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Are We Ready?

Omer B. Abu Haraz

I wrote in my last article that Sudan is now in the focus of the microscope of the first world, especially America.

I urged our leaders of the transitional governance to pick-up this golden chance before it is too late.

The first world is definitely genuine and serious in giving Sudan a helping hand to deliver it from its precarious economic dwindling and to sustain its transformation to a full-fledged democratic civilian rule.

We have to pick it because the first world is looking to Sudan as an ideal hub for serving its interests by virtue of its strategic location – in the heart of Africa and the Arab world –   plus its abundant unexploited natural resources in agriculture, water, livestock, rare minerals and oil reserves.

With those two elements, Sudan serves the interests of regional and global peace and security – territorial and food-wise.

Water is believed to be the main source of regional conflicts.

Sudan has abundant water resources ranging from rain, rivers and underground. We have to pick it promptly because Sudan is not the only country in the globe which has such advantages.

Pre-requisites for advancement of the first world plans of mutual interests are:

  • A Strong coherent civilian government to perform in binding agreed-upon programmes based on priorities.
  • Civilian governance standing on the three separated pillars of executive, legislative and judiciary bodies.
  • One national army.
  • Non-partisan civil service
  • Strong well-equipped police troops organized in adequate and fair distribution in all towns and areas.
  • List of prioritized projects, each with a relevant feasibility study.
  • Updated tantalizing investment act that attracts investors -Build, Own, Operate and Transfer- (BOOT system).

Those are the pre-requisites for the first world plans to rush into Sudan. Are we ready?

Sadly and unfortunately NO!

  • The present government is incoherent and has no agreed upon programme based on priorities.

The new comers of the Armed Struggle Movements who signed Juba Peace Agreement have totally different priorities than the others. Their priorities are focused on availing funds to address the issue of repatriation for their people in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile, who were displaced by wars, plus rehabilitation of the affected areas.

According to the Juba Peace Agreement, US$750 million must be availed immediately and to be sustained for ten years i.e. US$7.5 billion. The others consider the resentment of the people for the sky-rocketing prices of basic commodities as a top priority.

  • The three pillars of good governance are not observed. Executive body not well defined, poor civil service in qualifications and experiences. Legislative body is yet to be formed with a lot of hurdles in its way. Judicial system and transitional justice steps are sluggish.
  • It is extremely difficult to form one national army. More than five armies are in the scene. The Peace Agreement allows 40 months for the Demobilization, Disarmament and Reintegration (DDR) process.

 Leaders of the armies, especially the Rapid Support Forces, will lose their strong grip in power at the onset of their re-integration into the national army.

  • Police force needs painstaking capacity-building in personnel and equipment.
  • No studies for projects are ready and the new investment act is yet to be introduced.

All this, plus three controversial issues are not yet resolved and not expected to receive a consensus: Normalization of relations with Israel, Secular or Religious State, and the full compliance with IMF and World Bank recipe.

We are not yet ready. The UNITAMS has a lot of hard work to do.

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