Sudan Democracy First Group
New report in English from SDFG: Manufacturing the Illusion of Stability in Sudan
(Khartoum/Kampala) 23 July 2017, Coinciding with the 28th anniversary of the National Islamic Front coup that brought the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) to power, Sudan Democracy First Group publishes an English version of its report “Manufacturing the Illusion of Stability in Sudan”. The Arabic version of this report was published last June 2017.
The report reveals the dynamics behind, and impact of, the campaign orchestrated by the NCP and its international supporters to obscure the violence and political unrest which continue to convulse Sudan, and which are accelerating the economic, social and cultural deprivation of its people. The report presents an analysis of current political processes, actors, and the NCP’s governance and foreign policy strategies. Its exposes the external and internal partners of the regime who have participated in projecting an illusion of regime functionality at the expense of genuine resolution of Sudan’s multiple crises. It also challenges the political opposition to engage in deeper consultation with Sudanese citizens and grow a genuine grassroots movement for change.
The report contains five key chapters
- Issues of War and Peace in Sudan
- The New Ingaz: The National Dialogue and Next Steps
- Sudanese Opposition: Gains and Losses
- The International Community and the Ruling NCP: Deadly Lies
- The African Union High-Level Implementation Panel: Challenges and Opportunities
The report concludes with a series of observations and practical recommendations on ways out of the current impasse.
Achieving a Just Peace and Lasting Stability
- Peace in Sudan cannot be achieved through fragmented response to Sudan’s various conflicts and political challenges. Ignoring the common roots of these conflicts, and responding to them through separately negotiated agreements, or through military means, will only add to the accumulation of grievances and exclusion. Only a comprehensive political solution will end the cycle of violence
- The situation of refugees and displaced persons must be resolved urgently, including through genuine consultation with these communities. A conference of Sudanese refugees and displaced persons might be considered. All parties involved in the Sudanese crisis should put the situation of displaced persons and refugees at the heart of their political proposals and discourse.
- The Sudanese government must review the status and composition of the Rapid Support Forces militia, including in the context of any future national security arrangements. This must include holding their leaders accountable for the crimes they have committed.
Sudanese opposition and seeding positive change
- The Sudanese opposition must develop its discourse and working tools and strengthen its understanding and response to the basic issues in people’s daily lives. To do this, forces working for civil and political change must:
- continue efforts to unify around a common platform, refine the clarity of their discourse and develop detailed alternative policies for the transition period;
- support the restoration of a genuinely independent political role for civil society by encouraging its active participation in the process of change and building bridges with political forces.
The efforts of the international community to support stability
- If United States (US) sanctions are lifted, increased oversight of Sudanese financial flows will be vital: mechanisms must be established to prevent increased weapons flows, support for militias and expansion of the architecture of state corruption. The biggest beneficiary of any lift of sanctions will be the ruling party, its security institutions and its private companies.
- Removing Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, provision of debt relief or grant of economic and political incentives to the ruling party must also be conditional on an increase in political freedoms, an end to the conflicts and human rights violations: these conditionalities are currently not part of the US five track process. Involving the political and civil opposition partners in monitoring and evaluation will be critical to ensuring the effectiveness of any deal.
- In terms of countering terrorism, dealing with the intellectual and political roots of the phenomenon must be paramount. This work should include strengthening the participation of democratic actors in the societal and political response and challenging laws and practices being promulgated by the state that encourage and propagate extremist religious tendencies and fuel the growth of extremist movements.
- Political and civil forces must be involved in official efforts – both domestic and international – in response to illegal migration and other organized crime. The content, orientation and partnerships created by the European Union and the Sudanese government and their impact on the security, political and social conditions in Sudan, and in East Sudan in particular, must be considered.
African Union (AU) mechanisms’ efforts to achieve stability
- Work to restore political confidence in AU processes by talking to all parties—and not just the NCP—on an equal footing. This should include the National Consensus Forces, the Sudan Liberation Movement-Abdelwahid, independent civil society, and victims of war. The AU must also insist that all parties comply with the decisions of the Peace and Security Council of Africa at its 456th and 539th sessions: repudiation by the NCP of what was previously approved and agreed should not be accepted.
- Develop the structure of the AU High-Level Panel by regularly using Sudanese experts in its daily work and maintaining staff in Sudan. The establishment of a new partners platform which would include international and regional partners from neighboring countries and European countries with interests and influence should also be considered.