The minutes of the Security and Military Committee meeting held on the premises of the High Academy of Security (Khartoum)
Eric Reeves | 3 June 2014 (Part 1) (Part 2 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Il)
On May 27, 2015 I received from a highly trusted source in Sudan the minutes of another high-level meeting of officials from the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party regime in Khartoum, held on June 3, 2014. I attach the Arabic original at | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Ik
I have archived the completely unedited text of an accompanying translation at | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Ij
Here, in two parts, is my effort at rendering a fully clear and idiomatic version of this often awkward and confusing translation (Part 2 may be found at | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Il). In a few places I have been forced to guess at the meaning of a sentence, and in a few places I simply confess my confusion. But it is a long text—the longest I have yet received—and context is ample on most occasions.
Yet again, all evidence points to the authenticity of the document; for commentary and discussion of the question of the authenticity of previously leaked documents, see | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1w5 .
I will provide a full analysis soon, but it has seemed to me important to put the Arabic original and a clear translation in the public domain as quickly as possible. What I have offered in place of a stand-alone analysis is a series of comments and observations, as well as factual corrections and additions; some are a paragraph, some are only a few words. This technique presents an opportunity to provide a detailed critique of a great many assertions and plans, and to point out particular examples of hypocrisy, mendacity, and cruelty. All are marked off by a distinct formatting: italics, in [brackets], and in the color blue. My initials (ER) also follow every interpolated comment. I have done this in part to make reading simply the translation without commentary as easy as possible.
I have highlighted in bold, or at a few expecially significant moments in underlined bold, comments of particular importance or relevance. I have also highlighted in bold proper names and terms that are of particular importance in following the grand political vision outlined here. I have sometimes used acronyms, but often return to the full name (e.g., Rapid Response Forces, RSF). I have consistently used the name and acronym Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement-North (SPLA/M-N) to designate the political and military forces opposing the regime in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, and which make up the most important part of the military coalition known as the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF).
The political nature of the meeting is indicated by the length of time given over to comments by Ibrahim Ghandour, Deputy Chairman of the National Congress Party (NCP): his initial presentation makes up about half of the commentary recorded in these minutes. There are also present a number of lower ranking political and military officials who are not present at subsequent meetings for which I have received minutes; these are dominated by the most senior military and security officials in the regime:
July 1, 2014 | see http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Cb
August 31, 2014 | see http://wp.me/p45rOG-1wk
September 10, 2014 | see http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Ff
(all have links to the full texts of the Arabic originals; the Arabic original text of the present minutes can be found at | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Ik
What emerges in the document is the record of an unusually well-attended meeting that often seems to be a high-level political instructional session, with particular talking points repeatedly being proffered. These revolve chiefly around the so-called “National Dialogue,” which is still in its political infancy at the time. It will be described in later meetings as a mere “ploy” and as offering the regime “political cover” in the run-up to the April 2015 national elections. Defense Minister Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein—indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity in Darfur declared: “Our National Dialogue initiative is just a maneuver to provide us with political cover for a continuation of the war….” President Omar al-Bashir himself weighed in with the claim that, “The National Dialogue is also intended to provide political cover for the present Constitution and the Decisive Summer Campaign [against rebel groups in Sudan].”
Clearly it was never taken seriously by the most senior members of the regime; but the idea that this was a development of political significance had to be sold to this (to be sure willing) audience. What questions to anticipate, what responses to expect, what to say in defense of the regime’s military policy—all this appears in various forms throughout the document.
A few other comments on my rendering of the translation I received from my Sudanese source:
- I have reformatted the text for clarity, but with no change in significance of any particular parts of the text;
- I have often transliterated Arabic names in ways more familiar than those used by the translator;
- I have been guided in my designation of military rank by a Sudanese military table of the translations for its various ranks:
mushir = Field Marshal (the rank President Omar al-Bashir formerly enjoyed)
fariq awul (rendered in the English translation I received as “First Lieutenant General,” a rank that does not exist) = general
liwa’ = major general
3amid = brigadier general
3aqid = colonel
muqaddim = lieutenant colonel
In the name of God the most gracious, the most merciful
The minutes of the Security and Military Committee meeting held on the premises of the High Academy of Security, 3 June 2015
- All the members of the committee attended the meeting.
- All experts and heads of specialized units attended for listening and evaluation purposes.
- All political leaders assigned with political missions of security nature attended.
- General Bakri Hassan Salih – the supervisor of the armed movements committee – welcomed the attendance and introduced Ibrahim Ghandour to brief the meetings on the details of the current political situation plus negotiation issues.
- All reports coming from external stations about the activities of the armed movements and the opposition political parties offices abroad were presented.
• Reports on the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) leaders’ travels to Europe.
- Reports on the activities of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement-North (SPLA/M-N) offices abroad and the trips of its leaders and the meetings they held.
- Issues of the National Dialogue and their consequences;
- The war in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur and counter-insurgency measures;
- Diplomatic, security and military work to confront the threat;
- Any other business.
- General Bakri Hassan Saleh – First Vice President
- Prof. Ibrahim Ghandour – Deputy Chairman of the National Congress Party
- General al-Rashid Fagiri – Director, Popular Security
- Dr. al-Fatih Izzadin – Speaker of the Parliament
- Dr. Mustafa Osman – Secretary of the Political Secretariat
- Dr. Hamid Siddig – Deputy Chairman of the Islamic Movement
- Salah Wanasi – Minister for Presidential Affairs
- Dr. Kamal Ebeed – Islamic Movement, in charge of External Affairs and Chancellor, Africa Islamic University
- General Yahya Mohammed Kheer – State Minister in the Ministry of Defense
- Abdalla al-Jeyli – Coordinator General of the Popular Defense Forces (PDF)
- Dr. Abdal-Gadir Mohammed Zain – Secretary General of the Khartoum State Islamic •Movement, and Coordinator of National Service.
- General Mohammed Atta – Director General of the National Intelligence and Security Services
- General Hashim Abdalla Mohammed Hassan – Deputy Chief of Joint Staff
- Major General (Engineer) Abu-Ubeyda Mohammed al-Hassan – Strategy Expert
- Major General ( Engineer) Hassan Salih Omer – Strategy Expert
- Dr. Mohammed Hussein Abu Salih – information analyst, expert in all security organs
- Major General (Security) Abdel Wahab al-Rashid
- General Mullah Ismail Birema Abdel Samad – Air Force Commander
- General (P.Sc.) Ahmed Abdalla al-Naw – Ground Forces Commander
- Dr. Amin Hassan Omer – In charge of Darfur dossier
- General Siddig Amir – Director General of Military Intelligence
- General (Security) Tajasir Osman – Central Security Director
- Major General Sileman Omer – Counter-intelligence.
- General (Navy) Dalil al-Daw Fadhlalla – Navy Commander.
- General (Security) Dr. Al- Mu-iz Farug – Director, Joint work Administration – Popular Security.
Prof. Ibrahim Ghandour, Deputy Chairman of the National Congress Party:
Greetings to you and welcome to this meeting, in which we will discuss many issues, including a briefing about the last round of talks in Addis Ababa concerning the Two Areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, the preparations for the next round of negotiations, the National Dialogue, the National Congress Party (NCP) basic units conferences, preparations for the elections and the position of the opposition and pro-NCP political parties with regard to the above issues.
You know that we may be invited to a seventh round of peace talks with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement-North (SPLA/M-N). I would like to know your vision for this round of talks, and what you expect from it. Are we too optimistic, given the fact that we are negotiating with anti-Sudan countries using the SPLA/M-N to negotiate on their behalf of their agenda, thus furthering their own agendas?
You know that the position of the government delegation from the beginning of the talks has been clear, intending to achieve peace through dialogue, because we believe that dialogue is the only way to peace—not through the barrel of the gun. This must include achieving a common political agenda. This is why we see the government position from the beginning was based on two requirements. First, a comprehensive cease-fire agreement; and then to move to relief for the needy according to the Tripartite Agreement signed by the two parties in August 2012. [First proposed by the African Union, the UN, and the Arab League in early 2012—and immediately accepted by the SPLA/M-N; Khartoum has never truly accepted this agreement, merely made noises about doing so—ER] And finally to move to immediate political and security arrangements to end the conflict. But the problem is the that the SPLA/M-N wants to separate the issues by talking only about humanitarian concerns. That way they want to get rid of the tripartite agreement and call instead for cross-border relief assistance, through NGOs unknown or agreed to by the government. This is not acceptable to us or to anybody else.
This is an attempt to repeat the Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) experience. It is a tested ploy that led to the prolonging of the civil war (1983 – 2005) and the suffering that all Sudanese still remember [The suffering was primarily a function of brutal actions of Khartoum’s regular and militia proxy forces; some 2.5 million people died, mainly from lack of food and clean water; another 4.5 million were displaced from their homes; deliberate, sustained aerial bombardment of civilian and humanitarian targets by Khartoum was constant—see www.sudanbombing.org – ER]. Accordingly we discovered from the beginning that the aim was not to secure humanitarian assistance for the needy people, despite its importance; rather, the SPLA/M-N was attempting to avoid any commitment leading to the demobilization or integration of their forces into the SAF. Again it is an attempt to use a ploy from the past, and one that failed to bring lasting peace. Accordingly, the negotiating position of the government is to insist on first obtaining a sustainable peace.
[This becomes the excuse for maintaining a humanitarian embargo on all regions in South Kordofan and Blue Nile controlled by the SPLA/M-N—ER]
In the sixth round of talks, which continued for ten days (April 22 – 30, 2014), we managed to reach some understanding on the agenda during the last five hours. We succeeded in adopting the agenda and agreed partially on some points of the framework; but the rebels insisted on discussing national issues to the extent that Yasir Arman instructed the Sudanese component of his delegation to put on certain Sudanese national dresses and costumes within the corridors of the hotel (where the negotiations are taking place) in order to give the impression that his delegation is national and represents the whole of Sudan. In spite of that, the position of the government’s delegation was very clear: we are there to discuss the issues of the Two Areas only.
On the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 2046 and all the African Union Peace and Security Council resolutions—as well as clarifications made by the African Union High-level Implementation Panel and President Mbeki—the negotiators were made to understand that their mandate is confined to the Two Areas only.
Accordingly, we adopted the agenda after a lot of difficulties, and we went on to the framework agreement. We can say that we reached an agreement on a small portion of the nine points of the agenda. There was agreement on two points from the beginning: these were the committee on political issues and the committee on security issues. Both were in accordance with the June 28th  Agreement [which implicitly recognized the SPLA/M-N as a political negotiating partner; the agreement was pointedly renounced by President al-Bashir just three days later as he vowed to continue “cleansing” the Nuba Mountains—ER], and UNSC Resolution 2046. On the cease-fire, the Movement talks about a cessation of hostilities for humanitarian purposes, renewable from time to time. Meanwhile, the government position was fixed on obtaining a comprehensive cease-fire, after which direct discussions of the security arrangements would begin, according to a time-table that begins with D-Day and ends with the total dismantling of the SPLA/M-N forces.
[It is to this total dismantling of all SPLA-N forces that the SPLM-N objects, so long as the people of the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile are faced with a regime that shows every intention of exterminating the African peoples of these regions—ER]
They refuse this plan because they want to maintain their forces during the interim period. But given the lessons we have learned from previous experience in the Two Areas, which resulted in the war that is raging today, we will not accept the existence of two armies in Sudan. This basic and important issue must be noted.
The second is the humanitarian assistance issue. We believe in the immediate implementation of the Tripartite Agreement [this is notably and importantly false], signed by the UN, AU and League of Arab States, parties that care only about the needy people and how to deliver assistance to them. The Agreement was accepted because it represented common ground between the two parties. [Again, this claim by Ghandour is false—there has never been any intention, or meaningful indication by the regime, that lifting the humanitarian blockade on the Two Areas is under consideration. Acquiescence on this critical issues reflects an abject weakness on the part of the international community, given the hundreds of thousands of lives that have been put at risk for lack of relief aid—ER] But the rebels wanted to absolve the agreement, and replace it with a new one, which serves a war agenda instead of humanitarian agenda. [Yet again, this is importantly and demonstrably false—ER]
The third issue is that they want the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-North to be allowed to operate as a political party. On this we had no objection provided that they work in accordance with the law. But they don’t like this word “in accordance with the law.” They insist on being recognized without condition or being asked to abide by the law that commits them to not to keep armed forces.
[At moments during this unusually large meeting, which includes many political figures, various senior members of the regime—both political and military/security—seem not to be recounting what has actually occurred but rather outlining a “playbook” of responses to the reneging that has been the hallmark of the regime’s response to all agreements it has signed with Sudanese parties—all of them—ER]
In short, we signed the framework agreement containing a statement that allows the SPLA/M-N to operate as a political party. This means that on the day of signature, they secure the right to operate as a party. And yet they expect that their forces will remain free to fight in the field. Hence when we say “in accordance to the law,” we mean the SPLA/M-N must get rid of its military wing before they are allowed to operate as a party. That means they have to meet the conditions required for them to operate as a party, namely no militias and no war against the state. They can then participate fully, as other parties have by means of the Political Parties Registration Act.
The fourth point is the National Dialogue. With this agreement we meant to give a chance to the SPLA/M-N to participate in the National Dialogue in the event a peace agreement is reached; an invitation was extended to them by the President of the Republic on April 6th . But they set conditions for their participation. Those conditions are almost identical to the conditions laid down by some political parties inside the country. They talk about the release of political detainees even as they know that the detainees were released.
[Thousands of politically active Sudanese have been detained over the past 26 years; recently the focus has been on Darfuri students. But it is simply nonsense to speak of “releasing detainees”: they are released when it is politically expedient to do so, and then often detained again. Many detainees are brutally tortured and kept in appalling conditions; some are killed extra-judicially. Here again it would seem, that on the occasion of this unusually large meeting, “talking points” are being set out, even as all in the room know perfectly well the regime’s record on political detentions over the past 26 years—ER]
They talk about freedoms and talk about the necessity of an agreement on a transitional government, even before they participate in the National Dialogue.
[Here is may be useful to hear what was said about the National Dialogue in a much smaller meeting of the most senior military and security officials of the regime some months later—on July 1, 2014 and August 31, 2014. Defense Minister Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein—indicted by the International Criminal Court for massive crimes against humanity in Darfur—declared: “Our National Dialogue initiative is just a maneuver to provide us with political cover for a continuation of the war….” President Omar al-Bashir—indicted by the ICC on multiple counts of genocide and crimes against humanity—weighs in with the claim that, “The National Dialogue] is also intended to provide political cover for the present Constitution and the Decisive Summer Campaign [against rebel groups in Sudan].” Other comments, including by senior regime political official Ibrahim Ghandour, echo these—ER].
I don’t understand what the meaning of the National Dialogue will be if we have already agreed to form a transitional government. These are pre-conditions that come even as we try to agree on how we can enable them to participate in the National Dialogue. After we agree on how they can participate, then any national issues can be discussed from within between us, as fully political forces or as Sudanese society. Another thing is that the SPLA/M-N are interested in a bilateral partnership with us while we talk about a comprehensive partnership, comprising all the Sudanese people. So we are not ready to go for bilateral partnership with the SPLA/M-N anymore. Our past experience during the Naivasha partnership with them is enough.
[The reference is to the then-united Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement, led by John Garang and including the military divisions in the Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile, and to the Naivasha (Kenya) peace process; the “Naivasha partnership” led to the historic Comprehensive Peace Agreement (January 2005) between the Khartoum regime and the SPLA/M. Had Khartoum abided by this agreement, it is unlikely that South Sudan—or Sudan—would be in as disastrous a position as it is presently—ER]
We don’t need such partnership again. Instead, today we have 74 political parties who are loyal to us and we have partnerships with them, so we cannot replace these partnerships with others. They are irreplaceable.
The mild pressure put on us by the region (AUHIP, AUPSC and the AU) helped generate this partial agreement. If this regional commitment continues, and we add some political effort internally, and consider the great role played by the Sudan Armed Forces, we may probably reach an agreement. But we must keep in mind that there is an agenda that runs counter to these goals of ours. This comes from internal and external allies of the SPLA/M-N who prevent them from engaging in the National Dialogue in order to reach peace. The Sudan Revolutionary Front and its military agenda on one side, and on the other, regional and international actors who do not want SPLA/M-N forces to be dismantled; so they prevent SPLA/M-N from signing any peace agreement.
[This is simply incoherent: the Sudan Revolutionary Front has as its strongest military member the SPLA/M-N; there is no tension between the SPLA-N and the SPLM-N. The working relationship between leaders Yasir Arman, Malik Agar, and Abdel Aziz el-Hilu is excellent and thus the claim that the SRF (including the SPLA-N) is opposing efforts by the SPLM-N to make peace is nonsensical. It is worth asking whether this is ignorance, stupidity, or expediency—ER]
The only hope is an honest pressure from the African regional forces for peace to come. Otherwise the pressure must be exerted by the SAF and the other security forces in order to expel the rebels completely from the Two Areas and thus bring lasting peace.
[Sudan has never been at peace during the 26 years of National Islamic Front/National Congress Party rule—never. Indeed, the coup of June 30, 1989 was timed precisely to forestall a North/South peace agreement that had support from the two major sectarian parties—the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the Umma Party of then-Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi—ER]
On the other side, there are internal political forces that we all know about—those who launched a campaign of criticism timed to coincide with the sixth round of peace talks, accusing the government of a lack of seriousness in the peace negotiations because the government had escalated the war against the rebellion during the talks. These forces forgot that during the last war in South Sudan, the position of Government of Sudan was that the war needed to be stopped for the peace talks to succeed. But in fact the position of the international community and the “mother SPLA/M” was “fight and negotiate.”
[This badly distorts history, and again for reasons that are not entirely clear. In July 2002 the Machakos Protocol was signed by the Khartoum regime and the SPLA/M, guaranteeing South Sudan the right to self-determination, including a referendum on secession. In mid-October 2002 a “cessation of hostilities agreement” was signed by the two parties. While this did not end all fighting, strategic offensive hostilities were largely halted by February 2003. This is what gave impetus to the Naivasha process that produced the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (January 2002)—ER]
Today we know that that during the third round of talks, the SRF entered Um Ruwaba [North Kordofan] and Abu Karshola [a strategic SAF garrison town in South Kordofan near the North Kordofan border—ER] on April 27, 2013, killing and looting. It has continued to do this throughout the peace talks rounds; they were fighting and negotiating, so why shouldn’t the SAF?
Accordingly, we said once we reach a comprehensive cease-fire, the war will stop and the dialogue for peace will continue. Since we have failed to agree on that up to now, nobody has the authority to ask us to stop the war. Our desire and belief is in the importance of a cease-fire and stoppage of the war. We know that those who pay the price of the continuation of the war are not the rebels who are living in five-star hotels, are rich and run profitable business—rather, it is the citizens and the state who pay the price of war.
[This is an appropriate moment to remark on the obscene self-enrichment that has continuously defined the regime and its supporters since the first days following the military coup that brought them to power, including economic and financial power.]
Many people confuse the framework agreement we hope to reach with the very different Nafi’e Ali Nafi’e/Malik Agar agreement of June 28th (2011). The Nafi’e/Agar agreement is composed of two parts: the first one was talking about partnership between the SPLA/M-N and the NCP. But when we adopted Nafi’e/Agar in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution 2046 we told the mediators that we would not accept the partnership mentioned in it, because our delegation represented the Government of Sudan, not the NCP.
[It is simply ludicrous to pretend that the Government of Sudan and the National Congress Party are not one and the same. But such pretense attempts to justify the following—ER]
So the place to discuss a partnership between us as two political parties is inside Sudan, not in Addis Ababa—if they accept and the mediators understood our point [about the differences]. This is important because it is connected to other principles and references, like the political work and the security arrangements mentioned in the Resolution 2046 and the three resolutions framed by the mediators on February 18, 2013.
We briefed our allies in the other political parties who share with us the same program on advancing the peace talks. The opinion expressed by them is that we confine the negotiations to the Two Areas only and should not recognize the Sudan Revolutionary Forces—and that the Darfur Movements must go to Doha (Qatar) Forum and Um Jaras. In addition, there is the necessity of separating the South Kordofan case from the case of Blue Nile.
[Such separation is for expedient political and military reasons—ER]
Regarding the National Dialogue, many meetings were held with various political forces. It is the first time that political forces have met the President of the Republic face to face to discuss national issues.
[This in itself says a great deal about “politics” and “political parties” in Sudan under the current regime—ER]
Political parties that have not had such an opportunity for a very long time were able to discuss issues in detail. Each party was given the chance to meet with the President alone. The aim was to guarantee their loyalty, and ensure that they remain divided and far from one another. That is one of the methodologies adopted in order to protect the National Dialogue and to keep it under control.
[The real meaning of the “National Dialogue” begins to emerge more clearly in this assessment—ER]
April 6th—the round-table meeting—was an important step that led to a political opening. Also political freedoms were granted; this is why you see today parties holding political symposiums everywhere.
I hope we maintain that spirit and that political parties use these meetings responsibly as the basis for dialogue and constructive criticism of policies, giving alternatives instead of insults and negative criticism; these cannot build or advance a country or benefit any party. This is why April 6th was an important meeting attended by 83 political parties, where they agreed to form a 50%-50% mechanism from the government parties and the opposition. Some suggested 7+7 members from each side, while others suggested 10+10.
[The negotiating team in the last round of talks that succeeded to reach a framework agreement was composed of 1+5 . The government team was representing six political parties. Ibrahim Ghandour was representing the government and the NCP. Lt. Gen. Daniel Kodi is a chairman of a party, Minister Sirajadiin Ali Hamid is a chairman of a party from Blue Nile, Muniir Shekhadiin is a chairman of a party, Brother Bushara Juma is a political Affairs secretary of the Justice Party-Original, and Bako Talli is the chairman of Sudan National Party-United.]
[Textual status of the above-interpolated passage, rendered in a very different font in the translation as received, is unclear—ER]
Whatever number agreed upon does not matter. What matters is that the government and its affiliated parties who met immediately after the agreement and named their representatives to the National Dialogue mechanism constitute a majority in comparison to the SPLA/M-N and its allies. The National Consensus Forces (NCF) held seven meetings and they could not agree on naming their representatives [The National Consensus Forces are a coalition advocating non-violent regime change in Sudan—ER]. We hope they agree and name their representatives, because this committee is the one on which to sit in order to decide the time and venue, as well as the agenda, for the National Dialogue—and how decisions are to be taken. I’m talking specifically about the NCF political parties who attended the round table meeting, and agreed to name their representatives in order for the dialogue to kick off.
Regarding the other political parties who rejected the National Dialogue initiative, it is clear that they are working to halt the process. Currently the National Dialogue is suffering from a setback due to the withdrawal of Umma party, followed by Ghazi Salah al-Din al-Atabani [former senior and influential member of the regime—ER], plus the memorandum of understanding signed by the Communist party and Umma. All that happened after the arrest of Sadig al-Mahdi. Still, the political parties who are loyal to us are many. [Thabo] Mbeki came and we brought him to understand our vision. We asked Mbeki to attend a meeting to demonstrate how great a majority we enjoy within the political parties and the civil society organizations under the chairmanship of Dr. Muhyidiin al-Jime-aabi.
[Any such action by Mbeki clearly crosses the line between mediation and political support for the regime. This has been a highly unfortunate hallmark of Mbeki’s variously disastrous diplomatic efforts in greater Sudan—ER]
Those interested in joining the National Dialogue are welcome; the President said on January 27th  that it will be a “Sudanese to Sudanese dialogue.” It is for all the people. Also we have to agree on the rights of other forces—civil society forces, youth, women, community leaders, trade unions, students, etc.—to participate in the National Dialogue. It is a National Dialogue and not a monopoly to the NCP and its affiliated political parties.
Our wish is that all the forces participate, but we know that from a practical point of view it is impossible to have everyone on board. People differ even on which prophets were sent from heaven. Still we hope that people realize the importance of common and national interests rather than indulge a narrow-mindedness that concentrates on partisan agendas and political maneuvering.
[Given the machinations and maneuvering that defined the NCP management of the “National Dialogue,” as well as the national electoral farce of April 2015, this is the very height of hypocrisy—again suggesting that “talking points” are being delivered—ER]
Accordingly, this government which was elected through universal suffrage in 2010 [an utterly preposterous claim, given the nature of the 2010 elections—ER]—and mandated by the majority of the Sudanese people [complete nonsense—ER]—is now extending an invitation to the opposition, whether political or armed, to a National Dialogue, with the aim of reaching consensus on a governance system and the values to be enshrined in the Constitution for the purpose of building our country while we are united [yet another fantastically preposterous characterization of Sudanese political life—ER]. We can differ only on the ways and means of the implementation of the agreed objectives. This is where the people have to choose the best program and the party they think can achieve the goal they are aspiring for. [Orwell, 1984—ER]
On the other side, elections are a constitutional right and the responsibility of the National Election Commission. It is making arrangements for holding the elections as scheduled [April 2015]. In preparation for the elections we in the NCP held more than ten thousand basic unit conferences. Our membership is 8 million and we shall convene the national conference next October  to select our nominee for the presidency, gubernatorial offices and the legislative councils. You should know that the Justice Secretariat has already amended the electoral law and we directed the National Assembly to pass the amendments into law. [This is not normally the relationship between executive, judicial, and legislative bodies; so casual is the NCP monopoly on power that such a thought would never occur to anyone present—ER] There are 78 political parties who will contest in these elections with us. [This division of the political opposition is something the regime has long counted on—ER] We will not tie the National Dialogue to the elections because we are mandated on one side, and the elections are a right that cannot be postponed; meanwhile the National Dialogue can continue in all its aspects.
[The de-linking of a successful “National Dialogue” and the national elections becomes more emphatic in the months following this meeting—ER]
The National Dialogue initiative is unprecedented, and we were commended by international and regional communities: UN Security Council Resolution 2046; the AUPSC in its Resolution of March 10th ; and the AUHIP under President Mbeki will also witness and facilitate the National Dialogue.
[It is telling that Mbeki never saw the “National Dialogue” as the “ploy” that is has clearly been in the mind of the most senior members of the regime; Mbeki long ago made clear that he was in Khartoum’s pocket, something bragged about in the August 31, 2014 meeting. His obtuseness, or moral corruption, in dealing with the Khartoum regime certainly reflects in part the guidance received from advisors such as Alex de Waal. A groveling letter to the Qataris, begging for funding for his “foundation,” is all too revealing: see— http://wp.me/p45rOG-1If – ER]
We want this National Dialogue to succeed and to achieve national consensus; indeed, we hope it becomes a model for solving the problems in the other African counties. This is because more than 50% of the African counties are suffering from either civil wars or external war with a neighbor.
[Sudan as an exemplar for Africa: what an astoundingly perverse (and revealing) arrogance!—ER]
There are political parties setting conditions in order to participate in the National Dialogue. For example, we must stop the war first in order to start the Dialogue; but we told the military opposition that we are a state and it is our right to protect our country from foreign intervention. We told them that if they are genuine, let them ask their allies in the Sudan Revolutionary Front to stop the war immediately. We simply want a comprehensive cease-fire from them.
[What goes unspoken here is the elaborate plan for “Decisive Summer Military Campaigns,” touted as bringing by force an end to the violence. The campaign last year did not succeed, nor has the campaign succeeded this year. The drain on national resources created by this state of continual war, on multiple fronts internally, accounts for a tremendous amount of the severe poverty, acute malnutrition, and lack of medical opportunities for most Sudanese—ER]
Regarding relief for the needy, we are ready for immediate implementation of the Tripartite Agreement signed by the two parties. Let them convince their allies with that.
But again, the point is precisely that Khartoum refuses to abide by the Tripartite Agreement as promulgated by the UN, the African Union, and the Arab League in early 2012. The demand for unconditional surrender as a condition for allowing relief into rebel-controlled territories ignores the genuine fears of the peoples of the Nuba and Blue Nile, i.e., that they will be exterminated once disarmed—ER]
The rebels are not interested in a solution for the problem of the Two Areas. [this is a bald lie—ER] They want to divide Sudan by demanding a constitutional status for the Two Areas. In addition to that they insist that we negotiate with the Sudan Revolutionary Front, the armed movement.
I mentioned to you the committees that are supposed to be formed:
- Political committee;
- Security Arrangements committee;
- Humanitarian issues committee;
- National Dialogue committee.
Regarding the political and the security arrangements referred to in UN Security Council Resolution 2046—which adopted the Nafi’e/Agar framework agreement. We accepted it as a resolution, but not as a result of a new agreement or negotiation with the SPLA/M-N. [There continues to be a serious incoherence in the claims of the regime—ER] In regard to the humanitarian committee [for providing aid to people in rebel-held territories in South Kordofan and Blue Nile], what is most important is that there be a comprehensive cease-fire and not a partial one. [What this means is that Khartoum expects the SPLA/M-N to disarm unilaterally, putting people who have faced clearly genocidal ambitions at the mercy of the regime animated by those ambitions—ER]—and provided that the SPLA/M-N expel the Darfurian movements forces from the Two Areas. Only then will we guarantee the implementation of the agreement.
Also we are not ready to negotiate with the so-called Sudan Revolutionary Front: let them go to Doha (Qatar). [More incoherence: the Sudan Revolutionary Front comprises both the Darfuri rebel groups as well as the SPLA-N. Pretending that the SRF as a while can “go to Doha,” site of the failed Darfur peace agreement of July 2011, simply ignores the make-up of the military coalition—ER]
Those interested to participate in the National Dialogue have to dismantle their militias first; the same applies to the Darfurian movements; we will not allow them to participate in the National Dialogue through Doha. Whatever the case we will not accept taking the National Dialogue abroad: it comes from within the country, and those interested must accept this condition. There will be no National Dialogue in a foreign country.
- We said the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement-North (SPLA/M-N) can register as a party in accordance to the law. I want to assure you that no concession was made in taking this decision.
- Our party, the National Congress Party, is targeted by internal and external enemies. We must confront them decisively and by the law.
- Political opponents targeted and condemned the Ready Support Forces (RSF) because it has succeeded in reaching the strongholds of the rebellion and defeating them.
- There has been a fierce media campaign launched by local and foreign newspapers against the Islamic movement cadres, describing them as corrupt without evidence in an attempt to destroy the Islamic movement. They used the events taking place in some neighboring countries, where the Islamists are facing a big conspiracy. But I see that these people do not understand the realities in Sudan. The fact is that in Sudan all the security forces are owners of the Islamic project, and whatever they do the Islamists will continue to rule this country.
[This last sentence provides context for all that precedes—concerning elections, “National Dialogue,” outreach to other political parties: “The fact is that in Sudan all the security forces are owners of the Islamic project, and whatever they do the Islamists will continue to rule this country.” This preemptive declaration has long been the principle that really guides the regime—ER]
- We formed a production/promotion committee to increase revenues for funding and strengthening diplomacy, and to improve the performance of the armed forces, police, and the security organs.
- Some people think that the National Dialogue can dismantle the Ingaz [“Salvation Revolution,” the name that defined the National Islamic Front, the antecedent political body that is now the NCP—ER] because there are internal differences within the NCP. What I believe is that all the dissidents who split from the NCP will return to us on an individual basis. We must infiltrate the rank and file of the splinter groups and dismantle them. [So much for the lasting significance of having some “face time” with al-Bashir.] Also it is worth mentioning that the Communications Committee met with the movements and succeeded in forming the South Kordofan “Peace Council” and Blue Nile “Development Council.” This is in addition to reaching greater understanding with the sons of the East, [see the very recent and scathing assessment of the Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement (October 2006) by Small Arms Survey (May 2015)—ER] we decided the necessity to maintain a presence among them. In this area I leave the rest of points to Brother Bakri, because he is the supervisor of the Movements affairs dossier.
- In regards to the international pressures, I met with all the envoys. I discovered that their aim is to make a breakthrough by a weak agreement that will guarantee the presence of their agents (rebels) within us. The American envoy told me that if we tackle the problem of Darfur movements we will be able to agree with the SPLM-N. He wanted to sell a lie to me, but I told him that for Darfur movements we have Doha forum, and we have Addis Ababa for the Two Areas only.
[Khartoum has long refused to integrate peace talks with the various rebel groups, confident that by separating them, they can play one off against the other, and delay even a partial agreement indefinitely. International enthusiasm for the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur was entirely misplaced, and the agreement is a thoroughly dead letter, enjoying no support from Darfuri civil society or the major rebel groups in the region. Comments recorded in the minutes of subsequent meeting make clear that beyond having an unworkable Doha agreement to fall back on when pushed diplomatically about Darfur, the regime believes that former UN/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) head Mohamed Ibn Chambas, along with Haile Menkerios (special representative to Sudan of the UN Secretary-General), and most conspicuously AUHIP chair Thabo Mbeki have been fully “on their side.” With their support, Khartoum is convinced that the regime they will never feel serious international pressure in negotiations taking place in Addis—ER]
On another matter, Yasir Arman and Jagood criticized Daniel Kodi, telling him that when they joined the SPLA/M in the 1980s their project was to liberate the whole of Sudan. Daniel replied that was at the time of Garang and there was no intention to separate South Sudan. But we discovered that the movement deceived us and killed our sons for nonsense, and that the new Sudan project was a big lie, and that the Nuba and the Funj have paid the price. So we will not repeat the mistake of the past. The leadership of the Movements must bear responsibility for the killings, and the displacement taking place today in the Two Areas. Daniel’s opinion is that there is no relation between Darfur case and the Two Areas case. This is why I was keen to represent the sons of the Two Areas in the meetings so that they confront SPLA/M-N members.