The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) is organising a number of workshops to prepare for the nation-wide dialogues on the five outstanding issues that have to be agreed on with the military junta in order to start a new transitional period governed by a civilian government. The dialogues are scheduled to start on January 3.
The transitional period that followed after the ouster of the ‘June 30 regime’ of Omar Al Bashir (1989-2019) was interrupted on October 25 last year by a coup d’état. The grassroot resistance committees and a number of political parties categorically reject negotiations with the ruling junta, while the military said they will retreat only after an agreement with the civilian opposition about a new government of technocrats.
As the security situation and the economic crisis in the country deteriorated even more after the coup, a number of (split-off) opposition groups headed by the Forces for Freedom and Change –Central Council (FFC-CC) opted for a deal with the military. They accepted the new Constitutional Charter for the upcoming transitional period (leading to general elections after about two years) drafted by the Sudanese Bar Association in August, and signed a Framework Agreement on December 5, under auspices of the AU-IGAD-UN Trilateral Mechanism.
Five important but thorny issues (justice and transitional justice, security and military reform, approaches to empowerment removal*, possible amendments to the Juba Peace Agreement, and governance issues regarding eastern Sudan), would be discussed later, and agreed on in a Final Agreement.
On Wednesday, the SPA, the driving force behind the 2018 December revolution, organised a workshop on the June 30 Empowerment Removal* Law of 2019.
SPA member Ahmed Khalil told the Sudan Today programme of Radio Dabanga that the workshop evaluated the performance of the ERC (that was suspended after the military coup of last year), and recommended to maintain the law, though with some amendments. The decisions of the Empowerment Removal Committee (ERC) should be final and the aggrieved party should not have the right to appeal. The concerned article in the law should instead stipulate that the ERC will have the power to review its decisions within a maximum period of 10 days.
Another recommendation concerns amending the powers of the ERC. It should have the competences of the Public Prosecution in cases of recovering public funds. A kind of “holding company” should be established to handle the recovered funds.
Khalil explained that a number of other SPA workshops have been planned in anticipation of FFC-CC dialogues starting on January 3.
Khalil said that a workshop planned to be held on Sunday will discuss the Juba Peace Agreement (JPA) and the required security and military reform, with the participation of JPA signatories and security and military leaders.
On January 4, a SPA workshop on eastern Sudan governance will be held. The issues of justice and transitional justice will be discussed on January 7 and 8.
* Empowerment (tamkin) is the term with which the ousted government of Omar Al Bashir supported its affiliates by granting them far-going privileges, including government functions, the setting-up of various companies, and tax exemptions. In the end of 2019, the government of Abdallah Hamdok established the Empowerment Removal Committee with the aim to purge the country of the remnants of the Al Bashir regime. The committee’s full name is the Committee for Dismantling the June 30 1989 Regime, Removal of Empowerment and Corruption, and Recovering Public Funds.