Conclusion of the ABCs of the Sustainable Development Goals and Sudan’s position among them


By Dr. Hassan Humeida

KIEL, GERMANY: This country “Sudan” will not exist if the people of Sudan do not rectify their affairs and try to reach an agreement among themselves.

This is premised on the prestige of the state and the activation of strong institutions, built on true patriotism, selflessness, and endless commitment to build the Sudan of the future. The Sudanese must tolerate and accept one another, and not stir up hateful hostility among themselves.

Such hostilities are based on the principles of marginalization, discrimination, and racism which reflect a negative image of a people who while they resemble one another, they deny belonging to one another.

We have gone back to sharpening our tools to fight one another instead of preparing to fight any intruder targeting us. We no longer rejoice at the beats of the naqareh, the traditional drum with a rounded back and a hide head, and we rather sway in delight at the throws of the deadly mortars.

Kembla music no longer entertains us with horns on the head, palm leaves on the waist, leather and wool on the arms, and hoops and ruffles on the legs. We no longer walk happily behind Keita tunes on holiday mornings.

The sound of the delightful Nubia beats and the touch of the drum no longer move us as a spiritual fascination. Indeed, we no longer rejoice in anything. Not in Christmas, Sham El-Nessim, New Year, or Independence celebrations.

Let us look at the latest trends in the arena of Sudanese politics. They are totally alien to us and we have never experienced anything like them before: We have been divided into the people of Dar Sabah (the East) and Dar Gharb (the West). The entire Mahdist revolution no longer means anything to us. Rather, our precious and glorious independence from the colonizer after enslavement, humiliation, and repression no longer means anything to us, even though it was an achievement of which we could be proud, freed from its shackles and enjoying freedom.

This is summed up in denying the virtue of the 1956 state, of which we were until recently proud, celebrated it with fanfare, raised its banners with joy and rejoiced across our beloved country.

Then came the latest dazzling fashion trend, which was a shameless attempt to deny the names and origins of the tribes to which we belong. This is because neither the family origins nor the genetic tree should mean anything to us. This trend sought to obliterate our identity forever, whatever the cost.

The unique human diversity, which could have become a “rare pluralistic phenomenon” that would make us proud among all nations, has become one of our greatest ethnic, racial, human, and social weaknesses.

On a global scale, the search is still on for human origins and the lost identity, including in developed and civilized countries and by all means to find and know it historically, scientifically, socially and culturally. The search is so intense that it is using the latest technological and scientific techniques, such as artificial intelligence and genetic engineering.

This is not limited to humans, but extends to the animal world; for example, there is the attempt to reproduce the extinct woolly mammoths and bring them back to life after the extinction of their last member 4,000 years ago.

Instead of deliberately ignoring the work of the national administrations and their staff of principals, mayors, and sheikhs, and denying their achievements in solving the thorny problems of the tribes dating back to before the Ottoman Turkish rule, it would have been better for us to develop early on the national administrations and qualify their staff as well as anyone who was destined to have a special role within an effective structure in the intertwined Sudanese tribal society.

Unfortunately, our problems continue to this day and without solutions, regardless of the presence or absence of civil administrations.

An example of this is the common skin color distinction between “reddish and blueish,” and may God have mercy on the person who knows his own worth. The important question is where is the fault? Is it an administrative fault or does the fault lie within ourselves?

This is followed by denying the virtue of the Sufi orders, which were known for their non-political affiliation with any party, as is the case with the rest of the other religious movements that are puritanical, extremist, and alien to Sudan.

The Sufi orders that entered Sudan from time immemorial, spreading the teachings of the true Islamic religion with acceptance and satisfaction, and addressing the hearts and minds of the people in a manner that they understand and embrace.

The Sufi order’s social role is to honor the people of Sudan and reunite them following their unfortunate dispersion. The order taught them the etiquette and principles of society; otherwise, they would be walking naked among the mountains, valleys, and deserts.

We forgot the occasions of the Prophet’s birthday, which is celebrated by most citizens across all Sudan, and citizens of other religions who love Sufi orders and relate to their dervishes participate in celebrating it.

We no longer see those beautiful domes that adorned the skies throughout Sudan. They were significant edifices that have withstood the onslaught of time and remained majestic since time immemorial, but which we are violating, destroying and burning today.

Let us stand serenely here with ourselves and with the role of Sufism and its people in this war, and with the role that its people played in giving water to the thirsty, feeding the hungry, treating the sick, and covering the deceased after washing them, and offering group prayers for their souls.

We wonder: Where were the leaders and members of the other religious movements that spread hostility between people. We knew nothing about them, other than bringing sedition to the safe parts of the country and disdaining the Sufis by cursing them? Where were these people about whom we knew only that they wore bright robes and bright white turbans?

You see them standing on the podiums, addressing the crowd with loud words and resonant voices. Would it not have been better for them to do good deeds for the people in times of distress, as the Sufis did? The Masid of the Qadiriyya order in the Bayt Al Mal (Treasury) in Omdurman was a living example, and the Burhaniyya order house in Khartoum was another example?

Finally, our thanks go to those who are professionally active in the Sufi orders and their people, who are trying to throw them in places that do not suit the religion, do not suit the simplicity of the dervishes, do not suit the austerity of the disciples, and do not suit the dignity of the sheikhs. We do not want here to go on with endless talk, but we must summarize this in a few words, which is “the one who has no past, does not bring anything new”.

This is so that we do not become a farce in front of the countries that take advantage of the problems of others, and the organizations that benefit from Sudan’s problems, wars, and internal conflicts that mean nothing to them, as we see now.

What we succeed in is classifying people into jellaba (Those who control the course of things) and non-jellaba, and unfortunately this sometimes comes from the most educated people, or from who are an integral part of this label by their affiliation and mingling. This term “jellaba” does not increase or decrease the value of a person in any way.

People with experience, knowledge, and good connections with their families refute this classification and argue that it is nothing but a way to spread discord among people.

What is wrong with the jellabas who did not engage in armed robbery and did not usurp people’s property to consume illicit money through unlawful looting and theft? You see them roaming the earth barefoot doing honorable business work, and they are received with warmth and welcome by the honorable people of the Fayafi (desert) and the Bawadi (nomads).

During their travels and settlements, they were always a vow of goodness and benefit to the people. They brought food to the citizens, including oil and flour, and even brought with them such necessities as toothpaste, soap, and disinfectants, including soap and Dettol.

Many of the products that are in demand do not find their winding and thorny path to their seekers except through the so-called Jellaba, the brave, generous and honest people.

Was this the punishment for the jellaba who leave their families, including wives, daughters, and sons, to provide their families in villages and cities with the necessities they need?

In many cases, they are forced to pay the highest price, as when their properties are looted at gunpoint, or when they can never return to their families, or when they lose their lives for the sake of others.

The time has come to ensure that the breathless pursuit of cursed seats of power should no longer be the primary driver of hatred of one’s family and of loathing of others, without any right or justification.

The time has now come for us to reconsider ourselves regarding the Jellabiya, “our men’s national dress of which we are proud among the world’s communities,” shouted everyone who wears it. To search for the source of all this hidden injustice, Time has come to preserve everything that is beautiful in our beloved Sudan.

We must not be a thriving market full of mercenaries who do not care about the future of Sudan, nor do they care about the concerns of its citizens. If the fires of war ignite and their flame flares up one day, they will leave the country hurriedly, carrying their possessions with them, even their cats and dogs, leaving the people of Sudan to taste the bitterness of war, the fury of fire and the sorrowfulness of killing.

And should peace come, and peace prevail in our homes one day, they will come to us from all sides, laughing in our faces with hatred, “we the poor Sudanese from Dar Sabah and Dar Gharb,” and telling us cunningly: “We have come to assist you, as you are unable to help yourselves!”

We believe them and we candidly accept their claims, and we instantly become, in their eyes, stupid and ignorant people, putting heavy weights on others with our problems, wars, quarreling, and fighting among ourselves.

And as armed conflicts break out, we are the ones who pay the price for the gunfire, bombs, explosives, cars, tanks, and planes with which we fight and kill ourselves.

And again, all the onerous equipment gets burned every day, turning into ashes, instead of being used to guard the land of Sudan and its people, and preserve the nation’s security and borders from the attacks by neighboring countries.

There is no benefit from the mined gold, and there is no advantage from our wealth and resources that we boast about. Let us fight, and excel in war, and no one is defeated, no one wins, and no one benefits.

Has the time come for us to wake up and act patriotically??

Before concluding, we mention, in 22 points, the most important dimensions of this brutal war, and we hope that specialists will work to carefully consider and review them, under the umbrella of a lasting peace and a just democratic rule, with a diverse Sudanese society that enjoys unity and stability:

The psychological dimension: We must not forget the psychological impact of this war on the citizens of Sudan, especially children, youth, the elderly, and the sick.

Cases of psychological trauma resulting from war must be followed up by specialists, and these traumas must be treated in both the short and long terms. We point out here that there are hidden shocks of the war, which may be confirmed later and after the citizens return to their homes.

The health dimension: Schedules must be set up to monitor the public health of Sudanese citizens after the war. Every citizen must undergo a medical examination as well as a general physical examination, even if he does not suffer from illness or symptoms, as a first preventive step. It is also necessary to carefully examine patients who have left their homes or countries and are suffering from a specific disease in the non-availability of a doctor and treatment.

Preventive dimension: Some age groups must be subjected to careful medical examination, especially to determine the deficiency that may have resulted in some important elements in the blood due to malnutrition and physical and psychological pressures during the war. For example, iodine, zinc, iron, calcium, phosphorus and proteins are examined for children, young people, pregnant and lactating women, the elderly and the sick.

The educational dimension: Developing plans that will be implemented practically after the war, on how to continue education in Sudan. This includes pre-school education, by preparing nurseries and kindergartens, then school education at all levels, technical education, and university education. There is also the important need to develop thoughtful strategies on how to make up for missing semesters or years, for example by doing intensive supplementary courses.

The social dimension: Some social segments affected by war must be given great importance; for example, how people’s lives are going, and who is without support, such as children in shelters or elderly people, or children living in ruins and streets, or who is alive, but with limited mobility due to a psychological or physical disability or chronic illness. They all need help in the long term.

The living dimension: Precautions must be put in place to address the living conditions of citizens in the post-war stage. This happens when the working and productive citizen loses his job during the war, and then starts a new life to earn a living after dispossession and impoverishment.

Here, transparent funds must be provided to support citizens’ livelihoods immediately after the end of the war and the establishment of peace. This is so that the citizen does not face major obstacles in finding a suitable way to have a decent life.

Environmental dimension: Environmental work must begin early, and it is advisable to make plans to complete it promptly. These comprehensive works are concerned with the conditions of air, water, soil, food, streets, homes and institutions. These include collecting scattered waste, burying scattered corpses, eliminating stray dogs and cats, harmful rodents, birds of prey and other rabid animals, and combating scorpions and snakes wherever they are found.

The natural dimension: Appropriate plans must be developed to curb the effects on the health of wildlife in the plains, valleys and forests in Sudan due to the war. There is a need to inventory these impacts and set work schedules to address them, through solutions that can be formulated for the impacts on forest, plant and animal wealth, and to work towards restoring the natural reserves in Sudan to their original state and improving them after they were badly affected by the war.

The security dimension: Security must be established in all parts of the country after the end of the war. This is based on reviewing the files of repeat offenders and escaped prisoners and on closely monitoring their movements and actions.

It is also necessary to carefully examine the records of the right of residence to control the foreign presence in all regions of Sudan, and to pave and organize ways for the urgent return of the Sudanese citizens and refugees to their homeland from abroad and to their homes after they were displaced internally.

The defensive dimension: Sudan’s unified defense force must be reconsidered. The forces must be restructured into a unified army, joined by all armed movements with a national defensive mindset dedicated to Sudan’s cohesion, unity and affairs.

There is also a crucial need to put a decisive end to armed forces and movements parallel to the army, in order to put an end to lawlessness and crimes. This should start by re-possessing all types of weapons currently held by civilians and compensating them with a fair amount of money.

The partnership dimension: Parties must prepare themselves early to run in fair and transparent democratic elections. The parties should build on the principle of renewing blood with the participation of new generations, while preserving the role of historical and national figures in their renaissance.

The citizens should not be given illusions about trying to work politically from abroad. Everyone who wants to get actively involved in politics must do it in Sudan, and not from other countries.

The investigative dimension: The political and defense parties that have come into question must be investigated as political structures that may deserve to be excluded from the political stage.

Participation accompanied by careful follow-up may sometimes be an alternative to investigation, but the urgent requirement is a strong democratic system that does not allow the work of such political structures when they attack the democratic system.

It is also necessary for some political factions to reconsider their political action program and move from passive spectators to active political participants.

The development dimension: Sudan must pay attention in the future to balanced development of all kinds, especially sustainable development projects in villages and rural areas that are seen by their residents as marginalized areas.

There is a need to establish accurate statistical foundations for the work of such projects in order to demonstrate how they are financed and show their results at the end of each year.

The residents of these areas should be included in, from the beginning in the ways of allocating the projects and in their success.

The economic dimension: The revenues from the country’s wealth and resources must be used to fulfill the citizens’ self-sufficiency as a priority, especially in the food security sectors.

Afterwards, the surplus should be exported to other countries for the purpose of trade. The revenues from the earth’s treasures must also be used to serve the citizens, especially in promoting important sectors such as health, education, energy, industry, architecture, and infrastructure.

The revolutionary dimension: We must look at the structure of revolutions and their demonstrations. This is after it became clear, to the truly serious demonstrators, what elements a revolution or demonstration could contain.

There are those who are not concerned with the true goal of the revolution. They come to places where demonstrators gather out of idleness and for personal purposes that do not serve the set goal. This naturally results in abnormal and anti-social practices that are not appropriate for a revolution, a demonstration, or for people with an issue or problem for which they seriously seek a lasting solution.

The rhetorical dimension: We must carefully reconsider the language used in revolutions and demonstrations for the sake of a sound democratic transformation.

The stage should not be left for poetry that does not befit the literature of the Sudanese public street, or to poets who are not genuine or versed in poetry and do not in any way compare with the iconic figures of Mohammed Miftah Al Fitouri, Mohammed Al Makki Ibrahim, Hashim and Siddiq.

The terminological language used for a long time, even during this war, is not compatible with our educational literature and does not suit our well-known Sudanese concepts.

Diplomatic dimension: Diplomatic traditions must serve Sudan as a country and a nation. There is a need to take clear positions towards some countries that support the war in Sudan, as well as against the totalitarian regimes that crush the rights of their people.

However, the stances should at the same time consider the bonds of friendship that bind Sudan with the peoples of these concerned countries dominated by totalitarian and unsustainable regimes that will, in the long term, disappear from the surface of the earth.

The advisory dimension: An independent advisory council must be established in Sudan. It could be called the “Supreme Council of Elders of Sudan,” and must provide the opportunity for the people to refer to it in times of difficult or controversial national issues.

This council must include wise and expert people with no political affiliation whatsoever.

A major feature of this council should be independence and it should invariably have the last word, without any form of influential interference, before implementing the most important decisions for the sake of Sudan’s future and unity.

The humanitarian dimension: The people of Sudan must be grateful to the neighboring countries and friendly countries for the kindness they showed towards them in providing assistance during this war.

These countries that opened their borders to the people of Sudan at the most challenging times so that they could enter easily and make them a temporary second home.

At the forefront of these countries is the neighboring and friendly government and people of Eritrea.

Unfortunately, this coincides with other countries closing their borders, closing their doors in the face of Sudan, a country that throughout its history has welcomed anyone who fled from these very countries and settled in Sudan.

The legal dimension: War crimes must not be left unaccounted for.

There can be no compromise on holding accountable everyone who caused the war, who fueled its flames, and who attacked the citizens, their homes, property, and honor.

There can be no escape from accountability for those who caused the killing of innocent people in the streets, homes, and institutions, for those who buried citizens alive or mutilated their bodies after death, in a shocking abuse of the age-old tradition and rule of honoring the dead.

The sporting dimension: The sporting aspect must be employed in the service of Sudan and its citizens in all regions of the country. Practicing sports should not be limited to only one type -football. Our people in South Sudan have shown us that the potential of Greater Sudan is in basketball. We can expand sports performances to include all types, especially those whose requirements we possess. This will enable Sudan to perform and succeed internationally and to build and reinforce an ideal means of communication between the Sudanese.

The cultural dimension: The potential of the state must be harnessed “when it is established or re-established” in boosting cultural communication among the people of Sudan. Cultural institutions should work to bring points of view closer together.

This can be achieved by reviving the theatre, cinema, radio, television, art exhibitions, cultural seminars, and mutual visits for the sake of communication, and breaking the barrier of marginalization based on ignorance and superficiality.

(Conclusion of the ABCs of the Sustainable Development Goals and Sudan’s position among them – all published articles will be collected, following review and scrutiny, in an expanded booklet supported by sources and enhanced with photos and documentary investigations of some of Sudan’s war crimes since 15 April 2023).

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