August 1, 2012 Special Dispatch No. 4854

Noted Sudanese Author And Journalist To President Omar Al-Bashir: 'For The Sake Of This Homeland And Its People, You Must Resign'

August 1, 2012
Sudan | Special Dispatch No. 4854


Following the riots that erupted in Sudan on June 16, 2012 demanding that President Omar Al-Bashir step down, noted Sudanese oppositionist author and journalist Talha Jibril, who is director of the London-based daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat's Rabat office and in the past served as editor-in-chief at its Washington, D.C. branch, wrote an open letter to him calling on him to do so. In it, Jibril said that Al-Bashir's policy has brought about economic, social, and political decline.

Following are excerpts from Talha Jibril's letter:[1]

"I Do Not Think Our Country Was [Ever] More Isolated Than Today"

"...Mr. 'President,'

"As you 'celebrate' a quarter century since you seized power, I quote some things you said on your first day [in office,] which were heard by all the people of the homeland that we love. On that day you said: 'The economy is shamefully bad, and none of the frivolous policies have succeeded in stopping the deterioration, let alone achieved any measure of development whatsoever – which hiked inflation and prices to unprecedented levels. The citizens' basic needs go unmet because they do not exist [on the market] or are too costly. That is why many in the homeland are on the brink of starvation. The economic downturn has caused the destruction of public institutions, the collapse of health and education services, and the cessation of production. We, who aspired that our country would become the world's breadbasket, have [instead] become a bankrupt nation that seeks its food and basic needs beyond its own borders. The officials are busy [stealing public] funds, and corruption has spread throughout the land, along with the spread of smuggling and the black market. Entire social classes of parasites grow richer by the day due to the officials' corruption and their neglect of control over life and the regime.' Did you say that, [Mr. Al-Bashir]? Indeed you did. In that same speech you also said: 'Sudan has always been respected and supported by all friendly peoples and nations, but today it is totally isolated.'

"[However,] I do not think our country was [ever] more isolated than today. Sanctions are closing in on us from every direction, and we have reached the point where the few visiting foreign dignitaries overtly avoid meeting with you due to the International Criminal Court..."

"Under Your Rule, The Homeland Has Known A Merciless Totalitarian Regime That Tortured, Expelled, And Killed People"

"Mr. 'President,' the situation of which you complained 23 years ago has grown worse. Let me mention a few noticeable points: Back then, you said that the political parties had 'failed to achieve peace'. Do you believe peace has been achieved in your era? Back then, [we had] a single war; today we have a war in several regions, which is begetting another war.

"You spoke of 'freedom and democracy.' Under your rule, the homeland has known a merciless totalitarian regime that has tortured, expelled, and killed people, and fired thousands of employees [to promote] a 'public interest' whose purpose none could understand. Families starved, and the honor of men and women was trampled. You took away freedoms, prevented gatherings, shut down and boycotted newspapers, and imprisoned people [merely] for speaking. You flogged youths in the squares for demonstrating.

"Corruption has spread throughout the halls of power... Embezzlement of public funds is not a 'phenomenon' but a 'policy.' You sneaked billions of dollars out of the country. We know that those who believe that money is everything will do anything for it. The sad thing is that many people began to do this.

"There is genuine starvation. We know that hunger is merely a phenomenon, but starvation was your policy. [Public] services deteriorated to the point where international organizations ranked us third among the world's most failed countries. The situation reached unprecedented heights – to the point where patients bring their own beds to the hospital, and pupils bring their own chairs to school. The rampant unemployment has reached astronomical dimensions... Employment or promotions go only to cronies and supporters [of the regime]. Everyone is looking for a way out, and groups of our young people have even reached Israel."

"For The Sake Of This Homeland And Its People, You Must Resign"

"Mr. 'President, the protestors now in the streets are no 'foreign [agents],' but are part of this magnificent people. Their issue is just... The mass demonstrations cannot be dispersed by excessive force, militias, or electric shock... We are [sitting] on a powder keg, and once lit, the flame will race down its fuse...

"Mr. 'President,' what we so obviously do not need right now is to drag our beloved homeland to the edge of the pit – as happened in other countries in the region. What we do need now is your resignation.

"I say this clearly: resign. If you do not, I fear the sorrow and mourning that await us. We want no more of that; we have had more than enough during your rule. The winds of change are blowing across our country like a storm, and [your] resignation is desirable and demanded...

"Mr. 'President,' or the sake of this homeland and its people, you must resign..."




[1], June 30, 2012

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