Juba, South Sudan — The South Sudan News (SSN) reports that Hassan al-Turabi – the spiritual guide of Sudan’s Islamists-Jihadists and the doyen of the global Jihadist trend since the early 1990’s – is in Doha, Qatar, to consult with Sheikh Youssuf al-Qaradawi – the spiritual guide of the Muslim Brothers and the entire Sunni Islamist trend.
The South Sudan News states that the main subject of the consultations between Turabi and Qaradawi is how to return Sudan to its former role and glory as a leader of global Islamism-Jihadism. Both veteran luminaries of radical Sunni Islam are convinced that the aggregate impact of the Islamist surge throughout the Middle East under the guise of “Arab Spring” and the growing public discontent in Khartoum create unique and conducive circumstances for replacing the regime of Omar Hassan al-Bashir with an Islamist-Jihadist regime.
While in Doha, Turabi gave an extensive interview to Muhammad al-Makki Ahmad of the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper – one of the two most important Arabic newspapers that is owned by the Sudairi branch of the Saudi Royal Family. Hence the prominence given to the interview by Al-Hayat reflects the endorsement by the likes of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince.
Hassan al-Turabi emphasized that the situation in Sudan has reached a boiling point that is aggravated by the regime’s deviation from Islamist ways. “The situation in Sudan has worsened to an inordinate degree, and the country is undergoing great turmoil.” Therefore, the Sudanese Popular Congress Party Turabi leads “are most keen on effecting change and toppling the regime because it historically represents Islam. And we cannot allow such a corrupt and oppressive regime to represent Islam.” Given the turmoil in Khartoum, Turabi expects “the regime to fall under the weight of a popular revolutionary movement.”
According to the South Sudan News Turabi said that Sudan “is undergoing great turmoil, and people inside the regime have grown despondent, no longer knowing if they belonged to the Islamist Movement or the ruling National Congress.” Under these circumstances, the Bashir government finds itself under the same conditions “as other Sudanese governments [that] fell under the weight of popular revolutionary movements” in the 1964 and the 1985 revolutions. “The Sudanese people as a whole have grown tired of being oppressed, and one incident, even if not political, can ignite the situation on the ground. We only fear that chaos would ensue, and therefore strive to control things,” Turabi insisted.
To avoid chaos in the streets and fratricidal violence of the kind that had engulfed Egypt and other Arab countries, the Islamist opposition “proposed a transitional constitution that brings together all political forces, in order to make all sides happy.” After a transitional phase, “constitutional elections would be held and the people would decide which constitutional amendments should be made, and elect those that best represent them.”
The South Sudan News reports both on their Website and on Facebook that Turabi insisted that an Islamist-dominated interim regime was imperative to the establishment of a genuinely popular and legitimate post-Bashir government. He explained that “the opposition will not accept that a national government be formed within the framework of the Bashir regime, for any national government must be formed after the regime is overthrown. No one will participate in elections organized by the regime, and time must be given prior to elections being held.”
Nor are Turabi and the Islamist camp ready to legitimize a palace coup in Khartoum says the SSN.
“If a coup were to occur from inside the Presidential Palace, then all the opposition would stand against it and fight it until elections are held in a manner that ensures freedoms. We do not care much about who would assume power, whether from inside or outside the Palace.” Absent a peaceful surrendering of power by Bashir, Turabi’s “preferred option is for the combined armed forces that is, the military, intelligence services, and the paramilitary Popular Defense Forces to rise and assume power, without subsequently ruling us militarily, while allowing the people to form a transitional government composed of independent or partisan figures.”
The SSN says that Turabi reiterated in no uncertain terms that there can be no compromise over the toppling of the Bashir regime and the establishment of an Islamist government in its stead. Khartoum must return to being the bastion and beacon of Islamism-Jihadism.
The South Sudan News quotes Turabi: “My position towards toppling the Bashir regime is unwavering because the Sudanese regime has historically been associated with Islam, and we cannot allow that Islam be represented by an extremely corrupt regime that is ripping the country apart and will tear apart whatever remains of it. It is an oppressive regime that imprisons its people and has caused them grave economic crises.”
Having facilitated Bashir’s original seizing of power back in 1989 so that Khartoum become a center for spreading Islamism-Jihadism under Turabi’s leadership – Turabi is now adamant on toppling Bashir for having betrayed the “sacred” cause, and on empowering a new Islamist leader that will enable Turabi resume his spreading of Islamism-Jihadism, reports the SSN.
The SSN says that Turabi stressed that once the Islamist interim government comes to power in Khartoum – the first urgent item on the agenda would be resolving “the enduring tragedy of the South” – that is, South Sudan. Turabi is very explicit about his vision of how to approach the South challenge. The Islamists, he stressed, “strive for the South to peacefully and willingly reunite with the North and return to Sudan’s bosom.”
“The growing and spreading crises in the South have been creating conducive conditions for the reunification of Sudan, Turabi argued. The recent contacts between Khartoum and Juba confirmed this trend beyond a shadow of doubt. These dynamics were recently disrupted by Bashir’s sudden decision to halt the flow of oil from the South through pipelines in the North. The South’s renewed trepidation of unity with the North was caused “by Bashir, who reneged after signing an agreement with them (in Addis Ababa), and told them the Southerners to go drink their petroleum,” says the South Sudan News. “They, the Southerners, don’t want to be governed by a promise that others reneged on.”
The South Sudan News reports that Turabi intends to restore confidence with the South and offer them an olive branch and a call for peaceful reunification. Should the Southerners refuse his generous offer, Turabi is adamant of leading a campaign to “restore the unity of the Muslim Ummah in general.”
South Sudan News