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Sudan's FFC denies allowing military to escape accountability

October 21 - 2022 KHARTOUM
A meeting between the Trilateral Mechanism (AU-IGAD-UNITAMS) with the Sudan Bar Association's Steering Committee last month (File Photo: UN Photo)
A meeting between the Trilateral Mechanism (AU-IGAD-UNITAMS) with the Sudan Bar Association's Steering Committee last month (File Photo: UN Photo)

In an interview with Radio Dabanga, the Forces for Freedom and Change-Central Council, the mainstream FFC, defended their ‘imminent agreement’ with the military and denied rumours that they agreed with the junta that the military will not be held accountable for the crimes they have committed.

Sources within the military and civilian components of Sudan’s political scene recently reported that there was an ‘imminent agreement’ between the FFC-CC and the military, which took power in a coup on October 25 last year.

The ‘imminent agreement’ came after secret talks brokered by the United States of America, co-facilitated by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom, a coalition also referred to as the QUAD.

According to Bloomberg, the Sudanese Bar Association's (SBA) draft transitional constitution has been used as a starting point for the agreement, although concessions to the army have been added to reach an agreement. 

workshop by the Sudanese Bar Association (SBA) in August envisioning a new transitional constitutional framework, which saw widespread participation from the FFC-CC and DUP, concluded with a set of recommendations that included distancing the military from politics.

Coup leaders Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, Commander of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), Gen Mohamed ‘Hemeti’ Dagalo, Commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), are also the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of Sudan’s Sovereignty Council, the most important government body.

The mainstream Forces for Freedom and Change have received criticism from other opposition groups because of their sympathy towards a power-sharing government with the military.

During the talks, the SAF, Sudan’s official military, and the country’s most powerful militia, the infamous RSF, were in direct negotiations with members of the FFC-CC.

Accountability

The FFC-CC denied that they have agreed with the junta that the military will not be held accountable for the crimes committed and stressed that “the justice for the blood of the martyrs is a special criminal right and that the FFC does not have the right to waive them” and that its vision for Sudan includes criminal justice and transitional justice.

Jaafar Hasan, a leading member of the FFC-CC told Radio Dabanga that many families of the protesters killed during the revolution support the civil democratic transition, given that civilian rule ensures that the perpetrators are held accountable.

“Talking about guarantees on paper with a person carrying a gun is futile,” Hasan said and stressed the need to work to bring the country to safety. “The only guarantor for this are the Sudanese people themselves,” he said.

When asked about the implications of the fact that the FCC-CC did not raise the participation of El Burhan and Hemeti in the proposed Security and Defence Council, Hasan replied: "We cannot impose on the military forces and demand them to choose specific personalities. We are addressing institutions, not individuals."

The FFC-CC seeks to form the largest possible front and plans to present its vision to all political forces in the country to discuss their observations, he said, and stressed that the FFC-CC vision for a political solution is “not sacred, and all comments and additions will be discussed”. He noted however that it is not possible to achieve complete consensus in political processes.

Jibril Ibrahim: The international community is in a hurry to settle

Minister of Finance Jibril Ibrahim informed international institutions of the approaching completion of a political settlement and the formation of a civilian government before the end of this year.

In a press conference in Khartoum, he said that the main political and civilian forces in Sudan are serious about reaching a settlement and expressed his hope that this will be achieved soon in order to resume aid and assistance from the international community. 

According to Ibrahim, the international community “is rushing to help” with a political settlement and the formation of a civilian government to resume cooperation and interaction.

The October 25 military coup moved Western donors to suspend financial aid, which saw Sudan lose $4.4 bn in support and contributed to the country's current funding crisis and economic despair.

Geopolitics

As explained before, the talks were mediated by the USA, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the UK, a coalition also referred to as the QUAD.

According to Bloomberg, which spoke with “people familiar with the secret US-brokered discussions”, the talks underline the strategic importance of Sudan as “a resource-rich country located on a stretch of the Red Sea that’s a choke-point for global shipping”.

“It has become yet another arena in Africa for the tussle of influence between the US, Russia and China since the overthrow of long-time dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019,” Simon Marks and Mohamed El Amin wrote for the news outlet.


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