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Sat, 14 Dec 2019 15:47 GMT

Recent Developments in Sudan Politics: Negotiations, Sit-ins, Marches


Amar Jamal

Thu, 18 Apr 2019 12:07 GMT

Sudan witnessed more events on April 17th which may have implications for the future of the country, as the main actors of the ongoing transformations, the Forces signatory to the Declaration of Freedom and Change (FDFC), and the Transitional Military Council (TMC) continued to make their mark on the new political landscape.

The FDFC issued a statement with an annex entitled Mechanisms for Arranging the Transition of Civil Authority, explaining the details of its "integrated and final vision of the structures, functions and regulations of the Transitional Civil Authority in accordance with the Declaration of Freedom and Change adopted by our great masses and revolutionary forces."

TMC also held a press conference announcing some important decisions, the most significant of which was the transfer of ousted President Omar al-Bashir to the high-security Kober prison.

The vision of the FDFC was summarized at three levels of the Transitional Civil Authority, acting in accordance with the Interim Constitution, which was drafted by the forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change.

First: a presidential council to carry out the sovereign functions of the state.

Second: a small council of ministers of national competencies with professional experience, integrity and honesty, to perform the executive tasks and implementation of the emergency programme for the transitional period, with the Ministries of Defence and Interior going to the army and the police in consultation with the FDFC over the appointments to be made.

Third: a transitional civil legislative council to carry out transitional legislative tasks, in which women represent no less than 40%. It includes all the revolutionary forces of youth and women and takes into consideration the Sudanese ethnic, religious and cultural diversity.

The names of the constituents of the transitional civil authority structures will be announced in the next few days.

The Military Council has not only imprisoned al-Bashir, but arrested a number of former regime symbols, most notably the former parliament speaker Ibrahim Ahmed Omar, and two of al-Bashir's brothers on corruption charges.

"We have detained symbols of the toppled regime... and brothers of the ousted president, Abdallah and Abbas,” Lieutenant General Shamseddine Kabbashi told reporters.

The Council issued a number of resolutions on fighting corruption and bringing financial lawbreakers to justice, including a decision to review funds from the first of April and stop the transfer of ownership of shares and companies.

It also issued a decree for the immediate disclosure of foreign currencies and bank accounts inside and outside Sudan, obliging ministries, institutions and all parties in which the Government of the Sudan holds shares to submit the necessary data to the Central Bank and the competent authorities.

The Forces of Freedom and Change is a political-union alliance, which includes a wide range of political and professional entities signatory to the Declaration of Freedom and Change.

It consists of the (Paris-based) Nidaa Sudan, the National Consensus Forces, and the Sudanese Professionals Association.

Nidaa Sudan includes the Umma Party, the Sudanese Congress Party as well as armed movements such as the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM). The National Consensus Forces include the Sudanese Communist Party, the Baath Party, as well as a number of other left-leaning organizations. Lastly, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) is comprised of small political cadres mostly staffed by young, urban people and counting academics, doctors and engineers among their ranks.

According to veteran Sudanese journalist Mahjoub Mohamed Saleh, 91, speaking to AFP, it is the SPA that have been the driving force behind the mobilisation of thousands of demonstrators to protest against al-Bashir since December 18th through use of their savvy and active social media.

TMC spokesman Shams El Din Kabbashi also said in a statement read out on state TV that irregular forces that operated outside state institutions under al-Bashir, including the Popular Defence Forces, the National Service and the Popular Police, had been brought under direct military or police control.

It also issued a decree appointing members of the Council to oversee the states, reducing them in number from 18 to six states: Khartoum, Central States, Greater Kordofan, Greater Darfur, Eastern states, and Northern states.

As negotiations continue between the political forces and the army, the sit-in outside of the army headquarters continues, to press both, politicians and army, to meet the demands of the protests that began in December.

In Khartoum and other cities, a number of professional and factional groups have been marching, making union and political demands. These include groups such as journalists and doctors, as well as a convoy of people with special needs (People of Determination).