council (TSC) and the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) to “move away from monopolistic greed”. He advocated for “an agreement that involves university professors, women, non-partisan professionals, as well as the Sufi administration.” He said that the lack of participation of the communists and professionals would harm the transition process.

On arms and armed groups, Warrag said that “the existence of multiple armies is a time bomb that could explode at any moment” and that the lives of people in Darfur are being lost due to the chaos brought by weapons and militias. “Part of the problem is uncontrolled recruitment among the armed movements that signed the Juba Peace Agreement,” he said.

The size of the security and military forces is greater than the size of the country's economy, according to Warrag, who criticized the Constitutional Document for leaving the issue of reforming security and military forces “to the same institutions”. He explained that the issue of reform concerns the Sudanese people and is too great to be left to one party.

He called for a focus on the abolition of immunities and an end to impunity, stressing the need to hand over wanted people to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Rajaa Abdelmaseeh, a member of the Sovereignty Council, highlighted a number of challenges facing the transitional period. She stressed the need to work in a team spirit across all political components of the transitional period so that the country could become a democratic state, including human rights and good governance.

She emphasized that creating a good political climate, strengthening national unity, strengthening the administrative apparatus, and reformulating the legal and constitutional structures of the state are important tools in enabling Sudan to reach a stage of consolidated and sustained democracy.

Rebel leaders Malik Agar, El Hadi Idris, and El Taher Hajar were sworn in as members of the TSC on Monday. Their appointment is part of the implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement, signed by the Sudanese government and a number of rebel movements in the South Sudanese capital Juba in October 2020.

Warrag was the founder and director of Hurriyat, an independent news website, which closed in April 2018. According to Sudan Democracy First Group, Hurriyat (meaning 'Freedoms' in English) played an important role in uncovering and exposing corruption in Sudan since its establishment in 2010.

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