The country witnessed last week very important political development which may end the deadlock in the political events and may pave the road for the Freedom and Change Forces (FCF) to move forward and implement their agenda.
The forces of the 19 December, 2018 Revolution, the FCF scored a major victory last Wednesday 24, April with the recognition of the TMC (Military Transitional Council) which ousted the dictator Omer Al Bashir on 11 April but has been maneuvering since then to deliver the power to a civilian transitional governance, that the FCF are the main force that represent the protestors in the street.
First on Wednesday 24 came at midday the press conference organized by the FCF and in which it declared and affirmed very firmly that negotiation with the TMC political committee has been suspended and that the sit-in in front of the Ministry of Defense compound and demonstrations all over Sudan will continue until their just declared demands are meet in full.
These demand can be summarized in three main points; presidential council either purely civilian or civilian-military, an independent technocrats civilian government and, a 120 member transitional legislative council. The FCF declared in that press conference that these demands are not subject to compromises but may be to some miner change.
The press conference main message was that 19 December,2018 will not fall in the same trap that has been waved for the revolutionaries in October,1964 and again in April, 1985. That game is over and the people have learned the lesson.
At the same time it was expected that Thursday 25 will witness the largest demonstrations in the history of modern Sudan. Many protestors have started coming from the states to participate and support the Khartoum sit-in and demonstrations.
TMC/ CFF Meeting
The outcome of the press conference and the planned for Thursday 25 April mass demonstrations have ring the danger bill in the TMC headquarters that the situation may come out of control with catastrophic results and that situation cannot continue in this way.
So, the TMC called for an urgent meeting with the FCF leadership on Wednesday 24 April evening to discuss their demands.
The joint press conference after the meeting between the TMC and the FCF revealed that agreement on the recognition of the TMC of the FCF as the representative of the masses in the streets and the formation of a joint committee from the two parties to discuss and agree on the CFF demands for the transitional period.
Fairness demand to point that the obstacles in the past few days towards an agreement with the FCF was this was not the position of all the TMC members but in particular three of them who were well known for their complete alliance and loyalty to the ousted dictator and his regime. The three have exerted every possible effort since 11 April to sabotage any genuine move for a real transfer of power to civilian rule that is not a new copy of the ousted regime of which they part and parcel.
The resignation of these three members; Arm General Omer Zein Alabdeen, Security General Jalal Al Din Al Sheikh and Police General Altayeb Babiker Ali, have played an important role in paving the way for the agreement on Wednesday.
The highest degree of hypocrisy is now evident in the behavior of some personals and institutions which just few days ago have been the strongest supporters of the deposed off Al Bashir regime.
This includes the STUF (Sudan Trade Union Federation), the SAU (Sudan Advocates Unions) and the SJU (Sudanese Journalists Union). All three of them have published paid advertisement of support to the revolution and more strongly to the TMC. In what can be said an advance payment of loyalty in case the TMC will be the new version of Al Bashir regime.
In brief let us look quickly at each of these three institutions.
Both the STUF and the SAU leaderships have come to their positions by the force of deformed laws and the strong power and pressure of the NCP and more importantly the NISS (National Inelegance and Security Services).
The same also apply to the SJU but here we would like to focus more but briefly on this union. This union, the SJU president Al-Sadiq Al-Rizeigi and his cronies , and who is at the same time the Chairman of Assayha newspaper is playing a two avenue game with the situation. In a paid advertisement as we mentioned before it declared support to the revolution but at the same time the statement contained a more stronger support for the TMC in a message that say that if you will be the second edition of the deposed of dictatorship we are ready to be in your service. Just read some of the content of this newspaper and you will get this message. But this is not limited to Assayha but many other writers who don’t want to understand that the ousted Al Bashir will not come back again in any form and the youth in front of the Ministry of Defense and the Sudan Armed Forces compound will make sure that this will not happen.
We are not calling for any measures against them but just ask that nobody buy these newspapers and they will die gradually particularly that many hidden funding avenues will be closed soon. Same time, ask advertisers to as well boycott them or call on the protestors not to buy their products if they don’t so. This is the right and duty of masses without any use of laws against the freedom of the press and expression.
Port Sudan Seaport
The TMC has issued a decision freezing the agreement with the Philippines Company on the administration of the Containers Terminal in Port Sudan Seaport bending studies for its cancellation. This is a good decision that should be commended but matters should go a lot further. There must be a full investigation who was really behind this deal. There is information circulating that there were many influential corrupt personal behind this suspicious deal and that in reality this company which was registered in Abu Dhabi was only Philippines in name to mislead the public. The people have the right to know who was behind this and the time of non-transparency must come to an end and that not corrupt person should be protected whoever he was or is. This is how matters should be run after the 19 December, 2018 Revolution and not as before during the ousted corrupt regime of Omer Al Bashir.
The foreign policy in the coming civilian transitional period needs first of all a competent diplomatic cadre contrary to those appointed by the ousted regime which made the diplomatic arena a place to reward some of his supporters and cronies who had no knowledge about the diplomatic work. But what is more important is the concepts and strategy that will the diplomatic work in the future period. There is no disagreement that the golden principle of noninterference in other countries affairs should be abided by very strictly something the previous regime have violated many time whether for its own interests and survival or as agent for other powers inside and outside the region. This have to stop at once and a revision of such policies conducted urgently as soon as there is a civilian government in power. Further, the relation between the NISS (National Intelligence and Security ) should be radically revised as the NISS should be in the service of the official foreign policy and not have a separate policy and strategy of which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs no nothing. This also must come in the reformed NISS Act to put everything back in truck.
But the most important guiding principle in the foreign policy that it should be based on the highest national interests of the country first and last and not the regime or the ruler. There must be a complete divorce with the ousted regime foreign policy based on the deposed off president survival.
The TMC is insisting on a two year transitional period while the FCF think it is not enough and there is at least a need for four years to dismantle the one party rule thirty years old institutions. We think that there can be a middle ground of three years between the two points of view. The FCF can compensate for the one year loss by accelerating efforts more and this is not a difficult task for the Sudanese people who have been demonstrating in the streets for almost five months now demanding freedom, justice and peace.