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Sudan Unrest: Is Smooth Transition a Possibilty in Near Future?

Zeba Zoriah writes, transition are always complex and to keep the complexity aside more long term and clear ideas need to be put into table by both the parties sidelining their independent ruling mentality. The trouble in Sudan needs a similar long term vision and ideas for a smooth transaction.

A coup ends a thirty-year struggle in the Sudan’s history – time of unprecedented economic growth, terrorism, genocide, war crimes and poverty. The government has been mismanaging the economy for a long time and so long that the day to day living was getting impossible -price of bread tripling was the epicenter followed by difficulty in accessing fuel and cash. President Omar al Bashir was charged with the incitement and involvement in the killing of the protesters in the recent shooting in Khartoum.

The power sharing talks between the ruling military and the leaders of a powerful protest movement collapsed and were suspended for 72 hours with conditions for further resumption of the negotiations on 15th of May, 2019 due to the violent clashes that erupted in Khartoum. They were expected to come to an agreement over the structure of a new body to govern the country. There was open firing by the security officials on the protesters later stating their reasons apparently to clear checkpoints.  Initially, talks had shown little sign of progress and the incident of shooting was a spark for further delaying the process where one blame the civilians for sabotaging the talks and the other on the military council. It has also been noted that there was increase in security deployment and arrangements were maximized since last week on the streets. However, officials deny its relation with the street protest.

Transitional Military Council (TMC) are in power and are ruling Sudan since last month after the toppling of President Omar al-Bashir. However, a new form of administration of three-year transition and a legislative council to transfer power to a fully civilian administration was accepted by the military and the civilian leaders. The two sides are yet to decide on the structure of the council. Thousands of protesters have been holding a sit-in outside the army headquarters in the capital, Khartoum, for weeks, demanding that the army generals, who took power after toppling of Bashir on April 11, 2019 step down.

Online trends of hashtags have been used like #KiirMustGo and #SouthSudanUprisings by new groups calling itself the Red Card Movement with an inspiration from the the street protests against the rising violence. The question is how much power will the TMC give up?  Was this incident an attempt to disturb the breakthrough the negotiations? TMC can give up power looking into their crime report card they have already conducted lots of atrocities. The more they continue their power, more openness towards their atrocities will be seen.

International players like the United Nations, European Union and the African Union have only merely been active. Leaders like Trump is not interested in the continued struggle of Sudanese. Diplomatic process with America can actually shape Sudan’s future. Outside players like Saudi Arabia and UAE are being pointed to interfere with TMC. But, they publicly address in support of Sudan but uses check book diplomacy by providing aid of 3 billion dollars. Without the support of countries in solving the issue and rather complicating it would not help Sudan towards smooth transition. The incident was like a roadblock and well master planned for not having a smooth transition and both parties need to check the damage does not continue without any further disruption happen.  Transition are always complex and to keep the complexity aside more long term and clear ideas need to be put into table by both the parties sidelining their independent ruling mentality.


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