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Sudan recovers assets worth millions from ex-president

April 8, 2021 at 12:48 pm

Sudan’s ousted president Omar al-Bashir appears during his trial along with others over the 1989 military coup that brought them to power, at Special court established at the Officer Training Institute in the capital Khartoum on 2 February 2021. [Mahmoud Hjaj – Anadolu Agency]

The official Anti-Corruption and Funds Recovery Committee in Sudan has revealed that it has recovered assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars from former president Omar Al-Bashir. The committee has also mentioned the criticism it has faced for allegedly implementing “selective justice” measures.

The Sudanese people have been following the committee’s televised statements eagerly. They started last year to reveal details about the properties owned by the Bashir era elite which have been seized by the state. These include real estate overlooking the Nile in the capital Khartoum, fertile farmland and profitable companies. Among the recovered assets are hotels, schools, factories and a golf course on the outskirts of Khartoum, all of which will continue to provide services.

Wagdy Saleh is a lawyer, politician and part of the 18-member committee. He said that the state body has recovered assets worth more than $1 billion and handed them to the Ministry of Finance. Another $400 million was passed to the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Endowments.

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Saleh told Reuters that the committee members have faced death threats, and added that it did not receive the funding it needed to do its job. The authorities, he claimed, were slow to pursue the necessary investigations. This, said Saleh, exposes the deep roots of Al-Bashir’s regime, even within the transitional government assigned to lead the country towards elections by the end of 2023.

“Whoever stands in the way of the process of dismantling the 30 June regime [the date that Al-Bashir led a bloodless coup in 1989] is either part of the old regime or has interests linked to the former regime and therefore tries to keep it standing,” he alleged.

Information Minister and government spokesman Hamzah Balloul pointed out that the committee is carrying out its constitutional duties, and its efforts to recover suspicious assets are much appreciated.

The state committee appointed to recover the looted assets includes politicians, senior military officers and government officials. It is due to operate until the end of the transition period.