Has the political solution in Sudan reached a dead end?

Aerial view of View of the Nile and Tuti island in Khartoum, Sudan (by Shutterstock)

The political crisis in Sudan is getting worseAhmad Abdel-Rahman explores the political machinations in this vast country.

Most Sudanese are waiting for the signing of the final political agreement, which was postponed for an indefinite period, from its date of April 6. This delay was due to differences between the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) over the issue of creating a unified army. It involves the integration of the two military forces within the framework of security and military reform.

This important step was preceded by the army commander, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan's announcement that there is a need to achieve a broad consensus among all political and military parties. He suggested that all parties make way for others, including politicians and soldiers. This announcement opened a door for discussion about the future of the political process. It also raised questions about whether the political solution had reached a dead end and what the expected scenarios could be.

Commenting on these developments, assistant chairman of the National Umma Party, Abdul Jalil Al-Basha, said: "I believe that the political process has reached its final stages, as the framework agreement was signed between a group of civilians and the military component on the fifth of last December. Al-Basha went on to say: "The workshops related to the five issues, which are achieving justice, de-empowering the June 30 regime, the Juba Peace Agreement, the East issue, and security and military reform, have been completed. Now the parties to this process are working on formulating the final political agreement."

Al-Basha added: "It is very natural that the political process faces many challenges because it is taking place in light of a complex political climate, especially since the country inherited a heavy legacy of various complexities from the previous regime that distorted life in all its aspects for 30 years and its effects are still lingering."

With regard to expanding participation in the political process, especially the inclusion of the main parties in the Democratic Bloc, Al-Basha said: "A large part of this bloc is welcome, especially the peace parties represented in the Justice and Equality Movement headed by Jibril Ibrahim and the Sudan Liberation Army led by Arko Minawi. It is better for them to join the political process because there is no choice for everyone, military and civilian, other than to follow this path to its end to complete the transitional phase and hold general elections, especially since the country is suffering from an economic and security crisis".

Al-Basha continued: "Despite these challenges, I see light at the end of the tunnel, because the current dispute, which has caused the delay in signing the final political agreement, is a military-military dispute, not between civilians."

In this context, the secretary-general of the Unified National Unionist Party (NUP), Muhammad al-Hadi Mahmoud, said: "It is well known that the current political process came as a result of a great movement that rejected the October 25 coup. This coup was carried out by the army commander, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, under the pretext of political incompatibility.

These included popular resistance across the street, gaining international and regional solidarity to isolate the coup externally, and finding a political solution through dialogue that leads to the complete handover of power to civilians. The last mechanism, which is finding a political solution through dialogue, led to the signing of the framework agreement that established the army's exit from the political scene and the establishment of full civil authority during the remainder of the transitional period.

Mahmoud pointed out that: "The political process is already facing dangers from those lurking in it from the supporters of the former regime and the remnants of the Islamic movement, who are not in their interest to complete this political process, which in fact will expose the tragedy that befell Sudan from the looting of its great wealth and the ruin of state institutions."

Crisis stages

The coalition of the Forces of Freedom and Change (FCC) announced the postponement of the signing of the final political agreement between the Sudanese parties, which was scheduled for April 6, because of the failure to resolve differences over the integration of the RSF into the army.

Since last January, a political process has been launched between the signatories of the framework agreement, who are the ruling Transitional Military Council, and civilian forces, most notably the Alliance for Freedom and Change (the Central Council); to reach an agreement that solves the political crisis in the country.

The ongoing political process aims to resolve a crisis that has been going on since October 25, when the army commander, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, imposed exceptional measures Among these measures is the dissolution of the Sovereign Council and the Council of Transitional Ministers and the declaration of a state of emergency, which the Sudanese populace considered a military coup. This led to demonstrations that claimed 127 lives and thousands of injuries. (since last March.

On August 21, 2019, prior to these exceptional measures, Sudan began a transitional phase that was scheduled to end with elections in early 2024. During this time power will be shared by the army, civil forces, and armed movements that signed a peace agreement with the government on October 3, 2020.

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Friday, 02 June 2023