The third postponement of the initial signing of some peace deals with rebel groups that have been negotiating in Juba for the past eight months coupled with the hyper- inflation engulfing the country, shows clearly how complicated the transition will be in Sudan that may endanger the whole process.
Yet the expected big rally and demonstrations slated to take place on June 30th will help rekindle enthusiasm and determination for change as it did a year ago. It was the June 30, 2019 mammoth popular march that spanned the whole country and was organized and carried out despite the complete internet shutdown, which was the main mean of communication, and despite the fact that it came just 27 days from the ruthless bloody break-up of the sit-in before the army headquarters that has been going on for 58 consecutive days.
That march achieved its purpose of putting the civilians on par with the military and demonstrated clearly that violence failed to accomplish its goal of imposing its will on the people.
Though many political scientists describe the popular uprising as part of the Arab Spring wave that hit the Arab world and continued till today in various formats as currently seen in Lebanon, Iraq, Algeria and so on, but the Sudanese have at least succeeded in toppling the defunct Ingaz regime, where some like Algeria, whose popular uprising coincided with the one in Sudan, managed to survive.
Yet Sudan and other popular uprisings fall within the category described by the former British diplomat and author Carney Ross of “the leaderless revolution”, a revolution that is clear about, “what it does not want”, but not sure on “what it wants”.
The fact that the popular uprising accomplished the political change politically and more important is its impact on the balance of power that helped the civilian to get into a power sharing deal despite the bloody and ruthless break-up of the sit-in.
However, this very success exposes its weakness now it is in the driver’s seat of government. It is one thing to campaign against a regime in power because of its failure and inability to meet people’s aspirations, and it is completely another to work on meeting those aspirations as a responsible government.
Opposition is usually simplistic and straightforward that can easily be allied and grouped to target the regime “Just Fall, that is all” demonstrators used to chant in the streets of Khartoum and across the country for five consecutive months.
During this campaign various groups, political parties with different and some- times competing or even contradicting agenda were in one front against the collapsing regime.
Facing up to issues of deteriorating economy, war and peace, how to undo what the Ingaz regime has done in thirty years of absolute power, besides lack of resources and the added complications created by inherited worsening foreign relations that led to placing Sudan in the list of countries sponsoring terrorism by the United States, a move that proved to be more of an obstacle at the time of the country’s moment of dire need.
Despite the warmth and welcoming signals from the world, yet the actual support Sudan managed to get so far, does not exceed much than an offer of a lip service that can hardly be translated into something tangible.
This brings the argument back home and revisit the original equation over which the current power sharing between the civilians and the military rests to make it work in a more fruitful way than has been happening so far.
Simply put there is no room for the military to take over for domestic, regional and international considerations. It worth noting here the African Union that has provided a shield for the deposed President Omar Al-Bashir against the ICC, came to suspend Sudan’s membership, when the military took over briefly and that membership was reinstated after the civilian component in the government became visible.
Equally the civilians can’t make it along in view of the security threats the country is facing. It is only when there is a democratically elected government with a clear constitutional mandate is installed and then it can demand allegiance from the military.
Until then it will continue to be an uneasy partnership, but the more the two parties behave in a practical and realistic way to shore up this relationship for their own sake the better.
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