Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Kurt Weill

Kurt Julian Weill was a German composer, active from the 1920s in his native country, and in his later years in the United States. He was a leading composer for the stage who was best known for his fruitful collaborations with Bertolt Brecht.


Johann Hölzel, better known by his stage name Falco, was an Austrian singer and songwriter. Falco had several international hits, "Rock Me Amadeus", "Der Kommissar", "Vienna Calling", "Jeanny", "The Sound of Musik", "Coming Home", and posthumously "Out of the Dark".

Ernst Busch

Friedrich Wilhelm Ernst Busch was a German singer and actor.

Bob Marley

Robert Nesta Marley, OM was a Jamaican singer, songwriter and musician. Considered one of the pioneers of reggae, his musical career was marked by fusing elements of reggae, ska, and rocksteady, as well as his distinctive vocal and songwriting style.

Marlene Dietrich

Marie Magdalene "Marlene" Dietrich was a German-American actress and singer. Throughout her long career, which spanned from the 1910s to the 1980s, she continually reinvented herself. In 1920s Berlin, Dietrich acted on the stage and in silent films.

Elvis Presley

Elvis Aaron Presley, also known simply as Elvis, was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "The King".

Miriam Makeba

Zenzile Miriam Makeba, nicknamed Mama Africa, was a South African singer, songwriter, actress, United Nations goodwill ambassador, and civil rights activist. Associated with musical genres including Afropop, jazz, and world music, she was an advocate against apartheid and white-minority government in South Africa.

Umm Kulthum

Umm Kulthum was an Egyptian singer, songwriter, and film actress active from the 1920s to the 1970s. She was given the honorific title Kawkab al-Sharq. Umm Kulthum was known for her vocal ability and unique style.

Fela Kuti

Fela Anikulapo Kuti, also professionally known as Fela Kuti, or simply Fela, was a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, musician, composer, pioneer of the Afrobeat music genre and human rights activist.


Heino is a German singer of Schlager and traditional Volksmusik. Having sold a total of over 50 million records, he is one of the most successful German musicians of all time. Heino is known for his baritone voice and trademark combination of light blond hair and dark sunglasses.

Paul Hindemith

Paul Hindemith was a prolific German composer, violist, violinist, teacher and conductor. In the 1920s, he became a major advocate of the Neue Sachlichkeit style of music. Notable compositions include his song cycle Das Marienleben, Der Schwanendreher for viola and orchestra, and opera Mathis der Maler.

Frank Sinatra

Francis Albert Sinatra was an American singer, actor and producer who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide.

Wilhelm Furtwängler

Gustav Heinrich Ernst Martin Wilhelm Furtwängler was a German conductor and composer. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest symphonic and operatic conductors of the 20th century. Furtwängler was principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic between 1922 and 1945, and from 1952 until 1954.

James Last

James Last, also known as Hansi, was a German composer and big band leader of the James Last Orchestra. Initially a jazz bassist, his trademark "happy music" made his numerous albums best-sellers in Germany and the United Kingdom, with 65 of his albums reaching the charts in the UK alone.

Bert Kaempfert

Bert Kaempfert was a German orchestra leader, multi-instrumentalist, music producer, arranger, and composer. He made easy listening and jazz-oriented records and wrote the music for a number of well-known songs, including "Strangers in the Night" and "Moon Over Naples".

Monday, November 18, 2019

Abdalla Hamdok

Abdalla Hamdok is a public administrator who serves as the 15th Prime Minister of Sudan. Prior to his appointment, Hamdok served in numerous national and international administrative positions. From November 2011 to October 2018, he was Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Interview with cartoonist Giannis Geroulias

By: Talal Nayer

I met Giannis Geroulias for the first time during the 22nd edition of Lafisi, Levadia exhibition that orchestrated successfully by FECO Greece for years. Giannis Geroulias is the president of FECO Greece. I had a very interesting conversation with this polite man about art and politics when he was driving his car from the Athens International Airport to Lavyssio of Livadia where is FCO Greece is organizing their artistic event, but also where Giannis Geroulias had been born in 1962 to a Greek agricultural family.

 The car of Giannis Geroulias explains his lifestyle; technical types of equipment located near to cartoon books and drawings, he is an electro-technician in the morning, and a cartoonist in the night. Giannis belongs categorically to the (self-made artists) who slowly build-up their artistic career, without artistic pedagogical.  From the moment that Giannis started reading, he found the first materials for his experimental artic career (school books). He filled the margins of his school books and block-notes with funny figures and caricatures. Later on, then he moved to another level by trying to make caricatures of people too. Until he graduated

from school, my books were full of funny figures and cartoons, and it is the time for the young Greek man to find new spaces for his art. Giannis didn’t study art because, in his period, there were no schools, especially in the province where he was living. Giannis kept his passion for art, and he designed a realistic plan to reach his goals slowly but also with immutability: he started working as an electrician since 1987, but on the other facet of the coin there are other details, he was making cartoons in the local press, and sketches for events and friends. Giannis had influenced by many cartoonists, not so much about the technique of the drawing, but the way of thinking.

Giannis Geroulias

Giannis inspired more by the political news that is always intense in Greece, and sometimes the inspiration comes from social issues that they are a direct result of the political interactions. Giannis is drawing a cartoon in Greece where its first satirical prints appeared in the middle of the 19th century, and where there was an upward trend in the comic. Political cartoons were at the forefront of Public life; the printing press was rapidly evolving, and at the same time, illiteracy diminished.

After WWII a lot of magazines and newspapers appeared which allowed too many cartoonists to appear. “I can mention Polenakis, Bost, Kostas Mitropoulos, KYR, Archelaos, Vassilis Christodoulou, Kostas Vlachos, Giannis Ioannou, Giannis Kalaitzis and many others who have produced a huge cartoon the project”  said Giannis.

I had so many conversations about political issues with Giannis Geroulias, sometimes we had an agreement, and sometimes disagreements, but after any political debate between us I get sure about one idea; Giannis Geroulias is a committed person who dedicates himself to people, he thinks about the people, and he committed politically and socially to them. When he walks or driving his car, everybody in Lafisi, Levadia, smile to Giannis and greets him respectfully. I made a joke about him: (Why not you nominee yourself as the mayor of the city?). The response was a big smile.

Giannis Geroulias started to draw cartoons local newspaper "OVERVIEW for ten years; from 1987 until 1997, then he continued until 2015 in the local a newspaper called “VOIOTIKA NEA,” unfortunately, both newspapers no longer exist. In 2002, He worked for a short period with the Turkish newspaper CALLED “EKIP.”

Giannis Geroulias didn’t describe himself as a professional cartoonist, he prefers to label himself as “an amateur.” Giannis Geroulias have contacts with a group of cartoonists, locally and internationally, but his activities located mainly in the provincial press and many amateurs. Giannis and his group are trying to set up exhibitions at every possible opportunity, and Levadia exhibition is one of these events. Giannis Geroulias and his group are working to build a bridge between them and the International community of cartoonists.
Giannis Geroulias is president of FECO GREECE LEVADIA, and this group – does not represent all Greek cartoonists. “Protestants, we are a group of amateurs, who in 2003 decided to join FECO to have contact with creators and clubs from around the globe,” said Giannis. “…by participating in the international exhibitions, we acquire sketchbooks, at the same time we acquire knowledge of the techniques of other creators and we know humor and reflection that exist in other countries.”

I asked Giannis about his opinion about freedom of speech and journalism, he thinks it exists in Greece with almost the same level as the rest of Europe, but he had feared that freedom of speech does not work as it should, because in Greece, as in most countries the media are owned by ship-owners and contractors, or in other words: non-professional journalists. “I personally have many doubts about the quality and objectivity of the information” Said Giannis.
 An answer to his opinion about the artistic styles and drawings techniques, “If we talk about abstract art in general, I do not have the necessary knowledge to judge it. I like Netline (clear line) Sketches and especially those who are in the fight for the good of many.” Said Giannis, “I like the sketches and cartoons that focus on the environment, the social justice, and which is trying to illuminate the dark sides of the public’s life.”

The house of Giannis Geroulias is a big archive of music and art, there are drawings and books everywhere. He said: “I like cartoons because in a few words, or even without words, you can tell a lot of things. Art can communicate with people from different countries, art bridging languages, and cultures. I remember  - a few years ago -  a cartoon exhibition on an island in Greece, in that event thousands of visitors came from countless countries, people with different languages, all of them visited this the show and everyone smiled, this power is the cartoon, it can bring a big world smile.


النميري: من مايو إلى أبريل

Sunday, October 20, 2019

بيسّي هيد: الجنون كسُلمٍ نحو النجوم

طلال الناير

تأسس المشروع النظري لـ فوكو Foucault على دراسة "الخبرة الإنسانية المتجاوزة للمعقول"، وكان أحد مصادر كتابه "تاريخ الجنون في العصر الكلاسيكي"؛ لوحة Yard with Lunatics التي رسمها فرانشيسكو دي غويا في العام 1798. وفيها يصور غويا جمهرة من المجانين العراة، يتقاتلون في سجن لا تأتيه الإضاءة إلا من فتحة في الأعلى، ثم في العام 1819 قام غويا بإعادة تصوير نفس الفكرة في لوحة Madhouse، لكن هذه المرة يبدو على المجانين، الذين زاد عددهم، الإنهاك الجسدي في السجن الذي أغلق غويا سقفه هذه المرة، ربما، حتى لا يزعجوا العالم بضجيجهم. استمر ضيق العالم بضجيج المجانين بوتيرته المعتادة، حتى جاء الدور، بعد قرن ونصف من Madhouse، على بيسّي هيد Bessie Head، الكاتبة التي وصفت بأنها "غريبة الأطوار" وهو نعت مهذب لشخصية لها "خبرة إنسانية استثنائية".

توثق كتابات بيسّي – رغم ذاتيتها المفرطة – لحقبة تاريخية مهمة في جنوب أفريقيا، اتسمت بالتنكيل والتهميش والعنصرية، دونتها بيسّي هيد على نسق فانتازيا تاريخية ذات شخوص سوداوية الطباع، غارقة في الهلوسات والصراعات الدموية. ورغم معاناة بيسِّي من المرض العقلي في أكثر فترات حياتها، إلا أنها حافظت على مقدار من رباطة الجأش مكّنها من تدوين جزء من "الخبرة الإنسانية الاستثنائية" التي مرّت بها، فلم تغلق الكاتبة على "مجانينها" الأسوار والأسقف كما فعل غويا، بل أطلقتهم أحراراً على صفحات رواياتها. كانت بيسّي من النساء السود القلائل في جنوب أفريقيا اللائي استطعن اختراق حقل كتابة السيرة الذاتية، ذلك الفضاء الذكوري الذي تسيطر عليه الطبقة الأرستقراطية الحاكمة من البيض التي كانت تنظر بقلق نحو الشخصيات التي تحركها هذه الكاتبة: الفقراء، المومسات، رجال الشرطة الفاسدون، السجناء السياسيون، الجوعى، المجذومون، وكذلك المجانين.

ولدت بيسّي في مدينة بيترماريتزبرغ عام 1937 ثمرة نزوة بين امرأة بيضاء ثرية كانت تعاني مرضاً عقلياً، وخادم أسود مجهول. جعل المرض الأم تنزوي إلى مكان منعزل لتلد فيه طفلتها، التي ستعاني أيضاً من ذات العلة العقلية، إضافة إلى معاناتها من عدم الترحيب في بلادها بمن كانت في مثل وضعها. شبهت بيسّي "الولادة السرية" التي أتت بها إلى العالم بولادة المسيح. صورة دينية زاد من رسوخها في مخيلة الطفلة النشأة في بيت كاثوليكي محافظ. كانت الأم كانت مُصرّة أن تمنح اسمها للمولودة، ليصبح اسم الأم والابنة متطابقين في الأوراق الرسمية: "بيسّي إميليا إميري". وبما أن الأم المريضة كانت عاجزة عن تربية ابنتها، تم إرسال الطفلة إلى عائلة طلبت تبينها، ولكن سرعان ما رفضتها حين تبين أن الطفلة ليست بيضاء البشرة، فلم تجد الطفلة إلا عائلة كاثوليكية متزمتة دينياً لرعايتها، التي استمرت لفترة قصيرة فقط، ثم مجدداً، تم التخلي عن بيسّي، فأرسلت إلى مدرسة إنجليكانية على الرغم من نشأتها في بيت كاثوليكي.

كان هذا "التحول الديني" صدمة غيرت مجرى حياتها. النظام التعليمي الكنسي الصارم جعل الطفلة تعيش في عزلة موحشة زادت بعد اكتشافها حقيقية ولادتها ونشأتها، فعانت من شرخ عميق في الذاكرة، وجرح لم يندمل حتى الموت. بدأت بيسّي مسيرتها الصحافية في مجلة ذا غولدن سيتي بوست، كأول امرأة تعمل في أكبر صحيفة لا يقرأها البيض! كانت بيسّي تعاني من تمييز على أساس النوع، خلال عملها، كونها المرأة الوحيدة في مقر العمل. وعانت من التمييز العنصري من (أبناء جلدتها)، فعلى الرغم من كونها "ملونة" إلا أن جيرانها من "الملونين" كانوا يتصرفون على أنهم أرقى ثقافياً منها؛ يضطهدونها ويشككون في خلفيتها الإثنية، بسبب بشرتها الداكنة أكثر منهم، ولكن في ذات الوقت كانت بشرتها أفتح من بشرة السود.

في مدينة جوهانسبيرج عملت مع مجلة Home Post حيث التقت بطلها المتوج "مانغاليز روبرت سوبوكوي"، القائد الثوري لحزب المؤتمر الأفريقي، وهناك شهدت بيسّي "مذبحة شاربفيل" (1960) التي قامت على إثرها حكومة هنريك فيورود بحملة اعتقالات شرسة، طالت بيسّي، التي نكل بها بسبب "عدم تعاونها بكفاءة" مع الشرطة. وعقب أزمة عاطفية لاحقة، انهارت بيسّي تماماً، مما دفعها لاحقاً لمحاولة انتحار فاشلة في ذلك العام. ثم تواصلت أزماتها النفسية لتقضي ست سنوات كاملة في مستشفى للأمراض العقلية، حيث كتبت مسودة رواية The Cardinals التي كانت مهملة لظن الكاتبة بأن النص غير ناضج كفاية للنشر، فلم تنشر إلا بعد موتها. 

كانت بيسّي ترغب بمغادرة جنوب أفريقيا، ولكن نظام الأبرتهايد رفض إصدار جواز سفر لها، فلم تجد بداً سوى الخروج بلا أي إمكانية للعودة، فرحلت إلى بوتسوانا حيث عاشت كمعلمة في فقر مدقع، لكنها  فقدت وظيفتها هذه بعد فشلها في تجاوز اختبار سلامة القوى العقلية، الذي فرضته عليها السلطات التعليمية في بوتسوانا. الفقر والجنون، دفعا الكاتبة مرة أخرى إلى المصحة العقلية في العام 1969، ولكنها ظلت تكتب رغم كل الظروف، إلى أن أصاب الجميع اليأس من تغييرها، وتركوها، أخيراً، تعيش بسلام مع نفسها. هنا كانت اللحظة المنتظرة، فبدأت بيسّي في التعافي الذاتي، والأهم من ذلك؛ فقد خرجت فراشة من شرنقة الماضي الكئيب، فكان صعود أهم رواياتها “Rain Clouds” التي حققت لها ربحاً مالياً جعلها في وضع مادي مستقر مكنها من إكمال مسودة رواية “Muru” في خريف 1969؛ في ذات العام الذي خرجت فيه من المصحة العقلية، فكانت رواية A Question of Power بمثابة السجل الرسمي لمعاناتها مع الأمراض العقلية.

قهرت بيسّي الهيمنة الذكورية والعنصرية، والفقر والجوع، وفوق ذلك كله انتصرت على المرض العقلي لتحلق في فضاء الفكرة الكونية، تعلن تحيزها للمستضعفين على حساب ذوي السلطة والنفوذ، ولكن في ذات الوقت هي تكتب للجميع حتى لمن اضطهدوها. في آخر مقال كتبته في حياتها "Why Do I Write?" قالت: "أنا أبني سلماً نحو النجوم، إنني أتملك السلطة لأن آخذ كل البشر معي إلى هناك، لهذا السبب فأنا أكتب". عاشت في كنف المهمشين، وكتبت من أجلهم، واستلهمت من ألم الواقع تفاؤلاً للمستقبل، ووصلت إلى النجوم عبر سبر أغوار الفضاء المظلمة عبر "خبرة إنسانية متجاوزة للمعقول".

Thursday, October 3, 2019

The Yin-Yang of The Fourth Democracy (1-2)

The Chinese philosophy coined the principle of Yin and Yang; a term that summarizes the existence as inseparable and contradictory opposites. The Sudanese Fourth Democracy is representing a fatal contradiction: war-criminals guarding establishments that should bring - theoretically - freedom, peace, and justice. It is a paradox of the khaki and the cravat. 

By Talal Nayer:

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) interviewed in 2006 the field commander of the Janjaweed militia to validate the reports that disclose horrifying crimes against humanity like mass rape and genocide in the Darfur region. The commander showed pride with the new Chinese arsenal that he used against the armed movements, and he said in that interview: “We will fight them until the doomsday.” That man called (Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo), his nickname is (Hemitte). This man was camel’s merchant and was the field commander of militia that its leader – Musa Hilal – was wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

merciless war

BBC's Nima Elbagir in the frontline of Darfurian war (2006)

 Hemitte: the field commander of the Janjaweed militia (2006)

Now Hemitte, a member of the Sovereignty Council of Sudan, was the vice-president of the Transitional Military Council that was ruling Sudan after the collapse of al-Bashir's dictatorship. Lieutenant General  Hemitte is the factual ruler of Sudan since April 11, 2019. The rapid rise of him to the peak of power is astonishing by all standards. Before 12 years, the young General merged his forces - unofficially and incompletely - in the Sudanese Army, and his military-rank is Colonel General, who is now the highest after field marshal al-Bashir stepped aside. According to the Egyptian comparative military ranking protocols - which it identically matches the Sudanese military codes - 12 years is barely enough for an officer to become a Major.

al-Bashir and Hemitte

After months of non-stop massive protests, it was the falling of al-Inkazz Regime; the masses surrounded the headquarters of the army (al-Qiyada). A pressure that speeded up the departure of Lieutenant General Awad Bin Auf, who ruled Sudan for only 30 hours, after al-Bashir who ruled for 30 years. This collapse - In the absence of unified leadership - opened wide gates to al-Burhan, and Hemitte to lead the army. Then securing them positive control over the Sovereignty Council of Sudan. Al-Burhan and Hemitte had a terrifying record in Darfur and, but despite all the circumstances, they become part of the new democracy, although they came from the second line of al-Bashir's cabinet. 

Calling for democracy in front of al-Qiyada

Alaa Salah, A woman who has come to symbolize protests in Sudan
 Bin Auf and al-Bashir: The 30-hours-president beside the 30-years-dictator 

Hemitte, Al-Burhan, and al-Rabye: The Wolf and The Seven Little Goats Story 

The question is: how these men dressed in the military khaki took responsibility for The Sudanese Fourth Democracy?    

There is ambiguity surrounding the biography of Hemitte, and there is vagueness around his speedy and unsystematic rise to the leadership. The new strongman of Sudan leapfrogged all the regulations and the rule by overlooking a long hierarchical chain that is occupied with old officers. A long line of old men who have outdistanced him in the years of military service experienced generals who were waiting for years in the chain of command to upgrade their ranks.

The first barrier that Hemitte overpassed is avoiding one of the main conditions to join the army: having a secondary education certificate. Many believe that Hemitte didn’t have any pedagogue. His followers say that he was studying in al-Khallwa (traditional religious establishment) until the age of 14. The mysterious background of the man allowed rumors to rise; one of the famous stories suggests that Hemitte is a Chadian who arrived in Sudan with his family during the Chadian-Libyan war in the mid-1980s.

Sudan provided non-combat support to Chad to win what so-called Great Toyota War. 

Hemitte made a quick-shifting of from a camel’s merchant to the military ruler of a country with a vast sized country like Sudan. The ascending of Hemitte to the domination only resembles Samuel Doe and how he reached the power in Liberia. Doe was a sergeant in the army, he arranged a bloody coup d'état versus the state’s leadership in 1980. Doe overwhelms the power after assassinating the president, televising executions of ministers and supports of President William Tolbert. But despite the bloody massacre that Doe committed, he accomplishes an international recognition, a while after he received a red carpet reception by Ronald Reagan in the White House in 1982.  Reagan considered Doe as a partner in restoring democracy in Liberia.

Cabinet ministers lined up for execution after a coup d'état in Liberia (1980)
What a wonderful world: Ronald Reagan and Doe in the White House (1982)

Hemitte: from zero to hero

The escalated advancement of the leader of the Janjaweed is raising a question: how this militia becomes possible for ascendancy quickly a country is on the verge of the size of Western Europe. The domination the Janjaweed stretched abroad; they are combating by-commission on behalf of the Saudis and Emiratis in Yemen, their land forces are the backbone of the Operation Decisive Storm (Arabic: 'Amaliyyat 'Āṣifat al-Ḥazm).

The Janjaweed in Yemen

The self-confident leader explicitly intimidated Iran by invasion to defend the Arab petrodollar kingdoms. The formal reception for Hemitte in Cairo, Riyadh, and Abu Dhabi is an implicit recognition of the new leader, and an appreciation for the Janjaweed Militia is distinguished with its belligerence and brutality. Hemitte is following Doe's example step by step: raising in a humble environment with almost impossible chances to reach the crown of power. Then escalating to the leadership after a blood bath, finally gaining local, regional, and international recognition, a stage that the majorly acknowledges the defacto situation and the authority of the new ruler.

Hemitte and Bin Salman in Riyadh

Hemitte and el-Sisi in Cairo

The Janjaweed came into sight of the media when the civil war inflamed in Darfur in 2003, but it’s historically rooted, and its origins are even older than al-Bashir’s dictatorship. Now, these militias which are torturing the freedom protesters in Khartoum, and tragicomically, The Janjaweed had been established in the era of the Third Democracy (1985-1987); more specifically by efforts of the democratically elected Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi as a cause or beginning.  Al-Mahdi, who was leading a coalition government, combines between the biggest religious/traditional political parties in the country; al-Umma and al-Ittihadi al-Demoqrati. Until few days, al-Mahdi was ambitiously looking forward to leading the Fourth Democracy, which is with one foot in the grave because of The Janjaweed’s brutality.

The first military conflict fulminated when Anyanya Movement declared armed disobedience against the government of al-Azhari in 1955, firstly in Torit, then cities of Juba, Yei, and Maridi. Anyanya was incompatible with Sudan’s intentions to join the League of Arab States; it was rejecting the easily noticed Islamo-arabism drift al-Azhari who was leading the government of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan; a government was demanding and calling for total independence from England and Egypt.

Ismail al-Azhari (1900 - 1969)

The Anglo-Egyptian Sudan (1898-1956)

Israeli Gen. David Uri Ben Uziel who fought with the Anyanya

John Garang established Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) to start guerrilla warfare against the government of GaafarNimeiry. The SPLA’s manifesto (The New Sudan) is calling to establish a multi-cultural country, a counteractive declaration that is different from the true-hearted state’s agenda that had been adopted by the alternating governments, whether democratic or dictatorial.

The first Sudanese civil war (1955 - 1972)

After the successfulness of Intifadatt Abril (English: April’s Uprising) in 1985 by overthrowing Nimeiry, SPLA refused the cease-fire because it considered Swar al-Dahab is only an extension to the old regime because the Transitional Military Council didn’t abolish the Islamic laws (Sharia). After the Transitional period, Sadiq al-Mahdi took responsibility and authority.  The Prime Minister – a man with a conservative Islamic referentiality – found himself in a confrontation with Garang and his SPLA. Al-Mahdi encountered a Marxist movement carrying advanced weapons that came by Mengistu Haile Mariam’s communist Derg in Ethiopia. The SPLA was furiously fighting in area equalized Germany and the Netherlands jointly; even sometimes, it stretched from the south to hit some targets in the north. The outcome of the half-century-war was two million Sudanese who systematically murdered by Khartoum governments.

The second Sudanese civil war (1983 - 2005)

The fundamental root of all Sudanese civil wars was (the identity), the cultural conflict was the essential source to the instability, because the sequential governments didn’t find a procedure to manage a cultural dialogue to solve the country's crisis. The Suppressive fire was and still the only response to any disobedience.

Francis M. Deng's War of Visions: Conflict of Identities in Sudan (1995)

In 1987 al-Mahdi established the Marahil militia in Kordofan region and weaponized the Arab tribes by in Darfur to confront the SPLA, these tribes gathered under the name of al-Tahaluf al-Arabi (English: The Arab Alliance), or The Janjaweed. The armament of the militias represented a model of a failed state, a country that abandoned its ethical responsibility and legal liability of war: al-Mahdi authorized untrained individuals to take charge of the conflict with a flammable background. The militiamen had a lack of knowledge about ethics of war and international humanitarian law that say (even wars have limits, civilians must never be targeted).

The Marahil

The Dinka

One of the most recognized and documented crimes against humanity in the Third Democracy was the Massacre of al-Daein, which is subsequent nightmarish events that took place in the town of al-Daein on March 28, 1987. Ushari A. Mahmoud and Suliman Ali Balldu documented in their book (The Massacre of al-Daein: Slavery in Sudan)  events of the massacre can be summarized as follows: The Janjaweed Militia organized 4000 armed bedouins from the Rizeigat tribe, all of them equipped with swords, guns, and combustible materials. The Janjaweed launched a devastating attack against the residents' people of Dinka; they killed 1700 by burning them alive while they had been trapped in a train intended to take the Dinka away from the killing fields. The militiamen committed horrifying crimes; mass rape of hundreds, the enslavement of 4000 people, the random shooting of children and disabled in the city hospital. The Janjaweed desecrated and demolished Saint Bakhita’s church. 

Ushari Ahmed Mahmoud with an eyewitness 

The one-sidedness of the ruling regimes clarified that how the state get rid of its neutrality among its citizens.  The prejudice of governments to some ethnic/cultural groups, and adopting aggressive policies against other groups destroyed all hopes to reach peace. The wars exhibited that Sudan – as postcolonialist model –couldn’t find a resolution to the tribe paradox. Sudan couldn’t deal with the tribe, which is pre-state society, or the stateless society. The Sudanese governments entangled in wars instead of being far beyond tribalism, and it rejected the calls for a multicultural state haughtily.

When al-Jabhah al-Islamiyah al-Qawmiyah (The Sudanese branch of Muslim Brotherhood) reached the power by coup d'état in 1989, it escalated the pace of war against the rebellions, and it declared Jihad in southern Sudan. The primary objective of the Islamists was a radical ideological agenda that seek for total social engineering to establish the (State of Sharia). This ideological project requires destabilizing the joints of the state’s structure politically, economically, and militarily.

The Sudanese Islamist project was only a reaction to the ideas of the Sudanese Communists, wherefore the agenda of Hassan al-Turabi was to establish a global Islamic alliance that is similar to the Communist Comintern. Al-Turabi wanted Khartoum as the center to build this Mohammadian internationalism, a project, did not recognize the Sudanese national state and had no loyalty to Sudan. Al-Jabhah al-Islamiyah gave priority to the international agenda of the organization at the expense of resolving the internal crises of Sudan.  To achieve the Islamic internationalism, it requires dismantling traditional state institutions and then replacing it with an ideological machine that only runs to make the dream of the international state of Sharia comes true.

Al-Bashir and al-Turabi:
The two faces of  totalitarianism;  military dictatorship and Islamic fundamentalism

The affiliations of the Muslim Brotherhood in Sudan started a process of radical change in all institutions by displacing experienced technocrats, then replacing them by radicalized and ideologized Islamists. The Islamists formed parallel forces; militias have loyalty to the Islamists before allegiance to the national state: for example, they structured (para-police) (paramilitary), and (para-security) to work functionally in parallel with the traditional forces of the army and police, which already exist. One of the results of creating these paramilitary forces is re-discovering the Janjaweed that remained in the shadow after the coup d'état in 1989. Al-Bashir used the militiamen to face the rebellion. The ideological extremism, in addition to the one-sidedness policy, became the fuel of the Darfurian war, warfare that will be the pathway to the Janjaweed to reach power.

Salah Gosh modified the duty of the intelligence and security service, from collecting information, to become a military force that is stronger than the army.

Field Marshal al-Bashir was always keen to substitute the leaders of the security forces to guarantee his continuance in power. He worked to secure any reversal coup, notably after he overturned his political ally Hassan al-Turabi in December 1999. Hemitte found an opportunity to climbing the pyramid of power after a disagreement between al-Bashir and Musa Hilal, the ex-leader of the Janjaweed Who sentenced to prison, and then Hemitte became the new leader of the militia. He fundamentally changed the nature of the tribal troops after he successfully convinced al-Bashir to support the Janjaweed logistically and financially. The militia coordinates with the Sudanese army; even it is still alien forces. Theoretically, the Janjaweed became within the military factions, but practically it is still independent administratively, and they provided itself by weapons autonomously and anonymously. The situation of Hemitte and his forces among the army more like water mixing with oil; both are in one pot, but they are also separate.

The Janjaweed: provided itself by weapons autonomously and anonymously.

Hemitte took advantage of the international network and the diplomatic that provided by the state. He successfully modified the core of the Janjaweed; he turned the militiamen from a group that is fighting with the fragments of the Russian and Chinese arsenals, to an army fighting in several countries with the latest American weapons received from Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Hemitte benefited from the removal of the president’s deputies and rivals and their fall. The stalemate between al-Bashir and his generals in the army allowed Hemitte to secure his place to the power as closest as possible, especially after the departure of Lieutenant General Awad Bin Auf, who ruled Sudan for only 30 hours, after al-Bashir who ordered for 30 years.

In November 2018, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) issued a report that focuses on military expenditure in Sub-saharan Africa. The report suggests:

 "Determining whether the allocation of resources to sectors is misaligned with stated policy can act as an initial warning sign of possible resource mismanagement or corruption. Disaggregation allows for information linkage and comparison between defense policy, military budgets, and actual spending. There are, however, notable variations in practice from state to state. Some states, such as Angola, Cameroon, Kenya, and Sudan, show military budgets as a single line item with no disaggregation, usually in the form of total military sector spending labeled in various ways ...".

Years of the long rule of the Sudanese army have changed the priorities of the generals; the leaders of security services gained banks and international investments, even sports clubs. Because of the corruption, the generals lived in luxury, where military discipline has become a thing of the past. The primary interest of the military is to compete with traders in the local market and to create investments abroad. The generals relaxed in their palaces while the militias fought on their behalf by proxy, they lost interest in what was going on in the military establishment. This atmosphere paved the way for Hemitte to become the strongest man in the army in al-Bashir post-era, and his tribal troops became stronger the army itself by taking advantage of the corruption of the military establishment.

The Janjaweed tortured and killed the protesters who are calling for democracy; they committed horrifying crimes in the Sudanese capital. The Khartoumers was following from a distance the nightmarish wars that burning people in the outskirts of the country. The time had changed, and the nature of the governance had changed from Islamic dictatorship to the anarchy of the militias. The Janjaweed has copied the Darfurian- Kordofanian scenario and repeated the scenes of murder and rape in Khartoum. Hemitte’s forces have demonstrated their weapons by displaying their arsenal of American Humvee armored vehicles and by released videos of soldiers as they danced in celebration of the overwhelming military victory over unarmed demonstrators. The Janjaweed was proud by their rape crimes by showing the underwired of raped victims and published in the social media the ceremonies of torture, beating, and humiliation.




The Islamists have resurrected tribal militias that crush the rebellion, avoid the answer of the (identity question), an item that is waiting for an explanation for six decades. The time had changed, and the government and it lost control over the militiamen and the Sudanese regime became - according to Mary Shelley's novel - like Victor Frankenstein, who resurrected a monster and lost control of it. 

On July 17, 2019, Hemitte - on behalf of the Transitional Military Council - and Ahmed al-Rabye - on behalf of Forces of Freedom and Change - signed the political document; part of an agreement of partnership that ended to form the Sovereignty Council. The signing event came just days after the horrifying documented accidents of mass-rape, killing, and torture. The question is, who the leaders came to find common ground with Hemitte and the TMC to sign a complete political agreement within this short timeframe? Or how the wolf met the seven little goats? 

In the next article, I will answer the question by historically analyzing the Sudanese political parties, their intellectual and ideological references. I coved the first half of the Yin-Yang, the Khaki, and the next is the Cravat