Sudanese Ministry of Justice fires 209 employees

The Empowerment Elimination, Anti-Corruption, and Funds Recovery Committee terminated the employment of 209 advisers to the Ministry of Justice and recovered looted funds from the past regime.

The Empowerment Elimination, Anti-Corruption, and Funds Recovery Committee* terminated the employment of 209 advisers to the Ministry of Justice and recovered looted funds from the past regime.

During a press conference on Thursday, Mohamed El Faki, acting chairman of the committee and member of the Sovereign Council, said that the workers were appointed by an undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice from the past regime “in violation of the regulations and laws of the Ministry of Justice as well the selection process of the Civil Service”.

The committee also terminated the service of 30 ambassadors at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

At the conference, which took place on the one-year anniversary of the committee’s establishment, El Faki described recovering the looted funds as a ‘‘sacred battle’’ that “will be fought until the end.” First proof of stolen funds appeared in April 2019, when a substantial amount of cash was seized during a search of deposed President Omar Al Bashir’s residence in Khartoum.

Another member of the committee, Wajdi Saleh, announced the recovery of polyolefin materials owned by Professor Mamoun Hamida, investment projects in the Northern State from the former governor of Khartoum, Lt Gen Abdelraheem Hussein, and an investment project in the River Nile State from former presidential advisor and member of the dissolved National Congress Party (NCP), Dr Nafeh Ali Nafie.

He also announced the recovery of assets from other members of the dissolved NCP, including polyolefin materials owned by Abdelrahman Saeed and investment projects in the White Nile State from Wadad Ibrahim.

An account at the El Tadamon Bank that received millions of foreign currencies from the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS) was also seized, according to the committee member. The account was used by former CBoS governors for forex trade on the parallel market and for speculation. Ousted President Al Bashir and his office benefited from these deals by about 30 per cent, he said.

Committee member, Salah Manna, announced that 12,000 acres of agricultural land was obtained illegally by individuals who forged papers claiming they were residents of the region. He reported the recovery of large pieces of agricultural land in El Gezira, including land belonging to the Kanab Company in the area of Talbab north of El Hasaheisa, that was used as a resort for Osama bin Laden in the early 1990s, the Zina Company, and the Care and Reform Organisation, in addition to the confiscation of the El Gezira Tannery, owned by Jamal Ramadan.

All shares of the Holdberg Company owned by the Popular Security Police and those of the Nafeer El Kheir Company were also confiscated.

The Empowerment Elimination, Anti-Corruption, and Funds Recovery Committee was formed in November 2019 after the transitional government approved a law to dismantle the institutions set-up by the regime of Omar Al Bashir and the NCP.

Since then, the Committee has been instrumental in breaking the party’s grip on the political scene and state resources. However, many officials linked with the former regime are still deployed on state and locality levels.

The long-awaited establishment of branches for the committee in 15 of the 18 Sudanese states took place on September 20. They are run exclusively by volunteers who work for incentives.

Empowerment (tamkin) is the term with which the ousted government of Omar Al Bashir supported its affiliates in state affairs by granting them far-reaching privileges, including government functions and the setting-up of various companies.

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This article was updated on December 13, 2020 with extra detail about announcements made by Wadji Saleh and Salah Manna.