KHARTOUM – Islamist thinker and former leader of Sudan, Hassan al Turabi helped President Omar al Bashir to power in 1989. When he was leader of Sudan, he promoted Sharia law as a means of uniting the country. He also invited Osama bin Laden to live in Sudan.
Omar al-Bashir, President of Sudan, says the conflicts in Iraq, Libya and Syria are the result of US interference. In an interview with Russia Today, he said Washington was trying to control the Middle East and North Africa so it could seize its resources.
Despite a year marked by ethnic conflict in Jonglei State that has resulted in the killing of hundreds, a bloody conflict on the border with Sudan, and a huge corruption scandal, the capital Juba is holding a huge street party to mark the first anniversary of South Sudan’s independence.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is expected to join the leaders of neighbouring Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda at the mausoleum of South Sudan former rebel leader John Garang near the capital Juba, as the newly established nation plans to throw a huge street party.
No senior Sudanese leaders are expected to be there with the two countries still disputing some border areas and how to share their oil wealth, which some observers say the South has squandered on its military.
Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir said: “We will not negotiate with the South’s government, because they don’t understand anything but the language of the gun and ammunition.” He was quoted by the Reuters News agency telling this to his troops on arrival to the oilfield and border town of Heglig, which had been occupied by South Sudanese troops nearly two weeks ago, and which Sudan says it has retaken.
South Sudan – which was bombed by Sudanese jets – says it had retreated from Heglig.
George Clooney spoke yesterday after his release from a Washington jail for protesting along with his father Nick outside the Sudanese Embassy. “I grew up in a family that believed that your job was to be involved with your fellow-man.” he said. “You have a responsibility to participate in the human condition, one way or another.”
George and his fellow activists say Omar al Bashir is blocking food aid to his country. He knows that Nato planes could never take out those planes that hover over the skies in the Darfur region firing on civilians, so he says, that he is prepared to go to prison.
He hopes it won’t happen again.
Well George, NATO planes have been operation – in Libya, Afghanistan, in Iraq and there are those silent drones that kill in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.
Often the missiles miss their target and kill civilians – how many since 9/11 we just don’t know because the nation whose president and secretary of state he recently met don’t think its important to count the dead unless they are Americans.
Nato still hasn’t opened up as to how many civilians were killed to get Colonel Gaddafi stripped and paraded on a tank before being executed.
What’s more, Sudan recently lost its south portion amid great fanfare – today that region is over run by militias with no functioning government to speak of.
Celebrity Culture gives us all a chance to escape the stress for some, and the boredom for others of everyday life. And in every way, George Clooney has brought back that glamour that we all associated with a bygone age.
Where it goes wrong, dear George, dear boy, dear old boy, is when one brings the foreign policy expertise of a simpleton to events that are not proved, arguing for actions whose consequences may reverberate for decades to come.
Personally I blame Tony Blair.