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Justice is the key to the success of the political process in Sudan (1)

Dr. Elshafie Khidir Saeid
Different media sources have been disseminating news saying that both the two factions of the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC), the Central Council faction and the Democratic Bloc, are gradually coming closer towards each other with the aim of reaching a consensus on the framework agreement to be signed with the military. In a press conference and a political statement, the FFC/Central Council stated that the ongoing political process will continue through two stages, a framework stage that discusses and agrees on the draft transitional constitution prepared by the Steering Committee of the Bar Association, and a second final stage for the development and finalization of the framework agreement. In this final stage, all the stakeholders and all the forces of the revolution will participate with a direct objective to address the following four main and crucial issues: justice and transitional justice, security and military sector reform, the Juba Peace Agreement, and the dismantling of the Ingaz regime. In a political statement the FFC/Central Council reaffirmed that these four issues are still under discussions and yet no agreement or understanding is reached.
In my opinion, this media news is loaded with positive and negative signals at the same time. The rapprochement of the divided and fragmented political forces and their willingness towards a unified platform is a positive sign. But unfortunately, it includes a negative point that will inevitably cast a shadow over the entire political process. It is the question about the position of the Resistance Committees in relation to the call for a unified political platform, knowing that some time ago the coordinating body of the Khartoum Resistance Committees, put forward an advanced and respectful proposal and project for the unity of the revolutionary forces. I strongly believe that if we neglect the Resistance Committees, or at least if we underestimate the importance of conducting a transparent dialogue with them on the ongoing political process, then this whole political process may get paralyzed, while on the other hand, the dialogue, even if it does not lead to a successful outcome, will positively affect the course of the political process.
Regarding the fact stated by the FFC/Central Council that the issues of justice and transitional justice, security and military sector reform, the Juba Peace Agreement, and the dismantling of the Ingaz regime are still subject to discussions without reaching decisive understandings, is a major negative sign in my opinion. Actually, I don’t think that any agreement, a framework one or otherwise, will be accepted and welcomed if its main approach is not to resolve these four issues, and specifically the question of justice. Justice is the central issue and the key to open the doors to get out of the current political crisis in the country, and any attempt to ignore or postponing it, is like putting the cart before the horse. All the other issues of the political dialogue, such as power sharing, reviewing Juba Peace Agreement, the conflicting approaches to reform the economy, the foreign relations reform…etc., are all subject to concessions during the political dialogue, except for the issue of justice, which, if it is not addressed in a serious and responsible manner, will cause a fatal stroke to any political process.
Therefore, as a lawyer friend wrote to me, there is a need to open up the issue of justice with courage, and in this regard, we suggest organizing a workshop or a seminar on the issue of justice and the positioning of the military in it, with the participation of all the stakeholders, especially the Resistance Committees and the families of the martyrs. (To be cont.)

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