More clarity on plans of newly formed Sudanese Alliance of Forces for Radical Change

The newly formed Alliance of Forces for Radical Change (AFRC) explained more of its plans, including the removal of the military from politics and making its participation punishable by law.

Sunday's Alliance of Forces for Radical Change press conference (photo supplied)

The newly formed Alliance of Forces for Radical Change (AFRC) explained more of its plans, including the removal of the military from politics and making its participation punishable by law.

The Alliance of Forces for Radical Change was launched in Khartoum on Sunday and includes 12 political and activist groups, most notably the Communist Party of Sudan (CPoS), the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), and the Sudanese Women's Union.

It was formed after calls for a broad front in opposition against Sudan’s coup authorities and to prevent civil war.

The alliance that excludes the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition proposes “to build a transitional authority by forming legislative councils at central, regional, and local levels – within a democratic state with a parliamentary system that guarantees the separation of powers”.

It also called for the return to the decentralised system consisting of six Sudanese regions that was in place before the military coup of Omar Al Bashir in 1989.

The AFRC also proposed an honorary sovereignty council with no executive functions, consisting of six people representing the six regions and a seventh member.

The national Legislative Council “will be the supreme authority and its role should be taking care of legislation, oversight, and accountability, and it should appoint the prime minister and his staff and approve the government's programme,” the alliance announced in a press conference on Sunday.

The programme called for ensuring the equitable participation of women, youth, and people with special needs in political life.

No army involvement

One of the most important features of the proposed programme with regard to the military institution is to permanently remove the army from politics and make its participation punishable by law.

If the Minister of Defence is an active-duty officer, he should leave his military post or retire. He will serve on the Cabinet staff under the Prime Minister's command, not that of the army.

The new alliance emphasises that the country’s armed forces should be professional and developed and that government militias should be disbanded, including the infamous Rapid Support Forces.

A new security apparatus is also to be formed and the police and army officers dismissed following the October 25 military coup should return so that the new apparatus can benefit from their experiences in building a unified national police and army.

No FFC involvement

The new AFRC does not include the FCC. According to Mohamed El Khateeb, Political Secretary of the CPoS their exclusion is a result of their sympathy to a power sharing government with the military. The CPoS leader said that the AFRC rejects “military interference and any partnership with it”.

The FFC was formed days after the Sudanese Professionals Association announced the Declaration of Freedom and Change on January 1, 2019, to bring down the regime of Omar Al Bashir.

“One of the advantages of the FFC is that it was able to collect all the bodies that were working to bring down the regime of Omar Al Bashir, which actually led to its downfall”, FFC representative El Wasig El Bereir stated earlier this week.

Yet, the FFC could not maintain this broad alliance, as many groups, such as the Communist Party of Sudan, the National Umma Party, and the Sudan Revolutionary Front rebel alliance left the FFC in the following period for various reasons, he said.

The grassroots activist further criticised the FFC in their dealing with the resistance committees concerning failed plans to establish a Legislative Council in end 2020, in particular with regard to representation quotas for the resistance committees.

“The resistance committees bear their responsibility here, but the bulk of the responsibility [for the failure to form a parliament] lies with the FFC”, El Bereir explained.