Beyond the Horizon: December 2018 Revolution the Second Independence of the Sudanese State

Alula Berhe
Historical Day

The signing last yesterday 17 August, 2019 in the presence of high level regional and international presence of the Transitional Constitutional Document (TCD) between the TMC (Transitional Military Council) and the FCF (Freedom and Change Forces) is a historical day in the history of the Sudanese people and represent the second independence of the Sudanese state from the domination of the authoritarian military and the incompetent traditional political parties governments.
Major Achievements

There is no dispute that the December 2018 Revolution has not achieved all its goals in the 4 August the Transitional Constitutional Declaration but this does not nullify the major gains that have been achieved when taking into consideration the balance of power between the two parties. Also, there is ample opportunities for improvements on the document with the gradual change in the balance of power after the establishment and structural reform of the civic governance institutions.
Some of the major achievements for the Revolution have been stipulated in the First Chapter of the agreement, the most important of which is the supremacy of the clauses of the Document over any other legal instrument. Also, the nature of the state as it clearly state that Sudan is “parliamentary democratic pluralistic non-centralize state in which rights and duties are based on citizenship without any form of discrimination on the base of religion, race, color, ethnic origin, economic or social statue, political orientation.
It is also committee of the state to the respect of human dignity and is based on justice, equality, diversity, guarantee of human rights and basic freedoms.
The clause that the supremacy belong to the people is very important as it return the right to its original owner.
In Page 9 of this Special Issue we elaborate more on the Transitional Constitutional Document.
Youth/Women Role

There is universal agreement that the youth and women have played the vital role in the December,2018 Revolution but so far there is no really recognition by the political forces in practice of this reality. The old generation are still clinking to most of the posts which indicate that sooner or later this will drive the youth to find the suitable institutions that will represent them which will be a deadly blow to all the present political forces. The Transitional Constitutional Document pose many challenges which without the active participation of the youth and women will be almost an impossible task to accomplish, so better start ratifying this situation. Two recent events demonstrate that politics cannot be practiced by the political parties as before December, 2018. The first was when the Sudanese Professional Association was asked openly by the youth who paid the rent of the association premises also the Sudanese Congress Party have received the same questions from the party youth during the opening of their new office in the Khartoum Emirate district. This affirms that the political parties as we have said need to review their policies towards the youth or women or commit political suicide.
Peace Priority

Peace attainment was given the top priority in the first six months of the transitional period according to the Transitional Constitutional Document. The peace that the people of Sudan need is a comprehensive peace that is not based on constitutional posts distribution as the Revolutionary Force (RF) is demanding and not with the RF only but in a holistic manner that include all the armed movements. It will be a deadly mistake if the Transitional Government under the pressure of the RF allies in Sudan Call give the RF a special position in the peace negotiation. In the contrary the RF is with the loudest voice but with the least armed power or civilian membership, so this embezzlement by the RF of the FCF must come to an end.
The approach of the SPA and FCF to address the root causes of the conflicts should be the guiding principle in the peace negotiations and not the aspirations of some leaders for power and posts which is quite clear in the maneuvers of the RF compared to the other armed forces who have put the interests of their people before their own. In addition that no armed movement will be given more than its weight and the RF can never be delegated as they demanded to negotiate in the name of all the armed forces because this will mean the death sentence for the peace process from square one.
Council of Ministers

One of the merits of the Transitional Constitutional Document is the condition that the Prime Minister and all the ministers will be independent and competent Sudanese without political loyalties. This has closed the door on the face of those who have been accustomed to personal benefits from any political development in the country. The desperate attempts of the RF to postpone the formation of the Council of Ministers is a strong manifestation of when personal interests are put above the people interest even of those whom they claim to represent.

There is no dispute that the Civil Society organizations have played the major role and was the driving engine in the December 2018 Revolution.

The courage, competence and capability of the SPA (Sudanese Professional Association) the major driving force of the December 2018 Revolution have gained the SPA the confidence and support of the masses in the streets. This was due to the credibility of the most of the leadership in SPA who were known for their non-compromising opposition to the ousted authoritarian regime of Omer Al Bashir. This was in contrast to the wavering position of some political parties and armed groups who didn’t hesitate to welcome any gesture for a compromise by the ousted regime. The public known for example the call for a compromise under the of the “Soft Landing” which was advocated for by the NUP (National Umma Party) leader Imam Al-Sadig Al-Mahdi and the agreement between the regime of some of the rebel armed groups with the regime in the past in exchange for some posts and who are now have the louder voice in the Sudan Call Alliance.

So, the December Revolution masses expect the SPA to continue to play the leading role in the safeguarding first the gains of the revolution attained by the Transitional Constitutional Declaration and as well further promote the struggle for the implementation of the still remaining goals of the revolution. This in turn require that the SPA be as much as possible very transparent with the masses and not let down those who have given them their trust. Let us all always remember what was written in the Transitional Constitutional Declaration “Supremacy belong to the People and exercised in their behalf by the State”
Civil Society

The activities and development of the work of the civil society organizations was strongly hindered during the last thirty years of the ousted regime through the Voluntary Work Act and it supervisory arm HAC (Humanitarian Aid Commission.

HAC was nothing more than a civilian division of the ex-NISS (National Intelligence and Security Services) and the major posts were held by security officers or official closely linked to the NISS. HAC had not only hindered, sabotaged and even banned most of the genuine civil society organizations (NGOs) but have even deformed the nature of the civil society organizations work and credibility by the creation of what is known in the civil society circles as GNGOs (Governmental Civil Society Organizations). These GNGOs in which corruption was institutional have siphoned tremendous resources both at the national, regional and international level. The greed in this area had no limit to the extent that even the second wife of the ousted Omer Al Bashir formed a GNGO. So, the reform of the Voluntary Work Act is of vital importance in the coming transitional period and there are information that already several NGOs have prepared proposals in this issue. Let us hope that the Transitional Government will give this issue the urgency it deserves because there is a vital need for the effective participation of genuine NGOs in the coming days.
Competence and Transparency

The real success of the Transitional Period will depend to a large extent on the competence and transparency in the performance of the Transitional Government. This will gain the government the essential support it will need in addressing the huge challenges and even conspiracies that will face it from inside and outside the various ministries and political forces.
Most probably the new Council of Ministers will be composed of competent professional who will also receive a lot of assistance from the SPA and FCF but it is important at the same time that the programs are shared with the public at large to obtain the needed support to address the material gaps in the public budget which are huge by any measure.
First Step

There were some good political analysis on this context and among them was one by the reputable political writer Zein Al Abdin Salah who wrote that the TCD is a first step after which the real political work will start. This will disclose if the political parties have only slogans or political, economic and social programs for the post transitional period upon which it will contest the elections and which will contribute in strengthening the structure of the civilian democratic governance system. In addition these parties will face this time the challenge that voters after the December, 2019 are quite different than those of the 1986 elections.
He cautioned that if the mentality of spoils distribution prevail during the appointments of the transitional period institutions then this will represent a time bomb inside the FCF. Such manifestation have been clear in the demands of the Revisionary Front and this is an attitude that the FCF should firmly reject. Same time the democratic transformation process require opening dialogue avenues with all the democratic forces in the society whether inside or outside the FCF but not in a selective base as some forces in the FCF is doing now in the negotiating with the Revisionary Front.

FCF Unity

It is very important to stress on two points that the last events and development have brought to the surface that is will the aim of safeguarding the unity inside the FCF be at the expense of the ultimate goals of the December,2018 Revolution and even the violation of the FCF Declaration. This is a vital issue for the continuation of the masses confidence in the leadership of the FCF leadership of the revolution. There are already many symptoms that the youth the driving engine of the revolution are not in satisfied with the performance of the FCF and in particular the lack of transparency. This is a challenge that the FCF have to address today before tomorrow.

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