COUP D'ETAT

Al-Bashir's trial can help stabilise Sudan

In Summary

• Omar al-Bashir came to power in June 1990 when he overthrew the government of Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi

• He has gone trial in Khartoum charged with subverting the constitution

Sudan's former President Omar Hassan al-Bashir sits inside a cage at the courthouse where he is facing corruption charges, in Khartoum, Sudan, on September 28, 2019.
Sudan's former President Omar Hassan al-Bashir sits inside a cage at the courthouse where he is facing corruption charges, in Khartoum, Sudan, on September 28, 2019.
Image: REUTERS

General Omar al-Bashir has gone on trial in Khartoum for his part in staging the coup that brought him to power in 1989.

Bashir's lawyers complain that the coup was 31 years ago, long past the statute of limitations. They also say the prosecution is politically motivated to target the Islamic movement, ignoring the Islamic credentials of Sadiq al-Mahdi, the great-grandson of the Mahdi who fought the British in the nineteenth century.

Bashir and his co-defendants are refusing to cooperate with what they consider a show trial. This is ironic considering that Bashir operated unconstitutionally for 30 years.

 

Bashir's trial is in the best interests of the Sudan. If you hijack the political system, there should be no time limit on how long you remain accountable. Potential dictators should fear the future.

Bashir's trial will stand as a warning to any politician or army officer in future who might be tempted to stage a coup. God willing, his seizure of power in 1989 will remain the third and final coup in the Sudan and the country will become stable for the foreseeable future.

Quote of the day: "It doesn't matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice."

Deng Xiaoping 
The Chinese leader returned to power on July 22, 1977