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Sudan: Pro-democracy as well as pro-military groups working on proposals for new govt

August 31 - 2022 KHARTOUM
Protesters take to the streets in Khartoum (Ayman Suliman / UN Sudan)
Protesters take to the streets in Khartoum (Ayman Suliman / UN Sudan)

The Sudanese Bar Association will announce its version of their proposed transitional constitution later this week. A new political coalition of pro-military groups is in the making, while the Sudanese resistance committees are working to create a large coalition in order to reach a democratic civilian rule. The ambassadors of the USA, the UK, and Saudi Arabia to Sudan met yesterday to discuss new ways of mediation to help resolve the current political impasse. Gen Hemeti has offered support as well.

US Ambassador John Godfrey, UK Ambassador Giles Leifer, and Saudi Arabia's Ambassador Ali Bin Jaafar met in Khartoum on Tuesday to discuss the next steps of their efforts to mediate between the various components of Sudanese society to bridge the gaps between Sudanese actors to resolve the political crisis.

On June 9, informal talks were held at the residence of the Saudi ambassador in Khartoum. Members of the Forces of Freedom and Change-Central Council (FFC-CC) and representatives of the military, including Mohamed ‘Hemeti’ Dagalo, Deputy Chairman of the Sovereignty Council and Commander-in-Chief of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, to resolve the current political stalemate following the military coup on October 25 last year.

The talks were strongly rejected by the Sudanese resistance committees and other pro-democracy groups. They categorically reject any participation of the military in the government, calling for a genuine civilian government instead of a civilian-led government, as recently suggested by John Godfrey, the newly appointed US Ambassador to Sudan.

On July 4, Chairman of the Sovereignty Council and the Commander-in-Chief of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, announced that the military would withdraw from politics as soon a new transitional government of technocrats would be formed. The military would immediately withdraw from the dialogue facilitated by the AU-IGAD-UNITAMS Trilateral Mechanism – which suspended the talks a few days later.

The speech was mostly been met with scepticism and rejection. Resistance committees in Khartoum organised several protest sit-ins in the capital.

Draft Constitution

The Sudanese Bar Association has concluded the first version of the transitional constitution. A team of constitutional jurisprudence experts immediately began reviewing the text in order to finish its work within two days.

In a press statement yesterday, the SBA said that the draft version is based on the recommendations of its three-day workshop on the Transitional Constitutional Framework, concluded on August 10.

The association equally treated the views and inputs of “all political, professional, civil, revolutionary and societal components”, in order “to find consensus among all and to excludes no one except the enemies of the democratic transformation”.

The SBA further stated that it is more than important to solve the current political crisis, noting “the absence of the Rule of Law, and the severing of the way to democratic transformation by the coup of October 25, 2021, along with the polarisation between the various political groups, the deteriorating economy, and dire living conditions experienced by the Sudanese people”.

The mainstream Forces for Freedom and Change, the FFC-Central Council, supports the initiative of Sudan Bar Association.

‘New coalition’

Meanwhile, a group of political parties, former rebel leaders, and FFC-CC dissidents have been working on a new political coalition with a political programme that gives the army broad powers in the transitional government.

Sudan Tribune reported yesterday that the groups involved in the new coalition are the Unionist Democratic Party, the Sudanese Baath Party, the Republican Party faction headed by Haidar El Safi, the National Accord Forces, the Umma Party split-off faction of Mubarak El Fadil, and the Sudan People’s Call Initiative.

Coup leader El Burhan allegedly supports this new coalition, which will enable him to remain in power and work with a collaborative prime minister.

The Sudan People’s Call, backed by coup-leader and Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) commander Abdelfattah El Burhan, was launched last month by Sufi leader El Tayeb El Jad with the aim of ending the country’s political crisis.

A conference organised by El Jad earlier this month, concluded with recommending that the High Council of the Armed Forces, as proposed by El Burhan on July 4, be given supreme authority in the country.

The Popular Congress Party (PCP) has declined the invitation to join the new coalition.

The two oldest political parties of Sudan, the National Umma Party and the Democratic Unionist Party discussed the political situation yesterday, and agreed on a comprehensive and inclusive dialogue to end the political crisis and restore a civil transition, Sudan Tribune stated.

Resistance committees

Mohamed Taha, the former director of the University of El Gezira, told Radio Dabanga that “the various initiatives of the revolutionary movement succeeded in unifying their visions”.

The pro-democracy resistance committees active on grassroots level in the country*, and which reject any cooperation with the military “are working to create a large coalition in order to reach civilian rule,” Taha said.

“The success of the resistance committees in integrating their covenants into one charter that establishes full power to the people could constitute an important link in the alliance,” he explained.

Sudan’s opposition forces have repeatedly called for more unity in the past months to overthrow the military junta and create more peace and stability in Sudan amidst a political landscape that continues to be divided. 

The resistance committees are now working on the merge of two pollical charters that lay out a roadmap for democratic governance in the coming transitional period.  in Wad Madani launched their Revolutionary Charter for People’s Power (RCPP) in mid-January. The text is supported by resistance committees of 15 other states. The Khartoum resistance committees separately proposed the Charter for the Establishment of the People’s Authority (CEPA) in late February and signed it mid-May.

Radio Dabanga reported yesterday that the joint committee working on the merge, is calling on the Sudanese to actively participate in the discussions on the unified text, the resistance committees will organise in the near future.

Consultative meetings

Gen Hemeti on Monday reiterated “the strict commitment of the military institution to leave the matter of governance to civilians,” the Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reported that day.

In a press statement, he said that the military is ready to hold consultative meetings with the parties, in order to launch a Sudanese dialogue and achieve a national consensus on the democratic transformation that will lead to general elections in the end.

Hemeti called on “all revolutionary and national forces” to expedite reaching a solution for the current political impasse, so that that a new transitional government can be formed.


* Background information on development of the resistance committees, active in most of the neighbourhoods of the cities and towns in Sudan can be found in The role of local resistance committees in Sudan's transitional period, written by Prof Atta El Battahani and published by the Christian Michelsen Institute in 2021.

 


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