Minister of Cabinet Affairs in the overthrown government, Khaled Omar Youssef, during the conference on corruption, warned against giving in to what he called “the state of psychological defeat in the civil democratic ranks,” and called for a better transitional, remarking that the “end of the coup is a matter of time.”
During his speech at the “Challenges of Endemic Corruption in Sudan” conference, held in Khartoum last Saturday, Youssef stressed that the transitional period faced “the most horrific legacy of the Sudanese regime” made great progress in important files and did not create a “corruption class” and worked on legal reforms.
He added that the experiment had its problems and misfortunes, but its absolute criminalization is aimed at consolidating the idea that “civilian rule is a failure” and spreading a climate of psychological defeat.
“We will bring down this coup and establish a better experiment,” he said.
In this context, the Minister of Industry, who was also sacked by the coup authorities, Ibrahim al-Sheikh, admitted that the transitional government “did not address corruption in a radical way” due to the nature of its composition, and its existence on both civilian and military sides.
Al-Sheikh revealed that the military, led by Army Commander Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan, sought to abolish the “Empowerment Removal Committee.”
The putschist government also resisted the establishment of the gold exchange and the cash crop exchange, and through their presence in the temporary Legislative Council, they disrupted all laws that put an end to customs and tax evasion, on top of which is the “digitalization of financial institutions” and the Defense Industries Law, which was opposed by the Minister of Defense.
Al-Sheikh revealed that they were engaged in confrontations and struggles in order to assign the revenues of the “Defense Industries System” to the Ministry of Finance.
He said that they suggested, as a compromise, that the Ministry of Finance obtain 40% of the system’s revenues, with 30% of the revenues allocated to developing the system itself and 30% to rehabilitating the regular forces, but the military component rejected this completely.
In this context, the vice-chairman of the “Empowerment Removal Committee,” Muhammad al-Faki, agreed with Khaled Omar Youssef in that getting rid of his committee was one of the biggest drivers behind the coup.
He said that the committee is the only body in the transitional period that is one of the forces of the revolution only, and therefore the military launched a fierce war against it and dealt with it as a body that must be folded.
Al-Faki stressed that the main battle against corruption takes place within the political framework before the legal one.
Dilemmas Facing War on Corruption
For her part, the ex-Minister of Labor and Social Development, Taysir al-Noorani, reviewed some instances of government corruption in her ministry and linked them to comprehensive corruption in all civil service institutions, and said that combating corruption requires changing the civil service laws.
Al-Noorani indicated that there were more than 200 employees in her ministry who had no work and that their appointment was made for political reasons.
She criticized the slowness in changing laws and regulations during the transitional period.
In turn, Al-Faki listed details that hindered the transitional government’s work in combating corruption, on top of which was that the institutions entrusted with protection from corruption themselves were corrupt.
He stresses that this was evidenced in the cases of auditor general, the attorney general, and the judiciary, and said that all aforementioned agencies continued to resist reform and that the law on reforming judicial agencies had been submitted since April 2020 without approval.
Al-Faki stressed on the efforts made by the Empowerment Removal Committee to submit completed corruption cases to the judiciary through the Public Prosecution, but this endeavor was resisted by the Public Prosecution itself.
He said that the prosecution argued that it was understaffed, and that even after 500 jobs were approved, the Public Prosecution refused to appoint the new cadres.
Al-Faki denounced the slowdown of the Public Prosecution office, in that there were 60 completed corruption cases –biggest in the country – that remained under investigation with “no progress made until the coup.”
The former Empowerment Removal Committee vice chairman said that he was optimistic that the country was now “close to a full civilian government.”
For his part, the former Minister of Education, Mohamed al-Amin al-Tom, called on the civil forces to prepare themselves with detailed plans and programs to manage the upcoming transitional phase.
Al-Burhan and the Appointment of his Brother
The ministers of the “Forces of Freedom and Change” transitional government, which was overthrown by the October 25 coup, denied all accusations against them not being serious in confronting the military.
Khaled Omar and Muhammad Al-Faki indicated that the confrontations of the Empowerment Removal Committee did not exclude even “Al-Burhan”, whose brother was prevented by the committee from being appointed to the board of directors of a bank.
Following this line of thought, al-Faki linked the military coup with the steadfastness of the Empowerment Removal Committee, and the failure of the military to defeat the forces of freedom and political change.
Journalists and media professionals in attendance denounced the silence from the “Freedom and Change” leaders regarding not disclosing the information presented regarding corruption when they were in power and their “lack of openness to the local media” and their failure to disclose information regarding the nature of what was happening in the government.
The “Al-Khatim Adlan Center for Enlightenment and Human Development” held a conference on “Challenges of Endemic Corruption in Sudan” on Saturday as part of a project in partnership with the International Center for Special Projects.