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JPA: Time-out

Muawad Mustafa Rashid

Preamble:

There is no doubt that the revolution which ousted the Al-Bashir dictatorship was another actual opportunity, or say the most important in Sudan’s history to make the aspired change towards building a sustainable civilian state. The revolution came within a difficult and complex national political context besides the changeable regional and international conditions being negative or positive.

Peace remained an agreed-upon priority amid all the political forces in Sudan but without any agreement over certain strategies to achieve just, comprehensive and sustainable peace.

Juba Peace Agreement (JPA) was signed within a context where there was no national vision to the status of the nation despite the slogans of the revolution (Freedom, Peace, and Justice).

The transition from War to the State of No Peace and No War:

More than three years have passed since the revolution and more than two years since the formation of besides more than a year since the signature of JPA (October 2020), but Sudan is still witnessing the state of no war and no comprehensive peace. This is one of the main features of the current transitional period. There is consensus that there is a delay in the implementation of the JPA to t extent of raising questions about the main causes:

The Challenges facing the implementation of JPA:

In sum, the reasons and challenges facing the implementation of JPA could be summarized in several nested packages:

First: Structural reasons related to the methodology and engineering of the negotiations that led to the signature of the JPA;

  • The multiplicity of the armed struggle movements for objective or non-objective reasons.
  • The absence of an overall strategy to deal with the situation.
  • The domination of the Tracks methodology set a framework for not only one agreement but to several competed on regions’ basis and the similarity of the resolutions for similar problems in general along with the existence of peculiarities for each track.

Second: There are several timetables for the implementation of the main items of the JPA but those timetables were unrealistic such as harmonizing the agreement with the constitution, the formation of the government, security arrangements, conference of governance, and the formation of the commissions stipulated in the JPA.

Third: The dire economic situation is a reflection of the political crisis and the absence of just and comprehensive peace.

Fourth: The relations amid the political forces and the differences amid the armed struggle movements, the Forces and Freedom and Change (FFC) over the constitutional document, and the formation of the government. The reactions of the armed struggle movements were positive at the beginning of the revolution so some of those movements found themselves within the components which were part of the signature of the FFC  declaration and accordingly it became part of it.

But even though the FFC declaration gave top priority to the peace issue before the start of the transitional period several complications arose a matter that necessitated conducting an internal dialogue amid the FFC on the Constitutional Document and the involvement of the armed struggle movements in the formation of the transitional government. Those complications contributed and are still contributing to the implementation of the JPA.

Fifthly: The weak structure of the political parties and armed struggle movements, hence its inability to adapt a national project that achieves the just, comprehensive, and sustainable peace, besides the absence of the political will to practice the democratic process inside the political parties and the armed struggle movements despite their call for civilian democratic government.

No peace or democratic transformation could be achieved as long our political parties are not practicing democracy and do not change their leaderships via a democratic system. The absence of democracy within the political parties resulted in the following manifestations:

  1. The continuation of the status of no war, no sustainable peace, and the repetition of the vicious cycle of governance crisis, political instability, and absence of peaceful transformation of power in the country.
  2. The presence of amoebic fissures amid the political parties, armed struggle movements due to non-acceptance of others’ views besides the failure in administrating the political and social diversity in Sudan.
  3. The absence of an integrated national project to build a politically stable state.

Sixth: The absence or weakness of the political will in the implementation of JPA and fulfilling the peace merits especially in the war-affected areas.

Seventh: The JPA was not inclusive as there are still non-signatory armed struggle movements a matter that has created a type of political and social polarization that resulted in the emergence of resistance to the JPA in several areas in Sudan, particularly in Darfur, Nuba Mountains, and Eastern Sudan.

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