Beyond the Horizon: Time to Consolidate Gains and Strengthen Unity Not Squander Them

Alula Berhe

The Political Declaration signed last Wed. night 17 July, 2019 between the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the Freedom and Change Forces (FCF) has been met with reservations from some political forces from inside and outside the FCF.
We think there are justified concerns when taking into consideration the ultimate goals of the December, 2018 Revolution and the TMC dealings since last 11 April and what followed of massacres particularly on 3 and 30rd June,2019, and the maneuvers, and all forms of deceptions practiced since 11 April,2019 and up to now.
We think that while taking these reservations into serious consideration must also take into account the balance of power, the profit and loss account of any political action. These factors have led to acceptance of the present document.
The rejecting forces have the democratic right to peacefully struggle to improve or modify the situation but taking care not to unbalance the present fragile situation.

Constitutional Declaration

In a sudden development on Thursday 18 June night, the FFC announced that it requested the postponement of the signing of the Constitutional Declaration with TMC until the many outstanding issues have been resolved first. This poses a very puzzling question if there were such issues outstanding why not resolve them first in the political declaration as not to confuse the public opinion.
This development gives the FFC the chance to unify its rank after the serious divisions over the Political Declaration and which have extended to the streets.

Seven Basic Points

The FCF has not stated in the postponement request the points of difference with the TMC but reviewing all the statements made in this regard, the major points of differences can be summarized in:
One: The reform of the National Intelligence & Security Service (NISS) and to whom it will report; the TMC or the Prime Minister. The norm in all democratic systems is that the NISS report to the PM. If the NISS will be as in all democracies an information gathering institution with no functions to inside the country, then why the TMC do want to control it.
Two: The amalgamation of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and not to continue as a separate force and a state inside the state as the situation now. What is strange in this respect is that the TMC instead of reducing is increasing the RSF scope by adding the NISS Special Operations Division to it instead of SAF. This is a wrong decision that must be openly discussed by the FCF with the TMC.
Three: Who nominates the Judiciary and the Attorney General which is a very important issue for the promotion of justice in the transitional period because the judiciary was deformed during the ousted Omer Al Bashir regime? In this regard also, the TMC performance during the past period was full of contradictions and non-transparency which makes giving the military the final say is like an issue of the end of justice in the proper sense. Also, this issue include the Auditor General which will have an important role to play in the coming days taking into consideration the institutional corruption that have spread in all governance institutions.
These three important institutions need very radical reforms which will not happen if the TMC control them.
Four: The Independent Investigation Committee on the 3 and 30 June, 2019 massacres and all other human rights violations since 19 Dec.2018. There must a very clear cut agreement on who will form this Committee and same time without the reform of the Judiciary and the Attorney General actual accountability will be in doubt, so this point is closely linked to the second point above.
Five: The military in no democratic country formulate the foreign policy and so this should be the whole domain of the new government and not even the proposed Presidential Council. Any previous alliances with any regional parties have to come to an end and the first guide line in the future foreign policy of the country should be the interest of Sudan first and last and not any individual or regime or institution.
Six: There should be no retreat from the previous agreement on the formation of the legislative assembly and which was affirmed by the African Union Peace and Security Council Resolution No.854.
Seven: The period of heading the Presidential Council even if a ceremonial institute must be divided between the FCF and the TMC and there is no justification to give the TMC more time on the contrary the opposite should happen. This is un-justified concession from the FCF.
Eight: The TMC should never be given the upper hand in the legislative power until the formation of the Legislative Council or the many needed legislations to dismantle the ousted authoritarian will not see the light. There should be no compromise on this issue.
Nine: It is high time to start the complete demilitarization of the Sudanese cities because cities like the Greater Khartoum look now like a military garrison and not a modern city. There must be short, medium and long term plans to end this as national armies are not formed to defend the regimes inside the cities but the borders against foreign enemies. The armed forces should be more concentrated in the border areas than in the cities but this will take some time and will need a lot of resources for modern logistics but should be a vision for the future.

Guarantees

This time the agreement is witnessed by the African Union, so it will be very difficult for the TMC to try and sabotage it if the revolutionary forces are in the highest degree of alert and unity.
In addition, there is the continuous regional and international pressure on the TMC to transfer power to the civilians and the last decision by the Democrats and Republicans in the US House of Representatives is a clear sign in this direction. Also, Germany which was a strong supporter of the Dec. 2018 Revolution will soon head the European Union Commission which will increase the pressure as well on the TMC and its regional allies.
All this said, the most important guarantee for the December, 2018 Revolution is the streets.

Move Forward

The next period should be for the focus on moving forward in the transformation of the ousted authoritarian regime to a democratic civilian one which is not an easy task at any time and under any circumstances, in addition to the miserable economic condition of the country at the present. All these factors demand unity more than fragmentation. This can be done without surrendering any basic goals of the revolution and this make boycotting not the suitable tool because it gives the chance to those who want to turn the revolution to mere slogans.
In addition to that the majority views have to prevail in any democratic alliance and we must start be accustomed to this norm if the goal is democracy.

Armed Groups

One of the most important issues which should be resolved as quickly as possible is the issue of peace. It has been a very good step even if it came a somewhat late that the FCF have started direct contact with these groups even before reaching a final agreement with the TMC.
The peace agreements with armed groups will eliminate the strongest cards in the hands of the generals and their militia’s allies who want to dominate the arena in the name of security.
There are many important files on the economic ,social and cultural sectors which should be the main issue of the work in the coming weeks of the FFC and which if dealt with efficiently and with a vision can assist in the dismantling of the authoritarian state that have been erected during the last thirty years.

Corruption Files

One of the most important files in the dismantling of the ousted regime is the prosecution of corruption. This step will eliminate many of the regime figures from the political arena because almost all of them have indulged in massive corruption. So, these files must be followed very closely and not permit as we are seeing any maneuvers to step over some of them.

The Prime Minister

The Sudanese Professional Association (SPA) has finally settled the issue of the Transitional Period Prime Minister and affirmed last Thursday the nomination of Dr. Abdallah Hamadok (Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa –ECA). It pointed that the first 200 days program of the transitional period have been discussed with Dr. Hamadok.
This statement close the door in the face of certain political parties which wanted to nominate it president to be the PM in the transitional period mainly the Sudanese Congress Party contrary to the agreement inside the FFC that not political party will participate in the transitional government.
And even used borrowed tactics from the ousted dictator Omer Al Bashir, I didn’t intend to seek a new term in 2020 but was pressured to do so.

Gosh Image Promotion

Some newspapers and Arab media stations are indulging in massive campaign to promote the image of the NISS ex-Director General Salah Gosh as a main actor in the ousting of the dictator Omer Al Bashir.
We are not in a position without having all the facts on hand to judge on the case but have some remarks to make to those promoters.
Even if this is true he did it for his own sake to govern Sudan and not to support the revolution. Also, if is as they say why did he fled the country and not remained in his country to face the rule of law for his alleged crimes. So, regardless of how many TV programs are produced or newspapers articles are written the facts will remain that he is accused of grave violations of human rights and will sooner or later be hold accountable for what he did in the courts of law in which he didn’t believe during his career in the NISS.

Exporters Complains

The private exports association’s voice was very loud during the last few weeks and which included livestock and gold exports. While we agree that they have the right to complain but we also have the right to comment on their performance during the last thirty years which have been a curse and not a blessing on the Sudanese economy and people. The pretext that this was the crimes of the regime is not valid in this regard because they have not objected or protested and on the contrary some of them have indulged to the prime on the regime massive corruption. So, we demand that the TMC refrain from any action on the exports files binding the formation of the Transitional Government which start with full transparent investigation on what was going on in the export sector. Some are already facing criminal charges and more are on the way to face the law but there are still a lot of them outside the net of accountability up to now, but hopefully this will not be for a long time.
We would like also to add to these to sectors the Gum Arabic and Cotton sectors as well.
In addition we demand the opening of very widely the whole imports files and the destructive role of the Standards and Specifications Commission and the corruption allegations surrounding this commission all these files gentlemen are coming to the light one the civilian government is in place.
Your argument about the national interest will decisive no one because we have not seen this in the ground for the last Thirty years.
By the way we have not seen any change in the Sudanese Businessmen Association; the same faces which was the associate of the ousted regime are trying now to gain the favour of the TMC. But the time is over gentlemen just wait and you will see that business cannot go as was usual practiced in the ousted regime time.

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