The Humanitarian Aid Commission in Sudan allowed the re-registration of 23 non-governmental organisations and associations on Saturday. The NGOs were suspended and their properties confiscated by the now dissolved Empowerment Removal Committee.
Najmeldin Mousa Abdelkarim, head of the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) based the decision to re-allow the activities of the NGOs on the instructions of the Appeals Department of the Committee to Review the Decisions of the Empowerment Removal Committee, headed by former Sovereignty Council member Raja Nikola.
The decision includes the Salah Wanasy Foundation, the El Sagya Society, the Islamic Medical Association, the African Association for Maternal and Child Care, the Society Studies (Mada) Centre, the Food Bank Organisation, and the Ana Sudan Organisation, El Rakoba reported yesterday.
The other organisations and associations restored by HAC are the Dar El Argam Organisation, the Labana Organisation for Development and Building Women’s Capabilities, the Humanitarian Aid Organisation for Development, the Ports of Charity Organisation, the Wabel El Seib Organisation, the Wabel El Kheir Organisation, the El Salekein Organisation, the Efad Organisation for Development, El Ihsan Organisation for Orphans Care, the Charitable Altruism Organisation, the Ashad Organisation, the Charitable Solidarity Organisation, the Charitable Solidarity Organisation, the Sudanese Foundation for People with Disabilities, the Mobadiroon Organisation for Disaster Prevention, and the World Health Foundation.
Commissioner-General Abdelkarim is reportedly affiliated with the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) headed by Jibril Ibrahim, who signed the Juba Peace Agreement in October 2020, and was appointed Minister of Finance in 2021 by Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok. Ibrahim, who backed the military coup of October last year, is one of the few ministers of the former cabinet who remained in his position after the coup.
Democrat Sudan said in a comment this morning that “This decision is part of dozens of decisions issued by the coup authorities to cancel the decisions of the ERC related to the funds, assets, and institutions they recovered from the leaders of the former regime for the benefit of the state.”
The news outlet said that Sovereignty Council Ibrahim Jaber, Raja Nikola, head of the Appeals Committee, and High Court Judge Mohamed Ali Babiker played an important role in reviewing the decisions of the ERC.
ERC member Orwa El Sadig commented on the decision of HAC by saying that the rehabilitated organisations “represent hidden facades” of the dissolved National Congress Party (NCP) of dictator Omar Al Bashir and the Islamic Movement. “Some of them administratively violated the Humanitarian Aid Law [in the past],” he added.
He said that many of these NGOs “consisted of banners, stamps, and bank accounts without having a board of trustees or executive offices. The most dangerous and significant thing was that they were mobilising the poor and needy for the party’s forums”.
El Sadig expects that more organisations set up during the era of Al Bashir, in particular after the year 2000, will be allowed to operate again, “including those mentioned in international reports as having links with terrorist organisations and financing”. He said that the Ministry of Social Welfare and HAC “know very well that these organisations are hidden fronts for the disbanded NCP.”
The NCP was estimated to have at least SDG1.5 trillion in Sudanese banks in end 2019. Some of the party’s assets seem to have “disappeared under mysterious circumstances”.
The full name of the ERC is the Committee for Dismantling the June 30 1989 Regime, Removal of Empowerment and Corruption, and Recovering Public Funds. It was established by the government of Abdallah Hamdok at the end of 2019 with the aim to purge Sudan of the remnants of the Al Bashir regime. Empowerment (tamkin) is the term with which the ousted government of Omar Al Bashir supported its affiliates by granting them far-going privileges, including government functions, the setting-up of various companies, and tax exemptions.