Experts, MPs Want Speedy Ratification of Countering Aggression Bill
Khartoum - After the aggression and crimes committed by the SPLM in South Sudan against Sudan and its people, that caused the death of people and destruction of property, it became necessary to draft a law that restraints the faulty practices of the government of South Sudan and preserves the security of citizens of Sudan and their homeland. The Sudanese Parliament took speedy steps to draft a law and debate it in preparation for its final passage.
A number of experts think that the way the Sudanese people celebrated the liberation of Heglig shouldn't be the end of the trip, instead the Parliament thought of passing a strict law to counter aggression and hold aggressors accountable in order to terminate security hazards whether domestic or foreign.
Afaf Tawer, head of the Human Rights committee in the Parliament, thinks that all laws must be focused on by the system, and not only after a certain event has taken place, to prevent the law making process from becoming only responsive to action post their occurrence.
She also hopes the same emphasis that was placed upon the law of countering aggression will be given to the human trafficking law. She added that her committee is particularly interested in this law and passing it as primary concern, and not as reaction to an event.
She stressed that the law of countering aggression is an extremely important law that should have been in operation already as a national law, since Sudan has neighboring countries that might target the country. The law should also provide the necessary conditions to prevent aggressive actions from inside the country, aggression like smuggling food products and nutritional commodities to the enemy. It is logical to fight a foreign enemy while an insider is catering to the same enemy.
She said that it was not enough for South Sudan to cut supply only; they also assaulted Higleg and tried to destroy the oil facilities in Heglig because they know Heglig is a strategic area that represents a an important economic dimension. The government of South Sudan targets destroying the infrastructure and economic sites, they think that by pressurizing Sudan economically they will incite the people in Sudan against the government and oust the regime in the process like what happened in Libya. That is why we say that this law should have been passed long ago, the government and the people should place great emphasis on it because it helps combat dormant cells, aggression, information, fifth column, and how to deal with the neighboring countries in case of aggression.
Ms. Tawer said that when two countries have disputes, they work on resolving these disputes thorough negotiations between them, and when negotiations do not work out the two countries resort to international law. What was committed by South Sudan shows that they lack knowledge of politics and that they have no laws regulating relations with neighboring countries.
Ms. Tawer described the government of South Sudan as gangsters who came from the power to power, what else would we expect from them.
She added that all these offensive actions by the government of South Sudan have led to a poor economic situation in South Sudan because Sudan is vein of life for South Sudan, and since South Sudan has committed aggression against Sudan, Sudan has the right to cut supplies from South Sudan, and the government there is completely aware that Sudan can oust their government from here.
Alfadil Haj Sulieman, head of the Legislation and Justice Committee in the Parliament, thinks that drafting laws is sovereign right to countries. Other countries regard these laws with political perspective according to the circumstances prevalent in the country in question. Regarding the Law of Countering Aggression, Sudan has the right counter aggression by force, but it chose to counter it through a legal action, a positive point in Sudan record. The law is applied through certain procedures that enable the defendants (the aggressors) to defend themselves and prove their innocence.
He said that this law is timely, since it is being drafted a time when Sudan is being attacked, its properties looted, and its citizens killed.
He also mentioned that the law is aimed at stopping the violations against Sudan. In addition to that he said any neighboring country has the right to make the laws it deems necessary to protect itself from aggression. Such laws, he went on, tie the loose ends and loopholes in any complaint filed to demand compensation from an aggressor.
He added that this law does contradict with any other law. He said that the United States of America has passed law named :( Security, Safety, and Accountability Law of Sudan), and wondered, under which jurisdiction did the US pass that law, since Sudan definitely does not fall under American jurisdiction.
He stated that the priority is to release a statement condemning the attack on Higleig, and to hold South Sudan accountable for killing people, and burning oil facilities.
He confirmed that Sudan does not attack any other country with legal reasons, and the law that has recently been passed will let other countries know there is a law in Sudan that protects its borders and sovereignty. The international law does not forbid any country from formulating any law that does not contradict with the international law.
He explained that the law allows Sudan to confiscate all the properties of the aggressing country, including machinery, vehicles, fixed and mobile assets, and also all the belongings of the persons who hold the nationality of the aggressing country including companies, real estate, bank accounts, planes, ships, tractors, and the such. In addition to that the law dictates withdrawing any Sudanese investments in the offending country, lowering Sudanese diplomatic representation, limiting the movements of the offending country's diplomats in Sudan according to strict measures.
|Dr. Ghazi Sulieman|
The specified six conditions to carry out negotiations with the offending country: halting all aggressive actions (military, and political) against Sudan, disconnecting ties with any terrorist groups operating against Sudan, expelling all the persons belonging to it, closing down their buildings, and disarming them, disconnecting any political ties with any group hostile to Sudan, whether it operates on Sudanese lands or those of the aggressor's, removing any names or titles hostile to Sudan from the institutions in the aggressor's country. Apologizing internationally and continentally for the crimes committed by the aggressor is one of the negotiating conditions, not to mention compensating Sudan for the damages wrought by the aggression.
On the other hand, many think that this law has initiated an intensive discussion inside the parliament after a number of parliament members (MPs) opposed and issued warnings against naming the law (countering aggression). A parliament member from the opposition quota demanded that the aggressor's country should be named.
A number of MPs called for a hasty ratification of the law to bind whoever takes aggressive actions against Sudan, while others thought the law should not be generalized and it should be modified to address only South Sudan, since the law was drafted as a reaction to the occupation of oil area of Higleig by South Sudan, a town that the Armed Forces later retrieved.
Dr. Mohammed Abbas Alamin, a strategic expert at the University of Alza'aem Alazhari, explained that the law of countering aggression and holding the aggressors accountable does might serve its purpose only locally, explaining that these kinds of problems are solved by good neighborly relations because the Sudanese regional and international relations have always been based on good relations and mutual interests. He confirmed that –in many cases- these kinds of laws may incur reverse results, therefore, if we enhance our relations with the neighboring countries, we will definitely guarantee a better outcome, especially that the entire world is now working towards the enhancement of relations. He recommended the drafting a clear strategy for good neighborhood and co-existence and reinforcing relations between countries.
Hafiz Abdelrasool, a legal expert and an activist, defined aggression as (a country attacking another with intentions of occupying a part of its land or unlawfully acquiring its properties, and that is according to articles 13 and 14). He stated that aggression is a serious crime condemned and punishable by the rules and laws of the major powers and by the charter of the United Nation. This charter has eight principles to the most important of which are preserving international peace and security and banning aggression against countries. Aggression is considered the worst of the crimes stated in the charter, and even the International Criminal Court (ICC) testified that aggression is a serious offense. South Sudan has committed that act of aggression against Sudan; and in this case the international law stated two ways of reacting to aggression: Individual reaction, this the case in which the offended country would launch an attack against the aggressor in retaliation, and this is legitimate defense. The second way is the international reaction, and this is the case in which the attack would be delegated to the UN Security Council to issue a resolution under the Seventh Charter (Using force to control situations). But he added that domestic disputes are not classified as aggression.
Dr. Ghazi Sulieman, a legal expert, stressed that there is no need for a law to counter aggression and added that the current laws, constitution, and treaties are enough to counter any aggression against Sudan.
He said that the Sudanese Armed Forces have outdone themselves in countering the aggression and defending Sudanese territories, and he added that the parliament must shift its attention to the issues that are more pressing than the likes of this law.
By Najat Ahmed, Haram Hashim, 02/05/2012