Sudan’s National Accord Conference fails to unlock deadlock

2022-08-20 18:33:16
Sudan’s National Accord Conference fails to unlock deadlock

A proposal on how to run Sudan’s transitional authority has angered civilian protest movements in Sudan, days after a major conference suggested power should remain in the hands of the military for the time being.

The rally of civil administrators and clerics gathered in Khartoum last weekend was meant to discuss suggestions of how the country can end deadly violence that has been going on since October 25 last year. Instead, the Call for National Accord conference only generated a wider gulf between civilian movements and the army.

The Forces of Freedom and Change alliance, the coalition which led the popular revolution that toppled former President Omar al-Bashir, have clearly expressed its opposition to early elections.

In contrast, Chairman of Sudan's Transitional Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan have suggested, on more than one occasion, the option of early elections if the political parties failed to agree on a common vision for managing the transitional period.

According to the East African, participants in the roundtable conference, organized by pro-military and pro-Omar al-Bashir groups said they were searching for consensus to overcome the country’s challenges including creating an acceptable transitional government.

Their solution? To grant the military “all the supreme sovereign powers in the country through a higher defense council.” They also acknowledged the termination of the decisions of the Committee to Dismantle the Salvation System, according to which assets including land, companies and funds belonging to influential ‘Brotherhood’ of the former regime of Omar al-Bashir were confiscated.

This conference, although looking for a way out of the current crisis, was revising transitional decisions of the former government of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok who was ousted on October 25 last year alongside his council of ministers.

In November 2019, Hamdok’s government had adopted laws to “dismantle” the former regime of Omar al-Bashir who had been toppled in April of that year. The laws weren’t universally supported, especially by al-Bashir’s supporters who felt they were being targeted.

The Dismantlement Committee was to be composed of ministers of Justice, Defense and Health but the program was to be led by the chairman of the Sovereignty Council head by the military.

Conference participants overturned all that. But civilian movements opposed to the military rule say the proposals ignored a suggestion on dismantling of Bashir’s corruption system, which is widely believed to have provided a wide clique of players with tens of billions of looted dollars.

Bashir is in jail for corruption but his regime also profited many others.

Their proposal also ignored the demand for justice for more than the 117 people who were killed during the protests that have been going on for about 10 months and the hundreds who were killed during the sit-in of the General Command of the Armed Forces in June 2019; two months after Bashir was ousted.

The conference was skipped by protest movements who labelled it an attempt to restore the Bashir regime.

It is expected that the conference's recommendations, if implemented, will face major obstacles, most notably the widespread rejection in the street that adheres to specific demands that have not been addressed.

In addition to the international community, including major Western countries, which has declared more than once that it will not accept any “non-consensual” government, may also stay away from it.

Sudan has been suffering a political crisis after Al-Burhan, also the general commander of the Sudanese Armed Forces, declared a state of emergency on Oct. 25, 2021 and dissolved the transitional sovereign council and the government.

Since then, the capital Khartoum and other cities have been witnessing continued protests demanding a return to civilian rule.

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