The prominent academia Dr. El Wathig Kameir wrote lately an important article (The Youth Uprising and Democratic Transformation Challenges) published by the daily, “Akhbar Alyoum on 20 Feb.2019” which deserves focus and comments.
He mentioned first that he wrote an article that was widely published on 11 Feb.2012 (that is Seven years ago) calling on President Al Bashir to lead a democratic transformation after the acceleration of crises after the cession of South Sudan but nobody paid attention to this call. Now, many are calling on the President to perform this role.
The second point that Dr. Kameir stressed on is that he is not presenting final solutions which is difficult with the continuation of the youth protests but just airing view for discussions and deliberation.
The youth should not forget in the midst of their protest that there are three fundamental factors for the success of their movement; leadership, organization and vision.
The protesting youth will in due course create their own leadership from among them and so far have proved organizational capabilities in programing the protests for almost three months, since 19 Dec. 2018.
But they need to have a clear vision on the transitional arrangements and its constitutional bases and as well on the democratic transitional period that will follow and on the long range the elections stage. The absence of these three elements; leadership, organization and vision was behind the failure of previous youth movements in Sudan and elsewhere.
Also there is in this junction for the youth to be fully acquainted with the programs of all the political parties and forces so as to decide on the length of the distance between their vision and of the others on the base of knowledge. This is important because with the protests rise slogans; freedom, peace and justice, no one should be excluded because with genuine freedom and democracy no one should be excluded unless convicted in a crime by a competent law court. In addition that the youth in these parties including the Islamists are actively participating in the protests and have their own negative views on their leadership policies. In short exclusion is the policy of the old regime and should be abandoned totally in the new regime.
This coincides with what this article writer has supported before that consensus democracy is the most suitable system for the Sudanese political and social environment.
The young protestors have accepted the leadership of the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) for their movement despite that for some security reasons the name of the leadership is still unknown.
One of the few identified members was Dr. Mohamed Yousif al-Mustafa, an academia and former state minister of labour who doesn’t belong to the ruling party was arrested and then freed in January. A second, local spokesperson, Mohammed Naja Alassam, is still in custody.
The SPA was formed in Nov.2018 as an the alternative trade unions alliance which don’t recognize the official trade unions controlled by the government, the founding members of the SPA were the lawyers, doctors, pharmacists, journalists, academic, teachers, engineers and women activists.
The SPA have found wide acceptance among the protestors but the engine and dynamic force in the movement is the youth groups.
Some may compare the SPA with the PAF (Professional Association’s Front) that lead the April,`1985 Uprising the ousted the regime of General Gaffar Nimeiri but despite some similarities in the composition but there are lot of differences. May be the major difference is that the April, 85 Uprising was dominated by middle age professional while in the present protests the critical force are the youth. In addition all have learned the lesson of how the army command have aborted the 1985 Uprising in coalition with the traditional political party and the Islamic National Front which later manufactured the 1985 Coup . This is an issue that has been analyzed by many academia and political analysts more than thirty years and so most of the protestors have learned the lesson by heart.
But still the SPA needs to forward more clearly their vision and strategy for next stage that follow, what after the regime change, the transitional period agenda structure and duration and the democratic transformation stage. All these pose difficult challenges but fortunately a lot of homework has been done during the last three decades that needs to be visited and utilized in the formulation of the vision and strategies. In other words the SPA doesn’t need to start from scratch.
It is very important that no political force is excluded to guarantee political stability so the National Dialogue Outcome documents should be taken into consideration as a main reference point in the coming dialogue.
The road to reconciliation and consensus among the opposition forces first and then the opposition and the government and the NCP will not be an easy journey and so will need mediators and the University of Khartoum Polices Platform can be an excellent tool in this respect.
Dr. Kameir concluded by that what is more important than any regime change is the building of the historical block that can lead the country in the future into the path of democracy, social justice and sustainable political ,economic and human development.
The former presidential assistance Dr. Asam Saiq wrote last week an article in the daily Al Akhbar (7 March) in which he called to replace the democratic election system from political parties to individual election on the pretext that parties increase fragmentation.
This is not a new idea but has been used to justify some forms of indirect dictatorial rule because individuals are easier manipulated than political parties.
The democratic electoral systems according to universal norms don’t prohibit individual candidacy and election so why the call for an electoral system that limit candidacy on individuals. This is a call for a deformed electoral system that nullifies democratic election and solidify deformed democracy .
“Gender equality is essential to the effectiveness of our work, and we cannot afford to miss out on the contributions of half of the world’s population”, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed explained on the occasion of the World Women Day on 8 March.
Moreover, “women’s equal participation in the labor force would unlock trillions of dollars for global development” she continued.
“Let us be clear,” she spelled out: “We cannot build the future we want and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) without the full participation of women”.
Achieving a gender-equal world requires social innovations that work for both women and men and leave no one behind, according to the overarching UN strategy. E-learning platforms that take classrooms to women and girls; affordable and quality childcare centres; and technology shaped by women, are a few examples of the innovation needed to meet the 2030 deadline set out in the Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“And we need more women leaders participating in public life and taking decisions”, flagged General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa, urging everyone to redouble their efforts “against the discrimination and violence women and girls face every day”.
International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.
The 2019 theme Think equal, build smart, innovate for change focuses on innovative ways in which we can advance gender equality and the empowerment of women, particularly in the areas of social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure.
The achievement of the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires transformative shifts, integrated approaches and new solutions, particularly when it comes to advancing gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.
Innovation and technology provide unprecedented opportunities, yet trends indicate a growing gender digital divide and women are under-represented in the field of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and design. It prevents them from developing and influencing gender-responsive innovations to achieve transformative gains for society. From mobile banking to artificial intelligence and the internet of things, it is vital that women’s ideas and experiences equally influence the design and implementation of the innovations that shape our future societies.