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USA welcomes Sudan Bar’s draft transitional constitution

September 15 - 2022 KHARTOUM / WASHINGTON D.C.
US Ambassador John Godfrey meets with parents of martyrs who died while demonstrating for freedom and democracy in Sudan (Photo Credit: US Embassy Sudan)
US Ambassador John Godfrey meets with parents of martyrs who died while demonstrating for freedom and democracy in Sudan (Photo Credit: US Embassy Sudan)

The US Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives welcomed Sudan’s Bar Association’s (SBA) draft transitional constitution framework on Tuesday. In a press statement made by the Foreign Affairs Committee, they said praised the association’s efforts in engaging “a diverse set of Sudanese pro-democracy stakeholders in putting forward this proposal”.

They urged Sudanese stakeholders to “seriously consider this document” and take steps to “further develop its principles in order to build a consensus”, the statement read.

However, the statement noted that to ensure cooperation between the USA and Sudan, “a civilian-led transitional government must be established”, also calling on “accountability for violence and human rights abuses and continue to stand with the Sudanese people in their pursuit of democracy, peace, and justice”.

Nine embassies in Sudan, along with the AU-IGAD-UNITAMS Trilateral Mechanism and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) have welcomed the Sudanese Bar Association’s (SBA) publication of a draft transitional constitution framework document for Sudan.

This support follows the presentation of the document to the drafting committee of a number of pro-democratic political forces, who proposed some amendments, and approved the final version last week.

The embassies of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States are taking the document as a “serious and encouraging initiative,” with the potential to “achieve a broadly acceptable and inclusive civilian-led government that can put Sudan on a path to democracy and elections.”

In the statement, published yesterday, a great deal of emphasis was put on the document having a wide base of popular support and a focus on inclusivity: “We commend the SBA initiative’s inclusion of a broad spectrum of Sudanese stakeholders and careful expert technical review, and we are encouraged by the initial signs of support from diverse Sudanese actors since the release of the SBA document.”

Criticism

SBA and their work with US government has been met with criticism from the Communist Party of Sudan (CPoS) and the women’s activist group, the No to Women's Oppression initiative.

The CPoS stated yesterday that the SBA Steering Committee has neither the legal nor union sanction, “to issue a draft constitution”.

As for the No To women's Oppression group, leading member Amira Osman also reserved criticism of the draft. She said in an interview with Radio Dabanga that the draft's inclusion of a proposal of having 50 per cent of women participating is of “no concern to her”, due to their “rejection of the constitution text in principle”.

Osman added that draft is a “repetition of the same mistakes” of the 2019 Constitutional Document, and demanded the constitution adopt the charters of the resistance committees.


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