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Wed, 20 Nov 2019 11:52 GMT

Sudan’s Forces of Freedom and Change Alliance Restructures


Mortada Ahmed

Fri, 08 Nov 2019 07:46 GMT

The Forces of Freedom and Change alliance (FFC) leading the popular uprisings, which overthrew General Omar al-Bashir's rule in Sudan said they have agreed to a new structure to ensure the cohesion of the alliance's components.

The broad alliance controls most of the seats in the transitional authority, which it shares with generals in the Sudanese army under a political and constitutional agreement reached by variant parties last August following the success of the revolution.

The changes include the expansion of coalition offices and the allocation of some seats to the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRC). The move follows disagreements between the components of the FFC over fateful decisions concerning the country, and the mechanism of handling the requirements of the popular uprising.

Some political experts believe that the structuring process will positively contribute to the cohesion of the FFC and will end their differences, especially with (SRC), which has become an integral part of the new leading body.

According to Ibrahim al-Sheikh, a leader of the FFC, the new structure signals the alliance’s transformation from an opposition front into a ruling power that can shoulder the responsibility of enforcing the requirements of the transitional period.

The FFC is a broad alliance of blocs, political parties, civil society organisations, and professional unions. It incorporates the entities of Nida’a al-Sudan (Sudan Call), National Consensus Forces, the Sudanese Professionals Association, Confederation of Civil Society Organizations, Centre Stream for Change, and the Republican Party. 

The alliance has formed in January 2019 to lead the protests that toppled Omar al-Bashir's rule in April, having agreed upon a declaration that they called "The Declaration of Freedom and Change" in early 2019.

The FFC witnessed the withdrawal of the "Girifna Movement", which included a wide spectrum of Sudanese youth that led peaceful resistance on several fronts against al-Bashir's rule. “Girifna” argued that the FFC should not function as both government and opposition at the same time.

While some fear the impact of the withdrawal of this movement, many Sudanese circles believe that "Girifna" will not spearhead actions against the revolutionary government or its components.

The new structure

Following the announcement of the new structure at a press conference on November 3rd, the FFC will be administered through The Central Council acting as the highest authority.

Ibrahim al-Sheikh, an FFC leader, said that "the structure took into account the equitable representation of the components of the Forces of Freedom and Change in the leadership of the coalition, which heralds a new start for the political coalition.

"This was necessary as we entered a new phase that requires the expansion of offices, creation of a supreme authority to adopt unified decisions, and positions in order to avoid any conflict that may occur."

The Revolutionary Front’s reserves

Despite its representation in the Central Council, the Sudan Revolutionary Front alliance, which incorporates seven armed factions, has expressed reservations about the new structure, contradicting what was agreed upon during talks with civilian components in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa last July.

"We agreed in Addis Ababa to establish a new structure for FFC in which all components will be represented fairly, and which will be a strategic frame of reference so that decisions will not be hijacked by a particular party," said Dr Mohamed Zakariya, spokesperson of SRF.

Political analyst Shawqi Abdel Azim agrees about the positive impact of the restructuring of the FFC, but believes that taking the step without the agreement of all components will harm the cohesion of the alliance.

"The restructuring was necessary for the transition," he said.

Middle East Africa