tv Inside Story 2020 Ep 15 Al Jazeera January 16, 2020 10:32am-11:01am +03
after banks restricted access to accounts and block transfers abroad the u.s. and china have signed the 1st phase of the deal to ease their trade war china has promised to increase american imports on the u.s. removes some tariffs on chinese goods warnings about another volcanic eruption in the philippines or forced thousands more people to abandon their homes towns near the tower volcano in batangas province have been devastated by. several opposition politicians were ejected from the hong kong legislator the heckling leader kerry lam she says the city's autonomous status could last beyond its 2047 expiration date and she stressed that the one country 2 systems model can only be preserved by loyalty to beijing. what those were the headlines the news continues here on al-jazeera after inside story statement banks are watching by for . we understand the differences and similarities of cultures across the world. so no matter. how to bring you their needs
and current affairs that matter to you. how does iraq. 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 great 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 to the morgue and 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 what 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 accords nation level so lots of questions have
come out following the events of tuesday and lots of cautiousness and 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 govern. 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 really quiet mid day we were just driving. in downtown so i'm in a very high and area and suddenly we started seeing way 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 let 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 street 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 i was happy and 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 trying to speculate and figure out who are these people what do they want. what's happening what's going on so when you say that this this by alliance 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 it 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 him doc took the job 6 months ago he identified 3 priority actions the 1st was the economy the 2nd was peace with the rebels in darfur south kordofan
unclear novel and 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 no chips of the people who staged this rebellion mutiny that will 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 and rebel 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 arms 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 and we. have them held the kind of we got torsion we got beaten we were jailed without reason and so it was 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 yes we told him we believe in restructuring. so that discussion of the form 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. bendel agents force intelligence body. democracy so it was before is not going to happen and this is why when this happened and they came out and the fighting started
a lot of people in 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 defend the community of resistance of sudan where like the discussion 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 intelligent group and for them to to do what they did yesterday relieved of the city and danger so many civilians they cannot stand anymore so we really don't know my 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 for carious time are you concerned about you say that that you want in a scot are you concerned about. which may be 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 of human 3rd in the city and they played a big role in the genocide in that 4 so definitely it's a group that they don't have the trust of people in sudan and be it in the 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. are 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 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 fight you mentioned 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 and you said that this had sort of perhaps a unifying force for a lot of different groups out there or how so. i think what the current events to is they they will generate a political team on and i think we. i see this very clearly for a thorough a of a whole 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 in completed 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 under 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 derail the the transition or indeed in some places maybe even a breakdown of governance capacity perhaps in 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 absolutely essential but it has also to be pursued in 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 abu ther an american diplomat what role has the u.s. playing in helping a 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 be put in the hands of the civilian prime minister abdullah doc the essential to or he needs the financial economic tool so he can begin to satisfy the the
demands of the people for for a better life but also it means that he can begin to dismantle this shadow world of crony elicit 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 in this the family of metsi and their commercial empire and indeed the the companies are associated with the military so the us simply the one big thing they should do is not to drag their feet not put these little preconditions of knees we want you to solve your problems then we will help you the u.s. should be lifting sanctions now without any preconditions and i 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 . 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 it's news economy it's they gonna mees chain. people from the old regime people who are part of the businessmen who are friends at least friends with the ideology they control it and they control this very small economy and by controlling that they control all of us and him if he uses his money to gain a lot of support and gain for state and what so for us to move forward and to leave leave them behind our economies to grow by 10 or 20 times which which i think is very easily done because sudan is so underdeveloped it's so below its potential that what alec said is the truth once once. the prime minister has given the power
to actually establish a solid economy that and and remove corruption and move for the country forward with having like just a functioning banking system that the country will move we will have a bill for 10 years that doesn't require a lot but the sanctions is stopping him from doing this and truthfully if this continues for another 6 months and the dollar just keeps increasing in prices then then his government will will it might actually face collapse economically so it is very important about something really important one thing i want to add though on your question about unity that i want to talk about because there is a unity that's generally happened by. the prime minister him going on air with with the army. and talking in this tagging way where han started then bilked october then bronc him again and suddenly there's this united any so everybody's
united around this enemy which is the national security forces so suddenly even the street is happy about this as be a. freedom for change forces everybody is used to uniting against that so suddenly we have this common enemy that we can all like you know our rock set and this unity is actually to be a rare so that it's very rare that we're able to do that and it's been a while that we have been fighting among each other so suddenly again where we're fighting this common enemy and i think this is important in moving forward so this to me is is the main thing 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 can it 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 that 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 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 their foot 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 then the country is it is bankrupt and if it is actually once again the us the us as it were sending the. them and our man the prime minister abdullah into the boxing ring with
his arms time behind his back saying not count the other guy and then we'll untie your arms and the it is simply a lack of political will a 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 she was a country would be at this point and how much further do you think you can go i mean then most amazing thing about this and what happened yesterday was if you seen in the street people who are up community resistance were to be calling 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 moving it forward so to me this is amazing and this is what is going to help meet full civilian well right now we have very little so this is very exciting we moved way for them then 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's showing 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 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 or slash a.j. and side story you can also join the conversation on twitter our handle is at a.j. inside story for me carrying the entire team for now.
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