Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Sudan: A Blessing in Disguise - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

Sudanese Foreign Minister Deng Alor considers the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) charges against Sudanese President Omar al Bashir to be a “blessing in disguise” for the people of Darfur.

In fact, the Sudanese Foreign Minister said that the decision would be a blessing for the entire country.

The Minister’s statements were issued in the wake of practical steps taken by Khartoum; the government has agreed to allow the delivery of hundreds of containers of United Nations supplies that had been held up in Sudan’s port to assist the victims of Darfur, and to facilitate obtaining visas and permits for aid workers.

Deputy Special envoy of the UN Secretary General for Sudan, Amira Haq said, “There are strong indications of [the Sudanese government’s] willingness to cooperate.”

This also prompted the Sudanese Foreign Minister – not representatives from the opposition or other parties – but Alor himself to say, “We are presently having serious discussions about solutions for the Darfur crisis.” He also added that the government was giving serious consideration to fully cooperate with the UN peacekeeping forces in Darfur following its previous unwillingness to do so.

Consequently, Deng Alor said, “If we look at the decision of the Attorney General of the ICC from this angle, we would find that the charges against al Bashir have come in the form of a blessing in disguise for the entire country.”

Of course, there is a lesson here that cannot be ignored: Instead of a government confronting its problems by ignoring or repressing them, or by flexing its muscles; it must prove its legitimacy by providing a decent life for all. It must also guarantee the people’s security and strength – irrespective of their religion or ethnicity.

But it is also important to note that Khartoum is reportedly seeking to procure $500 million for the victims of Darfur; however this is a method that has proven its ineffectiveness in various other Arab crises. We must provide monetary assistance for investing in stable states – not for buying solutions in Sudan, Lebanon and Palestine, or other countries or issues that some have sought to resolve by sending money.

This is the truth even if it angers some, particularly since a Sudanese friend has recently informed me that there is anger in the Sudanese government circles towards the newspaper and myself because of our coverage of the events regarding President Omar al Bashir’s indictment.

The problem that is overlooked by the Sudanese government and other states in the region is that the media is incapable of withholding the truth. Arab governments consider controlling and suppressing the media easier than carrying out their duties towards their people and state.

And yet, Khartoum has started to cooperate with the UN and is “seriously” looking into solutions for the Darfur crisis away from the slogans. The Sudanese Foreign Minister considers charges against Sudan’s al Bashir to be a blessing in disguise for the whole state!

Seeking justice for the victims of Darfur and the hundreds of thousands of victims and casualties and ensuring every Arab citizen a dignified life, the Sudanese people in particular, is much more effective than blocking and crushing the media. This is the lesson that can be learnt from al Bashir today.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

More Posts