The Appeals Department of Sudan’s High Court in Khartoum issued a ruling yesterday which nullifies decisions of the Empowerment Removal Committee regarding the dismissal of judges, prosecutors, and other judicial employees. The committee rejected the ruling because of procedural flaws.
The Empowerment Removal Committee (ERC)* decided last month to dismiss a large number of judicians in the country because of their affiliation with the ousted regime of dictator Omar Al Bashir.
In a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Committee member Wajdi Saleh said that the decisions of the court violate the Empowerment Removal Act, as the High Court Appeals Department does not have the competence to rule on the decisions of the ERC, but on decisions of an Appeals Committee that still has to be established.
The ERC has repeatedly requested for the formation of an Appeals Committee, the lawyer said, as complainants have the right to be heard. He further emphasised procedural and objective nature of Empowerment Removal Act, and confirmed its supremacy over other laws.
Saleh accused the head of the judicial department formerly expressed his disagreement with the work of the ERC, and accused him of taking the decision “without asking for facts or files”.
'We shall definitely continue dismantling judicial bodies and institutions, as they obstruct justice the most'- Wajdi Saleh
Despite the many challenges to its work, the Committee will proceed with “dismantling political and legal institutions that obstruct the rebuilding of the State of Law in Sudan," he stressed, and acknowledged that the stance of “military and civilian officials” against the dismantling of the Al Bashir networks is threatening the work of the ERC and the December Revolution. “Yet, we shall definitely continue dismantling judicial bodies and institutions, as they obstruct justice the most.”
The ERC has still to decide on a large number of members of the Islamic Movement in Sudan, the National Congress Party established by Omar Al Bashir, and the infamous Popular Police force.
* The full name of the committee is the Committee for Dismantling the June 30 1989 Regime, Removal of Empowerment and Corruption and Recovery of Public Funds. It was established by the government of Abdallah Hamdok in November 2019 with the aim to purge Sudan of the remnants of the ousted regime of dictator Omar Al Bashir (1989-2019). Empowerment (tamkin) is the term with which the Al Bashir government supported its affiliates by granting them far-going privileges, including government functions, the setting-up of various companies, and tax exemptions.
On September 26, security forces charged with the protection of the office building of the ERC and recovered assets were instructed to abandon their posts, leaving the office and assets vulnerable. To date it is unclear who was responsible for the orders. In social media, various Sudanese accused the military establishment to be behind the move. Last Thursday, thousands of people took part in demonstrations in support of the ERC and the democratic transition in the country. They denounced the tensions between the military and civilian components of the Sudanese government, and called for the establishment of a civilian government.