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Obstacles on the Road to Democratic Transformation in Sudan

Al-Sammani Awadallah

Introduction:

In 2019, after six months of determined mass actions, the people of Sudan finally overthrew Omar al-Bashir. Since the fall of the dictator, representatives of the people have jostled with the military for power. This struggle has developed as the people, represented by the Freedom and Change (FFC) movement, have forced themselves into a transitional government with the military. This transitional government is reflective of the struggle of previous regimes’ efforts to hold on to power and popular forces’ efforts to dismantle the autocratic system that has dictated the fortunes of Sudan for decades. This struggle is as old as Sudan and repeats prior transitions from dictatorship to democracy in 1964 and 1985. This time people are demanding more from their leaders in the hope of ending decades of fragmentation, uneven development, and corruption responsible for civil wars and mass impoverishment. Whether they succeed or not will also depend on the role played by international actors.

The transitional government is endeavoring, since its establishment to achieve the democratic transformation which paves the way towards a free and fair election by the end of the transitional period to boost the democratic principles in the country.

Several countries have announced their support to achieve the democratic transformation in Sudan, but most of the promises were just for political consumption without any practical steps to provide the technical and logistical assistance to achieve the aspired transformation.

Financial Obstacles:

Juba Peace Agreement (JPA) has stipulated the necessity of implementing the security arrangements item considering it the base of the democratic transformation because without the implementation of the security arrangements and starting the firearms collection there will be no democratic transformation.

The international community as well as the transitional government recognize the importance of implementing the security arrangements item, but the process is facing several difficulties within the lack of the required funding.

Several previous signed agreements faced similar obstacles because the international community did not fulfill its announced obligations to implement the items of the agreement a matter that led to its collapse and the return to square one.

Political analyst, Osama Mohammed Saeed argues that providing the funding is very crucial to shift to the aspired democratic transformation, pointing out to the desire of Russia to provide technical and logistical assistance besides its readiness to train and qualify security cadres on dealing with the democratic transformation process.

Strategic expert in the Middle East and Africa, Khalid Mahmoud said that the democratic transformation process in Sudan requires the strong desire from the Sudanese themselves, but the fragility and the economic deterioration in the country makes the process subject to several challenges, calling on Russia to practically support the democratic transformation process in Sudan.

Sudanese writer, Mahdi Rabeh said in an essay that the Sudanese have to come out from the current dilemma and recognize the reality and benefit from the experiences of other countries which had similar complications in coming out from war to sustainable peace.

He added that the elites should recall our previous uprisings and the reasons for its failure to avoid the collapse of the state and work to lead a smooth democratic transformation process through peaceful means without repeating the previous mistakes which usually lead to coups.

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