The Signing of New Alliance by Some Sudanese factions Deepens Division

Al-Sammani Awadallah

Several political factions including ex-rebel groups have announced the formation of an alliance separate from Sudan’s main civilian bloc, in the latest sign of splits marring the country’s transition.

The announcement on Saturday at a ceremony in Khartoum came as Sudan reels from fragmentation within the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC), an alliance that spearheaded protests that removed President Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.

Sudan has since August 2019 been run by an administration of military generals and civilians from the FFC through a rocky transition marked by economic woes.

Splits have deepened within the FFC in recent months, and support for the transitional government led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has waned in large part due to a raft of tough economic reforms.

Saturday’s ceremony included political parties as well as the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) faction led by Mini Minawi and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) of Gibril Ibrahim.

In early September, he was at the signing ceremony for an alliance of other factions within the FFC that also called for unity, calling it a “step in the right direction”.

The new alliance called for the return of a group of political forces and armed groups to the foundation forum of the revolution instead of the current split in the ruling alliance. The call exclude the National Congress Party that was the ruling party during Al-Bashir’s regime.

The alliance called for sticking to the actual partnership during the transitional period to achieve the democratic civilian transformation towards fair and free elections by the end of the transitional period.

“We want a united FFC,” Minawi said during the ceremony.

“We urge the people on your side who pretend they are from the FFC to sit with us and listen to us,” he added, addressing the head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the prime minister.

The new alliance called for Federal rule and constitution-making through broad participation, urging the non-signatory armed movements to join the peace process.

On his part, members of the FFC central council considered the meeting as an attempt to create a constitutional crisis but it will not succeed.

Civil Society Initiative also considered the step as an attempt to create a split amid the forces of the revolution, condemning the approach which is a repetition to the ousted regime in mobilizing the paid for masses.

The Sudanese Professional Alliance (SPA) accused the reform group in the FFC of attempting to create a legal and constitutional crisis over who represents the FFC.

The SPA statement affirmed that the crisis would lead to more blackmailing by the FFC Central Council.

Legal expert Al-Radi Hassab Al-Radi said the split amid the FFC by the recent signature will lead to a complicated constitutional crisis, adding that the Constitutional Document made the FFC a semi-constitutional body with constitutional mandate a matter that violates the nature of the political alliances.

The question that poses itself is who will win the battle from the two alliances. The answer is very complicated from a constitutional point of view.

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