[ For a full account of the authenticity of these minutes, see | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1w5 ]
UPDATE, October 8, 2014: I believe the Arabic text is now complete and properly ordered (here I am much indebted to to the alrakoba.net text of the Arabic, especially for the mysterious page 14). Having said this, I would be grateful to any fluent Arabic readers who should perchance detect missing text or pages out of order. I have kept the previous updates on this post if only to give some indication of the difficulties entailed in this complicated task.
UPDATE, October 7, 2014: I originally received notice from native speakers of Arabic that pages were missing from the document I began posting in a series on September 25, 2014 (the document consists of “Minutes of the Military and Security Committee Meeting held in the National Defense College [Khartoum],” August 31, 2014; the minutes themselves are dated September 1, 2014). The number of estimated missing pages seemed to vary, but eventually with a reposting of more legible photographs of the pages, it was determined that three pages were missing from the 30-page document. As of today, all 30 photographs of all pages have been posted, insofar as I can determine without reading Arabic. Notably alRakoba.net has also published the text, though it has been reproduced in a fashion (probably computer scanning) very different from the photographic method used here. See the alRakoba text at: http://www.alrakoba.net/download-1411986180942-2.pdf).
In short, despite enormous difficulties in communication, technical problems (chiefly incompatibilities in photographic processing and computer programs), and simple confusion, the text is now, I believe, complete.
The best English translation now extant is:
UPDATE, October 5, 2014: According to several Arabic readers, three (possibly only two) pages are reportedly missing from the text below; they seem to have disappeared between an initial photographing of the document and a second, much clearer photographing. The three pages at the end of the text below I believe include the two or three missing pages, unfortunately very blurry indeed. But there are sufficient graphic details to establish that they do not appear at any point in the pages above them. I cannot be sure of the order, but several Sudanese Arabic speakers are working on the problem, even as I post this note.]
UPDATE, October 2, 2014: There have been (perhaps predictable) technical and communications difficulties in securing the best possible physical text of the Arabic minutes for a critical meeting in Khartoum on August 31, 2014, convening the most senior military and security officials in the NCP/NIF regime. I believe these difficulties have been resolved, and the final product re-posted here is at once more complete and has considerably greater physical clarity. But lacking Arabic as a language I can read, and given the absence of Arabic numerals on the pages of the minutes, the completeness of text has been an ongoing issue. Some efforts at transmission have failed, though neither sender nor receiver was aware of this failure (each page of the minutes has been separately photographed and individually transmitted electronically). Because the problems have been so unpredictable in nature, if predictable in likelihood, I have not yet been able to secure the services of a fluent/native Arabic speaker/writer to review the entire text as it now stands (3:30pmEDT, 2 October 2104) to make sure it is fully complete and organized precisely; I am currently undertaking precisely this task. But the contents of the text are of such significance, bearing directly on the current political and economic crises in Sudan, I felt obliged to post this augmented and visually significantly enhanced text as soon as possible. If a reader of this text with the requisite linguistic skills spots an error, I would be very grateful if notice could be sent to me.
[Two particularly blurry pages have not yet been replaced with clearer reproductions, but did appear in the original posting; they appear here as an “appendix” at the end of pages that have in fact been replaced.]
It remains the case that no serious skepticism about the authenticity of the document has been expressed in any venue of which I am aware; the regime in Khartoum has been silent, evidently hoping the text and its ghastly implications will simply fade away. By contrast, affirmations of the authenticity of the minutes for the meeting have come from many quarters, including those Sudanese whose native language is Arabic and those who have long studied Sudan. Publication of parts of the text as well as commentaries on the text in Sudan Tribune, al-Hurriyat (where the document was headline news), Gurtong.net, South Sudan News Agency, and others have tacitly made the views of these news sources about authenticity clear.
UPDATE, September 30, 2014: There are apparently eight pages (possibly seven) missing from the Arabic text I have posted on this site of my website. Because I have no Arabic, and pages of the original do not use Arabic numerals (and are slightly blurry in several cases), I did not realize I’d posted an incomplete document. Pages were transmitted to me in individual photographs, JPG format. Using the numbers on the photographs, I believe I’ve been able to reconstruct where the missing Arabic pages are to be found in the original text (one set of JPGs, it would appear—possibly two—are missing and will complete the text).
I am pushing as hard as I possibly can to get these remaining pages; communication with those inside Sudan on such an extremely dangerous matter is at present very difficult; moreover, my source currently has limited bandwidth availability because of his location. It is possible that the JGPs were sent but lost in transmission due to a technical failure of some sort. I have neither Arabic nor computer technical expertise, so I have only common sense to work with here—and an acute sense of the importance of this undeniably authentic document.
I regret deeply the confusion that this has created, and any doubts about the authenticity of the document. My source simply scoffs at suspicions this may be a fabrication, and insists that anyone who does possess Arabic will see, even if looking at an incomplete text, that this could not possibly have been fabricated. The extraordinary level of detail and knowledge in the English translation certainly convinces me that this is the case. This is also the conclusion of every Sudanese native Arabic-speaker with whom I have communicated: not one has expressed skepticism about authenticity. One may also compare the English translation of the entire document with the Arabic text as it presently stands; inferences about the missing Arabic pages can be drawn accordingly.
In short, the fact that there are seven or eight pages missing from a document that I assume is 31 or 32 pages is not an issue of withholding. Nor does it logically suggest fabrication—on the contrary, anyone fabricating such a document would be certain to make sure that all pages were included. The issue is simply a technical one, compounded by the difficulty of communicating into and out of Sudan in the present political climate, and with the regime now possessing knowledge that the minutes of the 31 August 2014 meeting of the most senior security and military officials have been leaked to someone outside Sudan.
All pages of Arabic original for minutes taken 31 August 2014 at a high-level meeting of Khartoum regime security and military officials (minutes dated 1 September 2014);
[page 1 of Arabic text–below—running through page 28]
[page 2 of Arabic text–below]
[page 3 of Arabic text—below]
[page 4 of Arabic text—below]
[page 5 of Arabic text—below]
[page 6 of Arabic text—below]
[page 7 of Arabic text—below]
[page 8 of Arabic text—below]
[page 9 of Arabic text—below]
[page 10 of Arabic text—below]
[page 11 of Arabic text—below]
[page 12 of Arabic text—below]
[page 13 of Arabic text—below]
[page 14 of Arabic text–below
This page comes from another source using the same document, but with a much clearer page 14 (see http://www.alrakoba.net/download-1411986180942-2.pdf):
[page 15 of Arabic text—below]
[page 16 of Arabic text—below]
[page 17 of Arabic text—below]
[page 18 of Arabic text—below]
[page 19 of Arabic text—below]
[page 20 of Arabic text—below]
[page 21 of Arabic text—below]
[page 22 of Arabic text—below]
[page 23 of Arabic text—below]
[page 24 of Arabic text—below]
[page 25 of Arabic text—below]
[page 26 of Arabic text—below]
[page 27 of Arabic text—below]
[page 28 of Arabic text—below]