By Deng Chol Mijak,
March 07, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —- The sudden death of late Dr. Hassan Abdallah Al Turabi of Sudan, on the March 5th, 2016 had caught the attention of Sudanese people around the globe by a stunning surprise to learn of the abrupt departure of this prominent figure from this world. Matter of fact what prompted me to draft this article about late prominent Islamic scholar, politician, and controversial character in Sudan politics is the fact that I was overwhelmed by the level of public uproars when most of the South Sudanese people outpoured their heartfelt condolences to him to sympathize for his death.
Primarily speaking, despite this man being the most hated enemy, architect, political mastermind (ringleader) of the Sudan civil war from 1989 up to the 2002, let me start my writing by issuing my heartfelt condolences to his family and North Sudan for the sorrowful state of grief they are currently in Khartoum, Sudan. The outpour of condolences to Dr. Hassan Al Turabi on social media had been misconstrued by most critics as if consoling his family and nation at this grievous hours was meant to endorse his righteousness and purity to Sudanese generally in the history of Sudan. No! That is a misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the well-wishers’ consolation to his family. Please bear with me as I walk you along of his controversial past in Sudan Civil War and why he is perceived as the most notorious, controversial figure in Sudan politics.
Who was Dr. Hassan Abdallah Al Turabi? He was born on Feb 1st, 1932, and died on March 5th, 2016, at the age of 84 years old. He did his University degree in Khartoum, and later studied Law in King’s College London, England, and later earned his doctorate of philosophy in Sorbone. His main political party is the Popular Congress Party. His other political affiliations were National Congress Party (1996-1999) and Sudanese Socialist Union (1977-1999). He was a religious and Islamic political leader in Sudan. He was the Secretary General of the Popular Congress Party from 1999-2016, speaker of the National Assembly in office from 1996-1999, the former Foreign Minister of Sudan in office from 1989-1989, and he was preceded by Hussein Suleiman Abu Saleh and later succeeded by Sid Ahmad Al-Hussein. He had been an Attorney General of Sudan in office from 1979-1982. He was the Secretary General of the National Islamic Front in office under the Presidency of Jaafar Nimeiry of Sudan from 1964-1999.
He had been one of the most notorious and influential figures in Sudanese politics, and a longtime hardline, ideological, Islamic extremist in the Sudan Civil War. Dr. Hassan Al Turabi was indeed the man behind the political polarization of Sudanese multipartism, religious organization and pushed for the institutionalization of the Sharia (Islamic Law) in Northern part of Sudan. In 1989, he was the key architecture of the military coup d’etat, which ousted/toppled the regime of Sadiq Al Mahadi during the peak of the civil war intensity in Southern Sudan region by then.
Dr. Hassan Al Turabi incited the military commander who was stationed in Miyom County, Western Upper Nile by then, by name Omer Al Hussein Beshir to orchestrate a military coup against Sadiq Al Mahadi. Hassan Al Turabi secretly incited all the military commanders who were Islamic hardliners in the Sudan armed forces in 1989, and Omer Hussein Al Beshir (the incumbent president of Sudan) was one of the most radical Islamic hardliners who helped in the execution of the coup, and later took over the power. Dr. Hassan was later seen as the power behind the throne because he was the architecture of the military coup even though he didn’t took over the presidency by then. He did plotted the coup against Sadiq Al Mahadi due to the fact that Sadiq Al Mahadi was about to give the democratic system of governance to Sudanese of all walks by reforming the Sudan old way of the system to a more democratic and secular State with a separated religion.
This political gesture by Sadiq Al Mahadi angered the extreme, radical Islamic hardliners in the Sudan armed Forces and National Islamic Front party, prompting Turabi to conspire the military coup against the moderate Sadiq Al Mahadi, who was about to give South Sudanese people and other marginalized Sudanese the freedom to the fair and just system of equality and democracy, after the SPLA and SPLM pressured Sadiq Mahadi with their military campaigns in Southern a Sudan regions from 1983 to 1989. Sudan Armed Forces under the commander-in-chief of Sadiq Mahadi was losing and conceding most of the Southern Sudanese towns to the SPLA, which then triggered, Sadiq Al Mahadi to reform Sudan system in favor of all.
However, Dr. Turabi, an extreme, radical Islamic scholar, and politician, was angered by the political reforms by the party of Sadiq Al Mahadi’s ruling government, and so he orchestrated a military coup by inciting the likes of Field Marshal, Omer Al Beshir Hussein to topple him from power in 1989.
When Omer Al Beshir took over in 1989 as the President, Al Turabi was the leader of the National Islamic Front (NIF) which later changed its name to the National Congress Party in the late 1990s, a political movement that developed considerable political power in Sudan while never obtaining significant popularity among Sudanese citizens or voters. The NIF/NCP later lost the popularity due to the fact that it had introduced the Islamic and Arabic ideology of Sharia Law imposition and suppression of other secular parties in Sudan. The introduction of the Sharia laws by the NIF under Turabi led to the more divisive, proliferation of the harsh Islamic laws, which later evolved into what was politically known as the islamization and arabization of the Sudan through the forceful enforcement of the Sharia laws through the Islamic and Arabic radicalism/extremism.
Dr. Hassan Turabi took upon himself to mastermind the ideological warfare based on the forceful enforcement of the Sharia laws, and he started to tour all the Arab world in the middle east to recruit and finance for the Sudan civil war in the name of Islam and Arab. Turabi, being a political mentor and advisor to Omer Al Beshir by then, began to influence and impact the Sudan Civil war by mobilizing financial resources and recruiting Majadists (holy fighters) from the Middle East to come and fight the SPLA in the name of the Islamic and Arabic ideology.
As a result of his political and military influence and manipulation, Turabi oversaw the highly controversial policies such as the creation of the NIF Police State and associated NIF militias which he consolidated Islamic power and prevented a popular uprising within Sudan, but reportedly committed many human right abuses, including summary execution, torture, I’ll treatment, arbitrary detentions, denial of freedoms of speech, assembly, religion, and violations of the rules of war, particularly in Southern Sudan by then was alarming. Over two million Sudanese died in the Sudan civil war from 1983 to 2001 as the result of Dr. Turabi’s radical ideals toward the Southern Sudanese in particular until lately.
In 1990-1991, Dr. Turabi was against the established coalition forces of the American-Saudi for the Popular Arab and Islamic Congress (PAIC), a regional umbrella for political Islamic Militants, headquartered in Khartoum.
In 1996, Dr. Turabi and his party’s of internationals and ideological wing saw a decline in influence in favor of more pragmatic leaders, brought on by the imposition of the UN sanctions on Sudan in punishment for Sudan’s assistance to Egyptian terrorists in their attempt to assassinate Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak in 1990s. This is the reason why Egypt was supporting the SPLA/M by then. Al Turabi was in collaboration with Bin Laden to try to kill the Egyptian president by then in 1990.
Turabi had been out of power beginning in 1999, after he got at odd with his counterpart, Field Marshal, Omer Al Beshir Hussein, leading to his splinter group of the National Congress party to lose popularity. Ever since then, he had been kept in imprisonment many times under the incumbent presidency of Omer Beshir. His last imprisonment date is believed to have been on January 17th, 2011 for nine days, following the civil unrest across the Arab world (Spring uprising tsunami) of which Sudan had survived so brutally and inhumanely with the losses of human lives and destruction.
Conclusively, Dr. Hassan Al Turabi shall be remembered in the history of Sudan among the marginalized Sudanese, and especially among the South Sudanese, Nuba Mountain, Beja, and Blue Nileans as the most notorious figure who had engineered the brutal civil war, human rights abuses, islamization and arabization, and ethnic, genocidal campaigns against the indigenous African natives.
Although he was one of the most admired and brilliant academia and scholar Sudan had ever produced, the victims and survivors of the Sudan civil war would wish Dr. Turabi to rest and burn in the hell for all the crimes he had committed through his political, religious and military complicity behind the Sudan civil war theatre by then from 1989 to 2001. He is one of the criminal accomplices in Sudan civil war. Maybe, Allah had settled the justice for the marginalized Sudanese people by calling upon his soul eventually! His victims and survivors never regret his passing away.
The author is South Sudanese living in Iowa, United States, he can be reached through email@example.com
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