Sudan Democracy First Group

Civil Society and the Fight against Corruption



This paper consists of 4 basic parts that are divided into subsections. The first part includes the principles, values and goals of civil society, the relationship of civil society to good governance and the conformity of principles in addition to the development of civil society in Sudan in its various fields of charitable work, developmental, human rights and governance reform action. The second part of the paper deals with corruption and includes the concept ,fields and types thereof .It also includes the concern of the United Nations in fighting corruption ,deals with corruption in traditional and modern society ,and explains the reasons for the spread of corruption in the transitional society – which is the stage Sudan is going through. It also deals with the importance of information in fighting corruption and the cognitive power as a source of strength for civil society and its relationship to fighting corruption. The third part of the paper covers the domains of civil society action in combating corruption, which are education, monitoring, checking, legal aid, advocacy, legal reform and governance reform. The fourth part includes the fields of fighting corruption in the work of civil society organizations, examples for Sudanese civil society organizations working in fighting corruption, in addition to findings recommendations and references.

The Development of Civil Society in Sudan

The development of civil society in Sudan went through many stages. The beginning was the emergence of the modern educational system that led to the formation of cultural associations, graduate clubs and workers clubs that were the nucleus of the emergence of political parties in the1940s.

In a second track, with the development of modern economic establishments under colonialism, the trade union movement arose as civil society organizations seeking demand for workers, farmers and professionals later.

In a third track, grassroots civil society organizations appeared in the neighborhoods in the1950s as a result of the massive migration from the countryside to cities .These organizations were charitable organizations that provided assistance in weddings, funerals and as self-help entities. Then they expanded to include mosque committees, parent [and teachers] councils, and sporting teams.

In the fourth track and as a result of the evolution of urban development in the capital city and some other cities, with efforts of the Sudanese left, civic education people’s organizations were formed, such as the Sudanese Women Union, the Sudanese Youth Union and student unions.

In the fifth track, disasters, wars and famines led to the emergence of civil society organizations to address social issues. An example of such is the Sudanese Environmental Protection Association (formed in 1977). Then human rights organizations were formed to defend the rights of homeless children who have been displaced as a result of wars and natural disasters (an example: the Amal Children’s Organization.

The importance of these civil society organizations was crystallized in the five tracks in political life in the October 1964 revolution, the April1985 uprising and the December 2019 revolution. In the October Revolution ,workers ’organizations and professional and farmers’ organizations were the main actors in the revolution .In the April Uprising, the professional’s organizations (doctors, lawyers, teachers, university professors and accountants) were the main actors. Workers organizations had little participation due to their complete domestication by the May regime. As for the glorious December Revolution, the theater of actors differed.

Alongside the Sudanese Professionals Association, the youth group of both sexes and women strongly contributed, as well as large groups of peripheral cities such as Damazin, Atbara and Port Sudan and masses of revolutionaries came from the neighborhoods as a result of changes in the population characteristics in the neighborhoods due to the spread of education, the emergence of an active revolutionary youth group, and the entry of young women to universities and the labor market, which led to their liberation from the outdated traditional restrictions, so their participation in the revolution was with their young comrades, even in the days of the sit-in and in the tents in which the revolutionaries were staying.

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