Sudan in a Precarious Juncture

Omer B. Abu Haraz

The British Philosopher David Russell once said: “The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn.”

Sudan is now at a cross-road, one leading to safety and the other to uncertainty and chaos.

The prevailing governance after the military coup of October 25th, 2021 is putting the country in a precarious juncture right before the two bridges, one leading to Heaven and the other to hell.

The well-planned workshop held in the High Military Academy last week explicitly defined the two bridges, a consensus between the civilian political entities or early elections.

The conclusion of the workshop was the unequivocal withdrawal of the army from the political scene. The Deputy Chief of Staff – Administration – Lt. Gen. Monawar Nugud cited the Army Law saying that in one of the articles, the army should protect the democratic governance in Sudan. He added that the three previous military coups were perpetrated by civilian political parties. The first coup of November 1958 of General Abboud was a handing over the process when the Umma Party Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Abdallah Khalil asked General Abboud to take over on the allegation that the country is threatened by external intervention. The second coup of May 1969 was led and perpetuated by the Sudanese Communist Party concerning the expulsion of its MPs in the parliament of 1965 elections. The third of Al-Bashir on June 1989 was fully perpetrated by the Sudanese Islamic Movement.

Lt. Gen. Nugud reiterated what General Burhan repeatedly said: either a national agreement between the political entities or early elections. Both army commanders knew that national reconciling and in the civilian parties is a dream and wishful thinking unattainable. Early elections cannot be conducted before at least two years. If horridly done it will lead to distorted results far from appeasing and calming the streets which are firmly controlled by the youth Resistance Committees. Early elections will revitalize the vicious circle of short civilian democratic rule and long military autocratic rule.

Civilians are now in complete disarray of a wide spectrum of entities at logger-heads in slogans and objectives which cannot be mitigated.

The two generals were fully aware of the impossibility of any agreement between the warring political entities at any level of a consensus, and at the same time, speedy early elections cannot be conducted before at least two years.

The present situation does not allow any delay.

The economy is heading to collapse, the safety and security of people are almost lost, streets are boiling with the protracted youth rallies, and the majority of the citizens are in a complete failure to make ends meet with the current ratio of earnings and expenditure. Commodity prices, medical, education, and transportation costs are far above their earnings capacities, they will join those in the streets in Hunger Revolution.

What I perceive is a coup looming on the near horizon, a coup of different nature. A coup leaning to the movement of the youth in which the army does not rule but sets plans for the devolution of the country’s governance in a civilian council of ministers of nationalistic, non-partisan technocrats led by a civilian well-experienced non-partisan politician as Prime Minister, all in a 5-year transitional rule.

The army will form a High Military Council as a custodian to the transitional period only and not part of the governance.

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