Divisions could deter Sudan’s democratic path

Monday July 19 2021
Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Sudan’s key coalition partners in the transitional government are split on crucial policies, which now threatens the country’s harmonised security and foreign agenda, and jeopardises its progress in becoming a fully-fledged democracy.

The problem could stem from the Rapid Support Forces, the Sudanese Professionals Association, the Sudanese Communist Party and the military.

The schism appeared last week when Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok presented an initiative to integrate the components of the transitional government by reforming the political movements, unify the army and generally reform security and foreign policies to solve what he termed a national crisis.

PM Hamdok, who heads the transitional government in an arrangement between the military, former armed groups and activists, argued for national harmony and said his initiative will save the country from a “worrying and frightening” crisis.

In a bid to create harmony, a new political alliance brings together the Revolutionary Front, the Forces of Freedom and Change and the National Umma Party in Sudan. This group will then work side by side with the military under a power-sharing arrangement with the Sovereign Council, the highest authority in the country now chaired by a representative from the military.

The other members of the transitional government, the Sudanese Professionals Association who led the revolution that toppled former president Omar al-Bashir in April 2019 as well as the Sudanese Communist Party have stayed out of the alliance, hinting at further disharmony.


The military, however, has not been enthusiastic about an integrated transitional government, voicing their desire to stay influential in the country's politics. When Sudan created the transitional government in August 2019, the idea was for the military to head the sovereign Council for a year after which civilians would take over.

However, after the October Juba peace agreement between the transitional government and some armed groups in south-western regions of the country, it was agreed that the military continues to lead the Council for another year.