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Why the Secret Plan of the Bashir Regime Demands Reinstating Sanctions Against Sudan

President Bashir of Sudan, African Union Summit, South Africa 2015. Source (AFP)

On January 13, 2017 former President Obama signed Executive Order No. 13761 temporarily lifting  20 year old sanctions against Sudan led by International Criminal Court indicted war criminal President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. The Executive Order had a look back period of 180 days which ends on July 12th, whereupon the Trump Administration might permanently lift sanctions.  This comes at a time when new evidence surfaced that a strategic policy group of the Bashir regime in Khartoum continued genocide against the indigenous black African people in Darfur, Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan  and the Blue Nile region.

The rancorous dispute between Qatar and four Arab nations, over alleged support for Islamic terrorism and the Muslim Brotherhood, has placed Bashir in a difficult position, as he has been asked by Saudi Arabia to take sides.  The government of neighboring Chad issued a statement cutting diplomatic relations with Qatar. Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno has long been waiting for this moment. Qatar has hosted and supported Chadian Islamist groups who have been recruited for Sudan President Omar al-Bashir’s Rapid Support Force (RSF)/Janjaweed militias.

In one embarrassing episode in mid-June 2017 General Taha Osman al Hussein, State Minister in the Presidency and  Director General of the Presidential Palace in Khartoum, allegedly had been arrested in an failed attempted coup to overthrow President Bashir of Sudan.  General al Hussein is a dual Sudan and Saudi Arabia citizen. Subsequent news reports said that General al Hussein and his wife had left the Sudan for Saudi Arabia after he had volunteered to allegedly lead an overthrow of Qatar.

Sudan had initiated an influence campaign in Washington retaining the services of the lobbying firm of Squire Paton Boggs at $40,000 per month to roll back the sanctions permanently. The objective was to make a convincing case that Sudan, despite its terrible human rights record, had nevertheless co-operated in providing useful counterterrorism intelligence on the whereabouts of the notorious Joseph Kony of the Lord’s Resistance Army.  In fact one of the co-authors, General Abdallah of the Sudan United Movement (SUM), had provided information on Kony’s whereabouts to US AFRICOM.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee rebuts recommendation of former US Sudan Envoys

The controversy over lifting Sudan Sanctions rose to a peak in late June 2017, when a noted US Sudan human rights activist Eric Reeves issued a scathing rebuttal letter.  It challenged a letter sent to the US House Foreign Affairs Committee by former Special Envoys to Sudan Princeton Lyman and Donald Booth, along with former U.S. Charge d’Affaires in Khartoum, Jerry Lanier, suggesting there was evidence to lift sanctions.

Reeves wrote:

In this almost three decades of brutal, tyrannical, and serially genocidal rule, this regime has not changed in any significant way. It has certainly not changed in ways claimed as possible by Lyman in December 2011:

We [the Obama administration] do not want to see the ouster of the [Khartoum] regime, nor regime change. We want to see the regime carrying out reform via constitutional democratic measures.” (Interview with Asharq al-Awsat, December 3, 2011).

One hardly knows where to begin in parsing the absurdity of this statement, justifying the Obama administration’s opposition to regime change. [Regime change] overwhelmingly favored by the vast majority of Sudanese and indeed now the linchpin of political and military opposition to the regime throughout Sudan.

Reeves then proceeded to document the escalation of genocidal ethnic cleansing against the indigenous black African people in Darfur, Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile region since the Obama Executive Order went into effect.

On June 30, 2017,  members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee responded by sending a signed letter to President Trump. It recommended that any decision to lift Sudan sanctions be deferred for at least a year past the July 12th. That would allow a new Special Envoy and team to be appointed and conduct investigations. The letter clearly stated the reasons for their recommendation to the President:

There has been substantial fighting [by] Sudan in Darfur in recent months, including evidence of targeting civilians by Sudanese armed forces and their affiliated militias.  As expected, no humanitarian access has been granted to South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, and only limited access to Darfur.

While the Sudanese government may seem cooperative on counterterrorism efforts, we believe they continue regularly scheduled support for violent non-state armed groups, like the former combatants of the Islamist group, Seleka, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Other similar violent actors [are] operating in northern and central Africa, the Middle East and neighboring countries.

As the look back date of July 12th looms there were further troubling disclosures.

The Top Secret Minutes of the Sudan Security Intelligence and Political Committee

Amidst the swirl of events concerning the lifting of sanctions against the Sudan regime of President al-Bashir were stunning revelations contained in the “Top Secret” minutes of The Security Intelligence and Political Committee of Crisis Management held in the Office of the Director of the Sudan National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on June 18, 2017.  The secret document had been obtained by a reliable informed source and was translated.

Attending the Khartoum meeting were the power elite of the reigning National Congress Party (NCP) regime: President Bashir, Vice President Backri Hassan Salih, Foreign Minister Ibrahim Gandur, Minister of Defense Awad bn Ouf, Hamid Momtaz Secretary of NCP political affairs, and  State Minister in the Ministry of foreign affairs, General Mohamed Atta al Mola Director of NISS, General Ibrahim Mohamed al Hassan, Commander of Military Intelligence,  Ibrahim Mhamud Vice President of NCP and Professor Ibrahim Ahmed Omer President of Parliament.

The minutes of this Crisis Management Committee revealed the broad sweep of plans for assassination of a major Sudan resistance commander in the Nuba Mountains and senior Officers supporting him. It also addressed sponsorship of international ISIS terrorist activities in the Sahel region of Africa, especially in Libya, and the global Muslim Brotherhood Organization.  It elucidated web of deception in the Bashir regime’s influence campaign in Washington, DC to lift sanctions by the Trump Administration.

These top secret minutes also reflect the Bashir regime’s position in the current dispute between Qatar and four Arab Countries: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirate, Bahrain and Egypt. It reveals that relations with Iran secretly continue despite the public cutoff in 2015.

The revelations in this NISS document further the case of the letter signed by Members of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee sent to President Trump. The following is a digest of key recommendations of the Sudan NISS Crisis Management Committee at the June 18, 2017 meeting.

Elimination of Nuba Mountains Resistance SPLA/N Commander General Abdalaziz Adam Alhilu

The Committee sought to isolate and eliminate Nuba Mountains SPLA/N Commander General Abdulaziz Adam Alhilu, through use of all government institutions, political, military, intelligence and propaganda. They also will promote Malik Agar, Governor of the Blue Nile State and a leader of the SPLM/N, through an extensive media campaign  focusing the African Union’s position supporting his legitimacy as SPLM/N head. Allegedly, the Committee minutes contend the South Sudan government does not support AbdulazizThey would create internal problems for Abdulaziz through tribal conflicts using Nuba people opposing him to foment conflicts inside SPLA/N to weaken and totally destroy it. They indicated that Churches are the main places where communities are gathering in Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile; so they want to use highly trained people to infiltrate into Christian religious communities and create problems for Abdulaziz and SPLM/N. They plan to assassinate officers supporting Abdulaziz using military force through the support of the Agar faction and tribes of Angassana to remove him from the Nuba Mountains.

Recruitment and Infiltration of ISIS fighters to support African and Global Islamic Terrorism

They will continue support for the Global jihad objectives of the Islamic State and the Muslim Brotherhood. To that end they indicated that ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria were defeated and the desert terrain is not suitable for continued warfare.  They would relocate ISIS fighters from Iraq and Syria and infiltrate them into the areas of Bahr al Gazal and Equatorial regions in the South Sudan. The areas of Bahr al Gazal and Equatorial regions would allow ISIS fighters to establish linkage with Boko Haram in Nigeria in the West through  the Central African Republic and  with Al Shebaab of Somalia in the East.  They would infiltrate ISIS fighters into neighboring Libya to reinforce ISIS affiliate groups there seeking to defeat the Libyan National Army regime of General Khalifa Haftar to prevent him from attaining power, as they view him as a threat to their regime. They believe that South Sudan President Salva Kiir supports the overthrow of the Khartoum regime, thus they want to overthrow the regime of President Kiir. To that end they would train Southern Sudanese youth, people from West Africa and Nigerian students supporting Boko Haram as they resemble the South Sudanese Africa tribal people in the capital of Juba.  They would infiltrate them into South Sudan as secret agent provocateurs to raise resentment against the regime of President Kiir, seeking its overthrow.

Support for Qatar and Renewal of Iran relations

The Committee minutes indicated that Saudi Arabia is trying to force them to leave Qatar.  However, they are not going to leave Qatar because it has been supporting the regime both ideologically and financially.  They contend, without the support of Qatar they would have been overthrown and imprisoned. They would reestablish their relations with Iran because of shared Islamic Jihad goals. Qatar, Iran and Turkey have established a relationship which has become a main point of contention raised by the Saudi Arabia and the three other Arab states. As we have written previously, Qatar has provided $200 million under the guise of education reform to Sudan that was diverted to funding the recruitment, training and equipping of more than 24,000 Rapid Support Forces (RSF)/Janjaweed militia.  They are under the control of the NISS in 16 camps in the region around Khartoum. These RSF forces were immediately deployed to Darfur and the Nuba Mountains to accelerate the ethnic cleansing of native black African peoples in those conflict zones.

Campaign to influence the Trump Administration’s lifting of Sanctions

Prior to the July 12th review by the Trump Administration they allegedly could stop two planned terrorist attacks on American interests in the world to convince Americans of Sudan’s seriousness of helping the US in combating global terrorism to justify lifting the sanctions.

They want to prevail on Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to put pressure on the US to lift sanctions. Saudi Arabia had urged President Obama to sign the temporary lifting of Sudan sanctions with his Executive Order. They also think  they have co-opted the US Intelligence Community because they understood the way the US intelligence Community think and operate.  They contend they have given counterterrorism intelligence information that no other country in the world had given them.  In return the US Intelligence Community has very little information about what is happening in Sudan.

Conclusion

This secret document reinforces our earlier contentions based on the captured Arab Coalition Plan. The Bashir regime’s objective is to recruit a jihad army of upwards of 150,000 from across the African Sahel region, ISIS Middle East and foreign fighters. The objective is to create a Caliphate ruled under Islamic Sharia law from Khartoum sponsoring global Islamic terrorism in consort with Muslim Brotherhood sponsoring regimes like Qatar and in renewed relations with Shiite Iran.  That is reflected in the Libyan National Army discovery of documents attesting to the collusion of Sudan, Qatar and Iran in fostering ISIS terrorists seeking to dismantle the Libyan National Army led by General Haftar.  Given these secret document revelations, President Trump would be well advised to accept the recommendation in the letter from the  US House Foreign Affairs Committee. That would entail  deferring  consideration of lifting sanctions for at least a year until a new Special Envoy of Sudan and South Sudan is appointed and team  assigned to obtain facts  that might verify the revelations of the secret June 2017 Sudan Crisis Management Committee minutes. A vital first step would be the appointment of a knowledgeable Special Envoy with plenipotentiary powers to investigate and expose the Bashir regime genocidal jihad objectives.  Another would be promoting regime change.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Lt. Gen. Abakar M. Abdallah Lt. Gen. Abdallah is Chairman of the Sudan Unity Movement (SUM). He is a native of North Darfur who joined the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in 1984 and became active in the Nuba Hills and Darfurian resistance movements. In 1989 he joined the Patriotic Salvation Movement in neighboring Chad based in Darfur. He served as an officer in the Chadian army for 23 years. He held senior intelligence and counterterrorism posts including as Coordinator of the Multi-National Joint Task Force of Nigeria, Chad and Niger. He was Coordinator of Pan-Sahel Initiative (PSI) Anti-Terrorism Unit of Chad and Commander of PSI Anti-Terrorism Battalion of Chad 2004. He is a December 2002 graduate of the Intelligence Officers’ Advanced and Combating Terrorism Courses, US Army Intelligence Center and Schools, Fort Huachuca, Arizona. He was a Counter Terrorism Fellow and a Graduate of the College of International Security Affairs, National Defense University, Washington, DC, 2005. He was an International Fellow and Graduate of the US Army War College, Class of 2008.

Jerry Gordon is a Senior Editor at the New English Review.

Deborah Martin is a 35 year veteran Sudan linguistic and cultural affairs consultant

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Why Is Political Islam in Sudan supported by Gulf Emirates and Saudi Arabia?

by Lieutenant General Abakar M. Abdallah

Sheikh Moza of Qatar with President Bashir of Sudan 3-12-17_jpg SMALL

Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser of Qatar with Sudan President Omar Bashir Khartoum, March 12, 2017.

The Political Islam system in the Sudan spearheaded by the National Congress Party regime is supported by the State of Qatar. The relationship is contributing to growing Islamic extremist groups and international terrorism in the world. Some Salafi movement leaders in Khartoum openly support ISIS; some Sudanese college students are already fighting for Jihad in Libya and Syria. Sudan’s geographical location and the ruling elite’s historical ties with Middle East nations have been the main reasons allowing  the Khartoum regime to support global extremism in both ideology and fighting for Jihad without been stopped.

Those countries fighting in the global war against terrorism failed to understand how Sudan’s Muslim Brotherhood/National Congress Party (NCP) regime functions. The regime is telling the international community one thing and doing something else. For instance, the four Sudanese who killed John Granville, the American who was working in the USAID in Khartoum and his Sudanese driver Abdelrhaman Abass in 2008 were convicted to life sentences. However, the Sudan regime declared that they escaped from prison. These men were convicted to deceive the American government that the Sudan regime was not behind the assassination.  The regime convicted the men to mislead both the US government authorities and the victims’ families that justice had been done. In reality, the Sudan regime released the prisoners under the pretext that they escaped from prison and sent them to fight as part of al Qaeda in Somalia and later to join the Islamic State and fight for ISIS in Libya.

The rise of the Islamic movements in Sudan started in early 1930s. The Sudanese society is characterized by a geographic diversity reflected in its multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious populations. However, the Islamic movements ignored these facts and formed a government based its ideology on sectarian parties, tribalism, and religious extremism that excluded the majority of the Sudan’s population from their basic rights of citizenship. This exclusion has caused Sudan’s perpetual crisis that resulted in an endless civil war that subjugated the population of the country.

Throughout the history of Sudan, the successive regimes have been using the same vicious slogans: “Sudan is an Arab land, Defending Islam, Spreading Islam in Africa, Defending the Palestine Cause, and Defending Arabism.” Using these themes, successive regimes that ruled Sudan able to convince and at times mislead the Middle East nations to secure political, moral, material, and financial support.

It is in the context of this strategy that the NCP regime in Khartoum obtained financial support from Gulf States, because they ignored the majority non-Arab Sudanese people seeing the Sudan as an Arab country; constructing an Islamic Arab state and defending the Arab cause against Africanism, imperialism (America), and Zionism (State of Israel). Such belief is an important part of their political, religious, and social cohesion that generates funding to finance all forms of terrorism not only in the Sudan but also in the African Sahel region and the world. Those countries combating the global war on terrorism should understand these facts.  They should deal with Bashir’s regime committing genocidal war crimes and crimes against humanity against the people of Darfur, Blue Nile and Kordofan.

The NCP regime’s ultimate goal is not to bring peace, stability, justice and the rule of law. Rather it is to spread radical Islamic ideology eventually establishing a Caliphate in the Sudan at the expense of destroying the entire people in the country’s conflict regions through the use of violence to intimidate its opponents. This regime has the habit of forming false alliances to resolve most crises. It also uses racial, ethnic, and tribalism to divide the people and deal with each group separately. The NCP government also uses religion as the word of God to frighten and control people. It uses deception, fomenting and financing of tribal conflicts, use of propaganda through its controlled media, forming alliances with under privileged groups. It uses state funds to bribe opponents to obtain their support consequently weakening them prior to their destruction.  The NCP has not limited itself to the use of these tactics. It has also created Islamic institutions that functions within and outside its government to advance its Islamic extremist ideological vision in the world. These organizations include but not limited to:

  • Leadership Bureau of the National Congress Party. This is where all the powers of the NCP reside. All higher decisions emanate from this office. For example, appointment of executive positions such as ministers, ambassadors, governors, senior military commanders.
  • Islamic Movement (IM). The IM was created to serve as a political base for the NCP. IM unites domestic and international radical Islamist groups under its umbrella. It provides them with ideological guidance seeking to apply Islamic Sharia law to the entire world.
  • Islamic Da’wa organization (IDO). The IDO is a Sudanese Islamic NGO founded in 1992 and designated to work in Africa. The organization is supported and funded by Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf States. IDO is a member of the International Islamic Council for Da’wa and Relief (IICDR).  The IICDR is an umbrella of over 100 Islamic organizations most of them associated with Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, and Hamas. These organizations provide political guidance, ideology, recruitment, and funding for all Islamic Salafi movements in the world. IDO is headed by retired Field Marshal and former President of the Sudan Abderhaman Siwar al Dhahab. He is also the current Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Union of Good (UOG) member organization. The UOG is designated by the US Department of the Treasury as a terrorist organization providing financial assistance to Hamas.
  • IAU logo khartoum(1)

    International University of Africa logo.

    International University of Africa (IUA). The IUA is a public university located in Khartoum and like any other educational institution, has many faculties. However, it concentrates on two subjects: (1) Islamic Shariah and (2) Islamic studies. This institution is designed to train preachers and educate young African Muslims indoctrinating them with the Salafist view of Islam. The IUA University becomes an important Islamic center for Sub-Sahara Africa educating people in Islamic extremist ideology.

Through these organizations the Sudan government and Gulf States are engaged in spreading extremist Islamic ideology contributing to global extremism. If we look a few years back, we see al Qaeda was present only in small areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Today we see Jihads all over the world and they are developing rapidly. We are regularly receiving information that Sudan and Qatar are providing financial and military assistance to Islamic militants in Libya, Mali, and possibly to Boko Harm in Nigeria.

Despite US Government placing financial restrictions to Sudan, Saudi Arabian government regularly donates money to the Sudan regime. Saudi Arabia gave Sudan $1billion in July and August 2015. These funds were given in the form of loans or investments. Recently, the Sudanese authorities mentioned that they expect to receive $4 billion following Khartoum’s decision to join the Saudi-led military coalition against Houthi rebels in Yemen. The flow of money from Saudi Arabia to the Muslim Brotherhood regime in the Sudan contributes to financing Global Jihad.

The IM, IDO, IICDR, and UOG organizations collect funds not only from the oil rich Gulf States but from companies, businessmen, Princes, Sheiks, traders, and ordinary people. These people give donations not for the purpose of supporting terrorism but for the goal of either advancing Pan-Arabism or supporting Islam. Most of these people do not care about what the result of their donation bring; they just give for the purpose of advancing Islam or Arabism.

Sudan President Omar Bashir’s trip to South Africa in violation of the outstanding International Criminal Court warrant for his arrest was settled by the Emir of Dubai. He paid one hundred million dollars to the South African government within the week following the incident. The Emir travelled to South Africa and settled the deal. Why did the Emir pay this money? The Emir paid the money simply because he has business interest in Sudan and was defending Pan Arabism.

Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser, royal consort of Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, visited Sudan on March 12, 2017. She was welcomed by the first lady of Sudan Widad Babiker. She met with President Bashir and discussed development projects for Sudan. The Sheikha also visited North Kordofan State to meet with the notorious Janjaweed leader Ahmed Harun who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court but is still at large. In order to draw away the international community attention Sheikha Mozah visited pyramids in Merowe, Sudan’s historic City in which Qatar and Sudan have joint Archeological projects.

The Sudan government obtains from the Arab League and the oil rich Gulf States through official and nonofficial channels. In 2007 and 2008, the Arab League gave the Sudan government over $500 million in the name of development in Darfur. Sheik Moza who visited Khartoum on March 12, 2017 donated $200 million dollars to Bashir to recruit and train more Janjaweed militias. These funds will be used to finance terrorists and recruit Janjaweed to kill the indigenous people of Darfur, Blue Nile and Kordofan. Even though the money comes in the name of development, they used to recruit, train, and arm Janjaweed militias to kill the people of Darfur. The wealthy oil rich Gulf Emirates, especially Qatar, provide Sudan funding in the name of development projects while secretly working to establish an all Arab Caliphate in Darfur and African Sahel region.

Following the visit of the Qatari State Minister in Darfur, he promised to fund 17 development projects in Darfur.  Since the signing of the Darfur Doha agreement both Qatar and Sudan spoke of developments in Darfur.  Last July Chairman Tijani Sisi of the Darfur Regional Authority mentioned that his organization realized 1800 projects in Darfur. It’s easy to say in words but the fact is that over 3 million people of Darfur are living in internally displaced persons and refugee’s camps. Where are the 1800 projects that Chairman Sisi is talking of that he and his group realized? Where is this large number of projects that could not be seen in Darfur? The truth is that there are no projects in Darfur other than recruiting and training of Janjaweed and terrorists to kill innocent people.

Sheikh Moza with Nkirth Kordofan Children 3-13-17(1)

Sheikha Mozah with innocent school children of North Kordofan, March 13, 2017.

The fact is that the Sudan government recruited and trained 34,000 Arab Janjaweed militias funded by State of Qatar. These Arab tribal militias are currently prepared to secure new settlement projects (construction of villages and digging of water pumps for new Arab settlers) in North Darfur. As I am writing this report, they deployed over 100 armed Toyota Pickup trucks of Rapid Support Forces to provide security protection to dig these water pumps at Wadi Azerk in Wadi Hawar, North Darfur. Their plan is to create 1,200 new Janjaweed villages in the area north of Kutum adjacent to the borders of Libya. Villagers in Disah, North Darfur were told to abandon their villages and move to the IDP camps or to the cities because next year they will not be allowed to cultivate their land. They said that area north of Kutum to the border of Libya is designated for Arab Janjaweed animal husbandry.

Conclusions

The Sudan government is contributing to the growing global Islamic extremist ideology and Jihadism. Eliminating this regime is a necessary requirement for peace. Its removal from Khartoum would greatly reduce the phenomenon of Islamic terrorism in the world. This would eliminate the system of sectarian parties, tribalism, and religious discrimination that successive regimes use to divide and rule Sudanese society. Regime change in Khartoum would call for creation of a secular and Sudanese identity transcending tribal and religious boundaries emphasizing equality and justice for its entire people.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.