For quite long time statements issued by regional and international bodies on Sudan have fallen into three categories: either expressing concerns and anxiety about what is going on in the country, or calling for restraint or resorting to blunt language and call for specific actions or steps to be taken.
And that is why the statement issued by the UN Security Council last week was quite remarkable. It welcomed the signing of the August 17 of both documents of constitutional and political declaration, commending the commitment of Sudanese people to a civilian-led government transition and ensure effective implementation of the transitional agreements.
Moreover, the UNSC stressed the importance of resolving outstanding issues through a peaceful and inclusive dialogue and referred to the importance of the international community providing all necessary and coordinated support during the transition period.
During the popular uprising a move to discuss the situation in Sudan was aborted through a joint Chinese-Russian efforts, given their relationship with the defunct Ingaz regime.
However, following the June 3rd bloody break-up of the sit-in, the members of the UNSC called for the immediate cessation of violence against civilians and emphasized the importance of respect for human rights and of ensuring full protection of civilians, accountability and justice. The members of the Council took note of the announcement by the Transitional Military Council to investigate the incidents.
In some cases the UNSC took more radical steps as it did in 2005 when it issued its famous decision 1593 that referred the Darfur file to the International Criminal Court (ICC) following a report it received by the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur, and required Sudan to co-operate fully. It marked the first time the council had referred a situation to the ICC, and also compelled a country to co-operate with it.
The other remarkable step taken by the UNSC regarding Sudan was when it decided to hold its regular meeting in November 2004 in Nairobi to give negotiations going then between Sudan government and the People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) the necessary final push to conclude the much awaited peace deal.
The meeting was called for by the UNSC president then and United States representative John Danforth, who was his country’s anchor man in hammering out the peace deal. During that meeting, speakers called on the international community to mobilize resources to enable a swift and effective operation by the African Union on the ground and help realize a tangible peace dividend.
On his part, then the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the council that he was preparing a major, multidimensional operation to help build a lasting peace in the Sudan. He added that the situation in Sudan will have an impact on the region and as such every effort must be exerted to make the peace deal a success. A donors’ conference was held in Norway, but it is the typical outcome of such gatherings, the pledged amounts fell short of the actual needs, while actual dispersed money fell far more less than those originally pledged.
The simple takeaway of this survey is that implementation of the constitutional and political declarations and the smooth sailing through the transitional period depends ultimately on the Sudanese people. The peace deal (CPA) between Sudan government and SPLM was guaranteed by a coterie of regional and international players be it states or organizations, but overall the implementation of the CPA in the end was so dismal that it failed to achieve any of its stated goals from preserving unity or prevent returning to war. In fact it was worse as it helped in sparking the war between now two independent countries in addition to rekindling ones inside each one of them.
The main difference between the current popular uprising and the two before it in 1964 and 1985 is that people are willing this time to be around and guard their revolution. That became clear in the strong marches calling for a civilian-led power despite the June 3rd massacre. It was also demonstrated when angry demonstrators besieged leaders and buildings of the Forces Freedom and Change asking for satisfactory answers to a number of hanging questions.
That is the absolute insurance to get through an expected tumultuous interim period. More important is to turn bodies like trade unions, popular and resistance committees into a formally, institutionalized bodies to have a standing presence.
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Photo of the Week
KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - The postal service “Sudapost” has inaugurated nine stamps in commemoration of and faithfulness for the December Revolution’s symbols. The stamps’ inauguration was carried out on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of Sudan’s independence and the 2nd anniversary of the December 2018 Revolution. Some of the stamps were meant to immortal...More
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