Sudan disbands Bashir’s NCP party, overturns moral policing law

Sudanese protesters chant slogans during a rally calling for the former ruling party to be dissolved and for ex-officials to be put on trial in Khartoum. (Reuters)
Updated 30 November 2019

Sudan disbands Bashir’s NCP party, overturns moral policing law

  • Bashir’s National Congress Party (NCP) condemned the new ‘illegal government’ for ordering its closure and the dismantling of his regime

CAIRO: Sudan’s transitional government announced on Friday that it has overturned a moral policing law and moved to dissolve the country’s former ruling party, fulfilling two major demands from the country’s pro-democracy protesters.

Rights groups say the Public Order Act (POA) targets women and is a holdover from the three-decade rule of toppled Omar Bashir.

“This law is notorious for being used as a tool of exploitation, humiliation & violation of rights,” Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok tweeted in reference to the overturned law. “I pay tribute to the women and youth of my country who have endured the atrocities that resulted from the implementation of this law.”

The authorities have also slapped a ban on any “symbols” of the former regime from taking part in political activities for 10 years.

The new ruling sovereign council and Cabinet led by Hamdok passed the decisions under a law named “Dismantling of the regime of 30th June, 1989.”

“The National Congress Party (NCP) is dissolved and its registration is canceled from the list of political parties in Sudan,” the decree said, adding that a committee would be formed to confiscate all its assets.

Move condemned

Bashir’s NCP condemned the new “illegal government” for ordering its closure and the dismantling of his regime.

The NCP accused the authorities of trying to confiscate its properties and assets to tackle Sudan’s economic crisis which it said the new government had failed to tackle.

“To rely on the assets of the party, if there are any, is nothing more than a moral scandal, an act of intellectual bankruptcy and a total failure on the part of the illegal government,” the NCP said on its Facebook page.

“The party is not bothered by any law or decision issued against it as the NCP is a strong party and its ideas will prevail.”

Hamdok however said the law to dissolve the party and dismantle the regime was “not revenge” against the former rulers.

“But it aims to preserve the dignity of Sudanese people which was crushed by dishonest people,” he wrote on Twitter.

“This law aims to recover the plundered wealth of the people.”

The sovereign council grew out of a power-sharing agreement between the country’s ruling generals and protesters demanding sweeping political change. 

Under the deal, the council and the civilian-led Cabinet share legislative powers until a new Parliament is formed.

Pro-democracy groups in the country have also held fresh protests demanding the former ruling party’s disbandment and the exclusion of all its remnants from different state institutions.

Hamdok tweeted that the bill dismantling Bashir’s party is not the outcome of “a quest of vengeance but rather to preserve and restore the dignity of our people who have grown weary of the injustice under the hands of NCP, who have looted & hindered the development of this great nation.”

Sudan’s Justice Minister Nasr-Eddin Abdul-Bari announced that the law passed by the interim government on Friday would transfer all assets and funds of Bashir’s party to the state treasury.

“With this law, we will be able to retrieve a lot of funds that were taken from the public treasury to create institutions that acted as a parallel state,” he said.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, which spearheaded the uprising against Bashir, hailed the move as “an important step” toward the establishment of a civil and democratic state in Sudan. Bashir was arrested after his overthrow in April and is currently on trial for charges of corruption and money laundering.


Tensions run high in Jerusalem as mosques and Muslims targeted

Palestinians hold Friday prayers in the Marwani Prayer Room, also called Solomon’s Stables, located under the southeastern corner of the raised platform, which holds the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City. A fire broke out at the sacred site. (AFP)
Updated 26 January 2020

Tensions run high in Jerusalem as mosques and Muslims targeted

  • Israeli officials were upset with the visit to Al-Aqsa by French President Emmanuel Macron, which was not officially coordinated with any political side

AMMAN: Tensions are running high in Jerusalem following an arson attack on a mosque, anti-Palestinian graffiti and a leading cleric given an extended ban from Al-Aqsa, senior figures have told Arab News.
Arson was suspected in the torching of a mosque in Beit Safafa and graffiti had been sprayed on a nearby wall outside the building.
The events follow the high-security commemoration of Holocaust memorial events that were attended by dignitaries and heads of state from around the world in Jerusalem.
Muslim leaders called on worshippers to attending sunrise morning prayers on Friday and at least 50,000 people turned up, causing Israeli authorities to panic.
Worshippers carried Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, who had already been told to stay away from Al-Aqsa, on their shoulders and the picture of the defiant congregation bearing him aloft was published around the world.
Wasfi Kailani, executive director of the Hashemite Fund, said the escalation of the situation has caused people to worry.
“Muslims are worried about their mosque and their action reflects their loss of trust in all the attempts to quieten them down,” he told Arab News.
Sabri told Arab News he had not received any written ban to stop him entering the mosque when he entered it on Friday.
The following day Israeli soldiers appeared at his house at 2 a.m. and handed him a four-month ban from entering Al-Aqsa. The sheikh said the decision was “revenge for a picture that went around the world.”
He said he would meet his lawyers and fellow Muslim leaders to decide what would happen next.
Fadi Hidmi, the Palestinian minister of Jerusalem affairs, told Arab News that Israelis had shown they did not respect holy places or faith leaders. The people of East Jerusalem were united and resilient, he added.

Muslims are worried about their mosque and their action reflects their loss of trust in all the attempts to quieten them down.

Wasfi Kailani, Hashemite Fund official

Israeli officials were upset with the visit to Al-Aqsa by French President Emmanuel Macron, which was not officially coordinated with any political side. The visit was preceded by a confrontation between Macron and Israeli police who tried to stop him from visiting the Church of St. Anne and his meeting there with Palestinian Christian leaders.
Macron visited Al-Aqsa, giving just 45-minutes notice to the head of the Islamic Waqf in Jerusalem Sheikh Azzam Khatib. But there was no official coordination with Israel, Palestine or Jordan.
Macron was well received at the holy site, and later met local merchants in the old city. He also visited the Western Wall.
Ziad Abu Zayyad, former minister of Jerusalem affairs in the Palestinian government, told Arab News that the attack on Jerusalem’s mosques and leaders had become the norm and that Israel’s anti-Palestinian attitude had become evident to the world.
Mahdi Abdul Hadi, director of the PASSIA think tank in Jerusalem and a member of the Islamic Waqf, told Arab News that after 52 years of occupation, the people of Jerusalem had proved that their unity and sense of community was the strongest asset for Palestinians in the holy city.