tv Inside Story 2020 Ep 15 Al Jazeera January 16, 2020 3:32am-4:00am +03
russian jets have resumed bombing of a village province's syria's last remaining rebel held area there the 1st attack since the beginning of a ceasefire brokered with turkey several towns were targeted including 2 main markets an adlib city at least 15 people are reported to have been killed the syrian government launched an offensive last year to retake the problems a senior u.n. official in lebanon has blamed the ruling elite for failing to tackle an economic collapse that has reignited protests in the capital demonstrators have regrouped in beirut for a 2nd night they've been targeting lebanon's financial institutions as part of a symbolic attack on the ruling elites economic plans and those are the headlines the news continues here in al-jazeera after inside story from the.
sudan's transitional government put to the test the army says it quashed what it calls a rebellion by former forces it all started with a plan to restructure the intelligence services so what does it mean for sudan's transition to civilian rule this is inside story. will follow and welcome to the program i'm richelle carey it was a brief confrontation between what's seen as sudan's old guard and the new administration at the revolt from within the ranks of the security services posed a major challenge for the transitional government members of a disbanded intelligence unit were angry at the terms of their dismissal they
played a large role in cracking down on the nationwide protest against president omar al bashir that started in december of 2018 fighting broke out on tuesday in the capital khartoum in the city's airspace was briefly closed then rest ended when the security agents surrendered the morgan reports from the capital khartoum. cautiousness can be felt around her tomb on wednesday morning following the events of tuesday despite the fact that the country's prime minister abdullah dork and the head of the sovereign council have been for the one hand coming out and giving press statements to try to assure the citizens that all is well and that everything is under control now let's go back to what happened which we do know is that the operations unit from the general intelligence services who have rejected a severance package following given up were given options to either retire or join the military and the rapid support forces and who have opted to retire or have rejected a severance package that were offered to them saying that this is not what they were promised and it was despite dissatisfactory now the shooting went on between
the armed forces and the general intelligence services operations unit for more than 12 hours and the government said that at least 2 soldiers have been killed and several civilians as well and that there were dozens who have been injured caught in the crossfire between the government between the government soldiers and the operations unit from the general intelligence services but people are asking why was a unit that was dissolved months ago still armed and the question is why did it take so long for them to be paid out now the government has said that they have indeed released the money and the people who have taken arms yesterday say that the money that they were given is not the money they were promised so people are asking where did the money go and how far how high up was this game that played out involves who was involved as high level because they say that it happened in various parts of the capital and therefore it needed according nation at high level so lots of questions have come out following the events of tuesday and lots of cautiousness
people are saying that they are worried that the security system in the country still needs for the reforms for them to be able to feel safe here morgan for inside story or forming the intelligence unit was a key demand of those who protested against omar al bashir the demonstrations were sparked by soaring bread prices and escalated into large anti gover. at rallies there was overthrown by the army in april and a military council was formed to rule until elections were held but this was rejected by protesters who demanded power be handed to a civilian government after months of negotiations their army generals opposition and protest groups all agreed in july on a 3 year power sharing government thanks to let's bring in our guest now in khartoum via skype we have sudanese filmmaker an activist coca and mefford in the u.s. state of massachusetts we have alex to wall is executive director of the world peace foundation at the fletcher school of law and diplomacy at tufts university welcome to both of you appreciate it so much as usual to start with you this this
rebellion this confrontation did it surprise you. very very i started my day required mid day we were just driving. in downtown so i'm in a very high and area and suddenly we started seeing lake armed men with civilian clothing walking around with crushing go and they started shooting and shooting in the air and it was such a surprise the person i was driving with was so shocked to the point she stops he she ran down the wheel and we had the car front of us 3rd was such a shock to be like what is happening what was going on it was definitely not expected to how does this play out for you as you were there. so we ended up being in this traffic jam. national security what they did is they blocked that main road on the airport road and we were in another and another main
road only was blocked. started burning a tire which. is what we as activists were doing during the revolution burning tires were not so bad the tire burned st so it was suddenly like the names were going up wired together shooting in the air so it was like a moment of like not know it was happening in trying to get on social media and stuff and trying to figure out what happened and it took a while before we realized what happened because in the beginning there was a lot of rumors and people time speculate and figure out who are these people what do they want to do what's happening was going on so when he said that this this violence this abruption of violence what was a surprise would you describe how would you describe the atmosphere what it's been like in khartoum has it been relatively calm do people feel mostly safe. it's men really calm most of the military appears to be removed from khartoum so it's been
been the couple of weeks where we've been really really calm things are chill there's not that many armed forces so we suddenly to see that during the day and then at night actually heavy artillery being fired at night so it was such a big surprise ok alex i'd like your take as well this type of am confrontation between the forces that are basically being told to leave was something like this is it expected or should it have been expected at some point some sort of resistance by the elements of the security forces that were being disempowered and disbanded at some point was certainly going to happen when the prime minister abdullah took the job 6 months ago he identified 3 priority actions the 1st was the economy the 2nd was peace with the rebels and off for
a south kordofan i'm going on on the 3rd was security sector reform and that was always going to be the toughest one. because saddam's security sent to is huge it has no many it's a hydride has many many different elements there's the army the national intelligence and security now on the reform the rapid support forces and a dozen or so other paramilitaries not on not only are they huge but they're also deeply embedded in us they run their own companies they have their roots and their fiefdoms and getting on top of this was going to be the single biggest challenge for a civilian government because they really they don't know these people very well they don't have much control or ferrety over them they don't have the resources with which to offer them alternatives so. regardless of what may have been the political motives of the people who staged this rebellion mutiny they're all sorts
of commercial livelihoods socio economic reasons why members of the outgoing security forces might want to make a fuss might want to resist him or file and might not want to go quietly as i have a morgan was mentioning in her report some people have questions of how something like this was allowed to happen why were these these outgoing and i asked people why were they why were they still armed i mean what does it say to you about how this played out. i think the. getting does on being organized units in a country like sudan is extraordinarily difficult so i don't think we should be pointing a finger and saying there's a been a major failure here this was always going to be a very long term job of getting on top of the national security operational units and all sorts of other paramilitaries throughout throughout the
country and of course the forces who are going to do this are themselves not entirely united you have the sudan forces and then you have the most powerful and capable group in the country the rapid support forces who are drawn from paramilitaries principally from darfur who are loyal to general. moment head misty dago who is the 2nd in in charge of all of the military establishment and the real strongman the sort of the counterpart of the civilian prime minister and the question of who would actually do the disarming is going to be a very very tricky one because whoever does that is themselves going to become extraordinarily powerful and we don't we wouldn't want to see a situation in which the let's say the rapid support forces themselves to forcible disarmament and then accumulate the power that comes from that so it's
a really tricky a political tightrope as well as an enormously complex institutional process to go through and i'm afraid we can expect to see more incidents like this as it unfolds . the the end i assess as you know it's been disbanded there reforming it whatever word you choose to use obviously they were key and trying to crack down on the protesters who wanted omar al bashir gone do you think that there's any type of. accountability that needs to be put to some of the people that we're part of and i ask going forward does that play a role and the transition that sudan is trying to make so i was i was arrested by this and i was placed in an area in a cell that we call the freezers and basically we have a group that's like what's up when we're not and this is one of the biggest things we're talking about is like can can we get our rights can we go to court can we.
have them held the kind of we got should be got beaten and we were jailed without reason and so read like we have all these things we want to take them to court with can we or can't we and this is the biggest question that we have and we were trying to see how we can start that process so truthfully within our group would result in about not reform we do not believe in reform and this we told him we believe in restructuring up so that discussion of reform and what not to us is like this force was created by the previous regime it was chosen very closely for them to do something that we don't think that they can move on and become. then dell agents force intelligence body. democracy so to us reform is not going to happen and this is why when this happened and they came out and the fighting started a lot of people on the street were happy that ok now instead of trying to reform
them we can just get rid of them and we can just told you to dismantle this group and this was the chance for us to do it so now there's a lot of people in the group and in the streets i mean different the community of resistance of sudan where like the discussions started about how do we dismantle this group we don't want them anymore it's obviously obvious we can't trust them and for them to be an intelligence group and for them to to do what they did yesterday relieved of the city and in danger so many civil. and they cannot stand anymore so we're really dumb and i restructuring now let me ask you something about something that alex just mentioned you know the time like this when you're trying to make this significant transition that sudan is trying to make this is a really a precarious time are you concerned about and you say that that you want in a scot are you concerned about. which maybe just shifting power from them to to another structure i mean not the rapper spawns force which is the force
that were the main force behind dismantling the massacres are you in 3rd in the city and they played a big role in the genocide in darfur so definitely it's a group that they don't have the trust of people in sudan and be it in their war or in south korea japan or any place that they actually operated so for us we really the this is the big thing how do you move forward and restructure the whole army how do the robbers once forces becomes a part of the army which which is going to be the biggest battle and we move forward i mean and you talked earlier about accountability like. i they going to be held accountable can they be held accountable the biggest problem with him it isn't that he has a position it's not like he's just a general it's like he has this unit which is a militia so his brother is the right at his cousins are the ones meeting and so they're happy to sponsor force is actually it is tried and his people are on him so
it's not a real a professional unit within the army which he needs to be so to get that reform is going to be the biggest challenge but for now to get rid of this is a big treat you mentioned too to our producer that you saw some of that what you said about nist that basically you think people now see what some of you all have been talking about based on on their actions. you said that this had sort of perhaps a unifying force for a lot of different groups out there or how so. i think that what the current events do is they they will generate a political demand and i think we see this very clearly for a thorough overhaul of the entire security sector. and that goes beyond the 3 groups that have been mentioned as well the rapid support force the sudanese army. and the national intelligence which is under some process of
restructuring even incompleted but there's a whole host of other paramilitaries all of which have their local fiefdoms that they are deeply embedded in the commercial sector they control key companies so this is sort of an earth thing all the networks that have been established over many years is is both essential but also extraordinarily complicated and. it's. it's probably the toughest political challenge because if not done right we will see the possibilities of fights among these groups resistance and attempts to di rail the the transition or indeed in some places maybe even a breakdown of governance capacity perhaps and some rural areas so the demand for democratization for accountability for justice for according to account the members
of these security forces who have committed atrocities is is absolutely essential but it has also to be pursued in a sufficiently organized way that some success can be obtained and alex the u.s. does have a special envoy on sudan am david booth an american diplomat what role has the u.s. played in helping the steady sudan what role should they be playing in helping to study sudan. the most important thing that the u.s. can do is lift sanctions immediately and unilaterally which will amount which will put in the hands of the civilian prime minister abdullah doc the essential to or he needs the financial economic tools so he can begin to satisfy the the the judgment demands of the people for for
a better life but also it means that he can begin to dismantle this shadow world of crony illicit capitalism that has grown up around the intelligence and security forces while saddam remains under sanctions in this way lissett to legitimate commerce cannot prosper the sudanese will not be able to get their economy to recover and a grip on the economy will be maintained by some of the captains and colonels of this the family of of have met in that commercial empire and indeed the the companies are associated with the military so the u.s. some pretty the one big thing they should do is not drag their feet not put these little preconditions of these we want you to solve your problems then we will help you the u.s. should be lifting sanctions now without any preconditions and as you said don't think it's an overstatement to say that when alex said that about lifting sanctions
your eyes almost lit up what is what is it like what have these sanctions been like on sudan quick i mean alex but it really well like that was really way good way of doing it i mean to move forward what is happening right now with news economy it's now uganda means change. people from the old regime people who are part of ben businessmen who are friends at least friends with the ideology they control it and they control this very small economy and by controlling bad they control of an image the news this is my. the to gain a lot of support and gain proceed and what not so far us to move forward and to me leaving need that behind our economy need to grow by 10 or 20 times which which i think it's very easily done because to than it's so under develop its so below its then chill of that that what alec set is the truth once once the prime minister
have the has given the power to actually establish a solid economy that and and remove corruption and move for the country forward with having like if a functioning banking system on the becomes you will move we will have a boom were 10 years that doesn't require a lot but the sentient is those really stopping him from doing this and truthfully of this continues for another 6 months and then dollar just keeps increasing if isis then then in government wool will of might actually base glass konami cli so it is very important bet the mean really important one thing a when add though on your question about unity that i want to talk about can there is a unity that done away happened by the prime minister hum doug going on air with with the army bar high on and talking in this tagging way where we're hond started then i'm ducked off though bed then for hunk am again and suddenly there's this united did any me to everybody of united around this and amy wishes national security
forces so suddenly even the street of happy about this the as be a the freedom for a change forces everybody is youth uniting against that so suddenly we have this comment enemy that we can all like pseudo our rock sets and this unity zach cheated bear rare and see that it's baier read that were able to do or just and it may know while that we're been fighting among each other so suddenly again where where fighting this common enemy and i think this is important moving forward this to me is the main theme that came out of this is this unity among the forces fighting in sudan ok alex let me follow up on something that i said he said that he so agrees with you about how kid is for the sanctions to to be removed that he thinks that this transition could collapse if it keeps going on this way if if the prime minister does not have really the a power to try to to boost up the economy do you think it's that this that is that
precarious is that serious and if so why is the u.s. has a tend to do this. i think i think it is that serious i think the the what we've seen is the economy continuing its line and you actually have have not only a continuing erosion of the living standards of the middle class and the salaried people in been areas but you have a developing food crisis a potential humanitarian crisis on a very large scale in rural areas and the sudanese pound and the purchasing power of ordinary people is vanishing before that eyes and it was the 1st slogan of the revolution was people holding up sticks of bread saying we can't afford bread to down with the rule of the us and the thieves are still there they're not in power but they have a control over the economy and unless that is cracked the there is a danger that the revolution will fail a very real danger now why isn't the u.s.
touring it the u.s. has just stuck to a business as usual approach they the sanctions were basically there for state sponsorship of terrorism and in fact ironically even the ousted omar al bashir regime cooperated very closely in counterterrorism with the united states so those sanctions should have been lifted long ago and the idea of keeping them in place under the current government at the moment to him the u.s. wants. compensation to be paid for the victims of terrorist atrocities that were committed in the 1990 s. when sudan was indeed a state sponsor of terror now where is that money going to come from they know the country is bankrupt and if it is actually once again the u.s. the u.s. as it were sending the. their man our man the prime minister abdullah into the
boxing room with his arms tied behind his back saying knock out the other guy and then we'll untie. yes and the it is simply a lack of political will of lack of decent analysis. on the part of the united states. we're about out of time but unless you have the last word i'm assuming that perhaps you did you ever think that you all that you as a country would be at this point and how much further do you think you can go i mean that most amazing thing about this and what happened yesterday was if you seen in the street people who are up to resistance where you call each other we had a plan in case this was a coup and people were so connected that they know their role as the protectors of this revolution are moving it forward so to me this is amazing and this is what is going to help us reach full civilian well right now we don't have very little so this is very exciting we moved way for than that what we thought we were at that's year so we're excited about it and if we have the power to move on and beach also
believe it will and it should there's an excitement about it there's a lot of engagement there's a lot of this is an engagement and that's the most amazing thing and that's the thing that we always wanted and now everybody is active me being interacting with the government and being in the street all right that will be the final word gentlemen thank you both alex thank you for the discussion appreciate it very much and thank you for watching you can see the program again any time go to our website al-jazeera dot com for further discussion go to our facebook page facebook dot com for a slash a.j. and side story you can also join the conversation on twitter our handle is at a.j. and side story if i made or shall carry an entire team i cannot thank. you.
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