Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The Former Sudanese Extremists? | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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It appears that the Sudanese government – or some of its members – have recently been brought crashing down to earth after realizing the gravity of their situation, and the seriousness of the future that Sudan and its people are facing against the backdrop of the arrest warrant issued against [President] Al-Bashir.

Egyptian sources say that during a visit to Khartoum a high-ranking Sudanese official informed his Egyptian counterpart that “we were extremists, but things move on. So why have things become more complicated when the governing regime became moderate?”

This language is completely different from the [previous] insulting language [used by the Sudanese government], and the brandishing of walking-sticks and shoes, not to mention the offensive remarks made against the Sudanese citizens themselves. It does not matter that this quiet statement [by the high-ranking Sudanese official] was made behind closed doors.

It may be that the reason for quiet speech behind closed doors is the desire [of the Sudanese government] not to appear weak in the face of Sudanese public opinion, even if the previous statements issued by Khartoum suggest confusion, which is something no less dangerous than weakness.

The Sudanese official’s question about moderation following extremism [within the Sudanese government] poses the question that while it was justified that the Sudanese regime be subject to punishment for embracing Al Qaeda and its members, and supporting Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait; why should it be punished today when it has steered clear of all of this?

This seems to be the language of the Sudanese official’s question, even if contained within it is an acknowledgment that runs contrary to many of the remarks made on the Sudanese government’s positive role in Sudan, namely the admittance that they used to be extremists!

But does the moderation of the government externally excuse its actions internally, which have resulted in murder, torture, and displacement?

In other words, does moderation externally require silence about what is occurring internally [in Sudan]?

Another question: What about the victims?

What about the injustice, murder, and displacement?

Will all of this be forgotten by a simple arrangement [for silence in return for external moderation by the Sudanese regime] or must somebody pay the price, not out of revenge – for revenge is not justice – but rather to ensure there is not a repeat of what happened [in Sudan].

We are sick and tired of the assassinations, physical retribution, imprisonment, suppression of freedoms, and attacks on the innocent, which can be seen throughout our region. We are sick and tired of injustice and displacement; just look at Iraq, Sudan, and other countries, not to mention Israel’s actions in our region. We are sick and tired of the oppressed living under injustice, while the oppressor lives in luxury and safety.

This is not emotional talk, it is the truth. It is the role of the governor and the government to provide security and a decent life to the people, and these are obvious things, such as education, security, jobs, and health care. The government’s role is not to threaten and punish, and some Arabs have been killed as a result of our mistakes, and repression and tyranny have become more wide-spread.

And so if the extremists – not the rebels – wish to return to their senses, individually or as a government, then he must pay the price. The same goes for those that wish to remain at fault, they too must pay the price also, in the name of justice and self-preservation which has been granted by God.

And so anyone who says that he has become moderate must pay the price for past mistakes, rather than saying let bygones be bygones.