Saturday, 21 January 2012

Sudan: Musical Ministries and Bonobos-Syndrome

In recent months the government of Sudan has made a stern commitment to its unabated heavy weight status in the fields of of not-progress, not-development and not-interested-in-what-everyone-else-has-to-say.

In the last 3 months the government has managed to make random appointments for the incessantly vacant position of Presidential Adviser/Assistant, close down a couple of universities, detain some political activists, shut down several newspapers, and ignore a 2 months sit-in by residents of Al-Manasir - an area severely affected by the construction of the Merowe Dam.

The government - or shall I say National Congress Party - has also managed to form a new coalition government between the existing unity and/or coalition government, and an apparent opposition party, the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party). So this new government is probably called the Newest Most Recent Just Came Out Yesterday Coalition Government.

This new power sharing deal between the NCP and the DUP involves, well, a power sharing deal. Which means that senior members of the DUP will be given ministerial and advisory positions within the government. And that's exactly what happened.

The government was able to give up some ministries, but not the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Oil and Ministry of Foreign Affairs... and the Ministry of Defense... and the Ministry of Interior. However, their benevolence did allow them to appoint a DUP minister for the Minister of Cabinet Affairs. Which is nice, you know, nice.

The DUP was also given the Ministry of Human Resources. Not one of the top portfolios, but a ministry nonetheless... of Human Resources... I'm sorry, what's a Ministry of Human Resources? What does it do? Does it resource humans? Does it minister human resources? As far as I'm concerned, Human Resources is a department within organizations; so I'm guessing the Minister of Human Resources should be the HR manager of all HR departments in the country. No? Yes!

So, there's a rule of thumb somewhere here. It seems that if you are able to sign a deal with the government, you get a ministry. It doesn't matter which ministry. The government might just create a whole new ministry for you, like a Ministry of Beds & Four-Legged Furniture for example. Don't worry though, the ex-minister of your ministry would be moved to another one. It's simple. Just.. umm.. put on the music, and we'll play!

According to an update from Reuters, within this new coalition government, 14 other parties were given cabinet posts. These parties include the Sudan's Synchronized Swimming Team, the Nubian Fruits & Vegetables Party and the Democratic Alliance of Midwives, among others.

On a serious note, there are no legitimate "14 other parties" in Sudan. They're either illegitimate sub-parties of the NCP, or they're just NCP illegitimate sub-parties.

This obscure manifestation of democracy has been used by the NCP for years to trick people into thinking that there is some sort of progressive reform in their ruling policies. But no, there's been no reform. Yes, there are some new faces in the cabinet, but they're powerless. What's worse is that the opposition seems to move consistently in tandem with the government's ludicrous reform policies. In a normal government-opposition relationship, it's the other way around.

Nothing highlights this issue more than the appointment of Abdel-Rahman Al-Sadig Al-Mahdi, son of the leader of the opposition National Umma Party, as a presidential assistant. Despite the fact that the NUP has vowed not to participate in the government's proposed power sharing deal. Jaffar Al-Sadig Mohammed Osman Al-Mirghani, son of the leader of the DUP, was also appointed as a presidential assistant.

It doesn't take a genius to realize that the opposition is disconcerted. Whether it's hunger for power, powerlessness or just outright stupidity, it's a definite cause for concern. The opposition seem to just want to find a way to get involved, by any means necessary, without knowledge of the consequences, or even a plan for the future. After failing to bring the NUP on-board, the government made its booty call to the DUP.

A recent survey has shown that Bonobos, relatives of the chimpanzee, are the most promiscuous animals. Basically, they don't form long-term relationships with their mates. Like prostitutes. I don't know about you, but I see some sort of similarity here.

I can't tell you what the future holds, but I'll tell you what it doesn't hold. It doesn't hold a decent coalition government, because such appointments aren't meant for reform, they're meant to shut everyone the f*** up. It seems to have worked, somewhat.

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