HORN OF AFRICA CONFERENCE IV
Good Governance and Rule of Law:
Key to Peace, Democratization and sustainable Development
14-16 October 2005 in Lund, Sweden.
GOVERNANCE AND THE RECONSTRUCTION OF COLLAPSED STATES
(Sudan as a Model)
By: AL SADIG AL MAHDI
PM, Sudan 1986-89,
President, UMMA PARTY
A State in our times will be considered viable if it fulfills four conditions: Security, Economic sustenance, Legitimacy, and Workable external relations.
Legitimacy, being defined as, acceptance of the Rulers by the Population. Any state, which visibly fails to provide these functions, must be described as a failed state. They create a vacuum, which attracts conflicts, insurrections, and pave the way for Regional and International encroachments. Governance is a concept, which carries the viability of a state to greater qualifications. Legitimacy here does not stop at mere acceptance, it involves four basic pillars: participation, accountability, transparency and the rule of Law. A State may provide strong Government without providing Governance. However, International opinion is increasingly making Governance a parameter of acceptability.
In the current International climate, strong states increasingly face pressure to fulfill the conditions of Governance. Consequently, Governments like that of South Africa before 1993 have had to confront International pressure. Collapsed States are Regional and International security hazards. Especially now, with the widespread Terrorist activities, collapsed States endanger International peace and security, because they could host terrorist activities. The International community cannot afford to stand-by while they fail to provide security and sustenance for their populations, and harbor armed conflicts.
External encroachments to remedy the situation may start with mediation, then arbitration, and may even involve protection.
Measures of Reconstruction
The reconstruction of a collapsed State would involve the following necessary measures:
- Stable cease-fire to stop armed conflict.
- A political settlement to remove the causes of conflict.
- A program for transitional reconciliation and justice.
- A program to erase the effects of conflicts.
- A system of transitional Government with built-in measures towards a Government legitimized by free and fair elections.
- Economic measures, which heal the wounds of conflict and restore a viable economic system.
- Measures to restore the Social fabric and remove the Social wounds of conflict.
The Sudanese Case
By our definition, the Sudanese Government established by the 30th of June 1989 was, initially, a strong Government with a single minded Islamicist Program. However, it soon divided the Peoples of the North, deepened the causes of the conflict in the South, multiplied the areas of conflict, failed to provide sustenance for the Community, achieved widespread rejection, provoked Regional and International hostility, and so, may be described as a collapsed State.
The recently signed CPA. (Comprehensive Peace Agreement), and the Constitution based upon it, are measures to reconstruct the Sudanese State. The IGAD States, the African Union, the IPF. (IGAD Partner’s Forum), and the UN have all played important roles in mediation, arbitration, and even protection in the establishment of the Sudanese Peace Agreement.
Similar roles are envisaged for the other Sudanese Peace talks; for example, the ABUJA negotiations.
The irony of the situation is that Peace building and National Reconciliation can only achieve viability and sustainability if they muster National legitimacy.
However, in a collapsed State, the gulf of distrust between the combatants, and the disarray of political forces preclude the possibility of the State pulling itself by its own bootstraps from collapse into reconstruction.
Therefore, in Sudan, the CPA and the Constitution based upon it were achieved with a high degree of Regional and International input.
The Agreement requires New Central Constitution, a number of Regional Constitutions, New Government, changes in the Legal System, Highly decentralized Administrations, a reformed Economic System to accommodate balances, a reconstruction of Defense and Security, and a Society with Greater Religious and Cultural Plurality.
However, because of the lingering distrust between the ex-combatants, and the paucity of the National input, the collapsed State will, most probably, be succeeded by a diarchic protected State.
This outcome may be avoided if the Peace Process enhances the National Role through a CODESA-type Conference.
The transformation from Conflicts to Peace, from Totalitarianism to Democracy, and from collapsed to viable State should be based upon National Consensus and protected from Partisan Cupidity. The fact that the Peace Process in Sudan was confined to two parties from beginning to end, enabled them to entrench partisan political benefits at the cost of National Consensus; whereas Reconstruction in Sudan should properly involve the rehabilitation of the Country’s Political Forces, the Reconstruction and Empowerment of Autonomous Civil Society Organizations, the establishment of a genuinely free market, and so on.
The CPA as it stands now will set up a diarchy, which will attempt to marginalize all other political forces, erode the autonomy of Civil Society Organizations, and bend the Constitution and Legislation to serve the Partisan interests of the diarchy.
Even the economy will not aim at the establishment of a genuinely Free Market, guided by proper macro-economic policies, because the uppermost consideration in terms of wealth and income distribution will be for Partisan benefits.
Privatization itself, following the practice of the “Salvation Regime”, will become Partisanization.
By the high standards of Governance, many States in Africa and Asia may be considered failed States. Professor Ali MAZRUI had once speculated about the possibility of the failed states of Africa, becoming protectorates. If the Sudan Peace Process is reformed, it could provide an alternative to such possibilities.
Internationally, and nationally within several States there is a pervasive demand for transformation from Conflict to Peace, from Dictatorship to Democracy, and from failed States to Nation Building. These issues have become integral to Regional and International Security.
Successful transformations would enrich the literature on the subject, and provide useful role models.