Remarks on the Sudanese Political Process (4)

Dr. Elshafie Khidir Saeid

In continuation with our discussion in the previous articles on the history of the political processes in Sudan, we will start the article today by finalizing our deliberation on the Juba Peace Agreement of 2020. The structure of the Juba process was composed of four tracks: the Darfour track, the South Kordofan & the South Blue Nile track, the East Sudan track, and the central & north Sudan track.

In the last article, we discussed the first two tracks and stated that the East track sparked a sharp opposition and sociopolitical divisions in the east of Sudan. As for the central & northern tracks, they also faced strong opposition regarding their contents and the signatories who were labeled as non-representative and were not mandated or authorized to negotiate on behalf of the two regions.

It was clear that the agreements on the four tracks have their effects and repercussions at the national level as a whole, which will add some complexity to the whole Juba agreement and will create difficulties during its implementation. Also, the agreement includes plenty of details about the powers that will be exercised by the regions of Darfur, East Sudan, South Kordofan, and South Blue Nile, but it remains silent about the powers of the rest of the regions of Sudan and the structure of the national government.

The agreement considers Darfour as a federal region or territory, but while it gives the South Blue Nile and the South Kordofan regions extensive autonomy and much greater powers than the Darfur region, neither of the two regions has been named or stated a federal region or territory. The agreement also ignored the country’s collapsed economic conditions and obligated the transitional government to make huge financial payments, which it was clear from the beginning that it would not be able to meet.

Also, the issue of the security and military arrangements remained pending until the moment, giving worries about the risks that could entail.

The political process and the dialogue, negotiation, and agreement it includes are closely linked to the degree of success in accomplishing the basic and foundational tasks of the transitional period that follows the completion of such political process by signing an agreement. At the start of any of the previous periods of transition in Sudan, there was always a big hope to revive the fabric of the Sudanese society after long years of destruction and sabotage and to rebuild the united democratic Sudanese state.

But, unfortunately, such hope quickly faded and became a mirage because of the catastrophic failure to accomplish those fundamental tasks of the transitional period. It was clear that the embodiment of this hope and its realization on the ground, require dealing with periods of transition as a crucial and fundamental mechanism to address the essence of what that hope has been calling for, but not to confine the political process into a mere superficial change limited to redistribution of power among the signatories to the agreements.

Our experiences with the previous political processes that took place in Sudan, as well as our experiences in implementing the fundamental tasks of the transitional periods that follow those processes, confirm that the success of such processes and the transitional periods have nothing to do with the power-sharing and quotas. It has to do with the successful management of the root causes of the crisis in the country. This means it has to do with achieving a healthy political practice under a pluralistic democratic system and achieving an equitable distribution of the resources.

Back to top button