Omer B. Abu Haraz
Nine mistakes led to the downfall of the gallant revolution of December 2028. Before listing the nine grave mistakes let us go back in the recent history since 1964. Two popular uprisings ousted two military dictatorships.
Both uprisings were led from the beginning to the end by two civil society bodies. In 1964 the Organizations Front led the streets against the autocratic military regime of General Abboud. Political parties were on the sidelines. After one year transitional period the army relinquished power to a democratic civilian government after successful general elections.
In 1985 the Alliance of Trade Unions (ATU) led the uprising which ousted the military rule of Nimerie. ATU was an Alliance of the unions of professionals, engineers, doctors, administrators, and others.
Also after a one-year transitional period, the army generals relinquished power to the elected civilian government.
So, what went wrong after the success of the December 2018 revolution which ousted the strongest long-lived autocratic military rule of the Sudanese Islamic Movement?
The December 2018 revolution started and was led by the Alliance of the Sudanese Professionals (ASP) on September 2013.
ASP led the streets on September 2013 and was about to succeed in ousting the Salvation Regime of the June 1989 coup. After a few weeks of turbulence in the streets, the autocratic ruthless salvation regime opted for applying plan (B) – excessive use of force killing hundreds of the youth protesters. The autocratic regime subdued the popular revolution. The ASP gathered its members in clandestine well organized meetings for 5 years, after which they led the streets again in 2018 in determining calculated steps that moved the streets in almost all parts of the country. This time the revolution started outside Khartoum in Damazin East of Sudan and Atbara North. The capital Khartoum broke into unprecedented rallies and demonstrations of millions of youth. The gender – women – played a major role in flooding the streets with resilient youths demonstrations which culminated in the historic sit-in of millions around the army’s H.Q, on April 6, 2019. On April 11 the Salvation Regime fell.
So, what went wrong in this third popular uprising which led to its downfall on October 25, 2021, by the military coup of General Burhan?
- The first mistake was the formation of the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) which inherited the ASP as an incubator of the revolution. The FFC enlarged the ASP by including political parties with all of their ideological differences, hidden agendas, personal interests, and individuals’ aspirations of holding posts.
- The second mistake was the criteria of nominating Prime Minister, Hamdok was nominated as PM for only one reason – he turned down the Salvation Regime’s offer to be Minister of Finance. The selection was sentimental and did not look into other important aspects and requisition of a PM to wade the governance safely to democratic civilian transition.
- The third mistake was the unfounded dissolving of the original technical, non-partisan government, and the deviation from the Constitutional Document (C.D.) by the inclusion of four political parties in the second government.
- The fourth Mistake was the withdrawal of Dr. Hamdok from carrying the most important file of conducting peace negotiations and passing it to the military component in direct contradiction to the C.D. Juba Peace talks yielded distorted peace agreement by the annexations of tracks – North, east, and Middle – which have never led insurgencies to warrant or justify peace talks. The Juba Peace Agreement brought to the surface controversial characters and led to the political insurgency in the East.
- The fifth mistake was the formation of an incoherent government which included arm struggle leaders and FFC parties, plus an enlarged Sovereignty Council of 14 members. This led to the widening of the gap between the FFC and the newcomers who formed a parallel FFC of the Juba Peace Agreement factions which immediately leaned toward the military component and now leading the governance show.
- The sixth mistake was the immature drafting of the C.D. by a few members of FFC factions and signed on August 17, 2019. The big mistake was forming a hybrid sovereign body between the civilians and the military. Both components are so immiscible to form a homogeneous mixture. This led to continuous confrontations and hostile rhetoric between its members till it culminated in the unfortunate coup of October 25th, 2021.
- The seventh mistake was the formation of the Committee for Removing the Empowerment and Combatting Corruption without an air-tight and lead-proof law. This led to the revoking of most of its resolutions by the ordinary courts after the October 25th coup.
- The eighth mistake was the choice of a long transitional period (Three and Half Years). It is known that long transition periods widen the gaps between political factions. This in turn leads to a longer stay of the military in governance.
- The ninth mistake is a result of a long transitional period. It gave the leaders and proponents of the ousted regime a golden chance to consolidate and re-surface. Now they are on top of a new alliance called Consensus of People of Sudan under the umbrella of the Sheikh El-Tayeb El-Jid initiative.
Now the only way out for the original FFC faction is to agree as soon as possible in any low level of consensus to recapture the lost gallant revolution leadership.