Progress in Sudan’s Peace, governance
And Constitutional Process
(A concept Paper)
The lessons learnt from the troubled history of the modern Sudan are:
- That the People of Sudan aspire for democratic governance, but the democratic experience failed to recognize and so resolve cultural and ethnic diversity, and developmental imbalances. Dictatorial governance deepened these imbalances which fueled the bequeathed civil conflict and widened their spread.
- The multiple peace processes especially under dictatorial governments achieved limited success because they failed to address the causes of conflict. Consequently, there are numerous Peace agreements without peace. A failure which was blessed by external, Regional and International, mediators who focused their attention to ceasefire and humanitarian relief, without sufficient attention to peace making and peace building.
- The limited periods of liberal democratic systems failed to adopt a lasting Constitution because of partisan aspirations and coup d’état interruption. Dictatorial governments, which occupied 82% of the period since Independence in 1956, engaged in a top heavy constitution making. They saw to it that a constitutional process should not challenge their authoritarian grip on power:
- The 1972 peace Agreement was broken by the Regime which signed it.
- There was a promising Peace Process in the democratic period of 1986-1989 towards a National Constitutional conference to be held in September 1989. That process was interrupted by the coup of June 1989.
- Under the current Regime a number of Peace Agreements were signed, mainly:
- The CPA of 2005.
- The Abuja and Asmara Peace Agreements of 2006.
- The Doha agreement of 2011.
They were bilateral Agreements which were rich in promise but poor in delivery.
The Current Situation
- The current peace, governance and constitutional process which took off since January 2014 passed though several stages, namely:
(A) The 7+7 eight Points Agreement, signed in September 2014.
(B) Numerous meetings between the Combatants under AUHIP auspices, concerning cessation of hostilities and humanitarian relief, spanning two years discussions which produced a framework Agreement in July 2011 aborted by GoS.
(C) An internal dialogue process which culminated in the 10th of October 2016 recommendations. This process involved limited participants, excluding major political forces.
- The UNSC passed Resolution 2046, and the AUPSC passed Resolutions about the Sudan Peace Process in their 456, and 539 meetings. The consequent dialogue arrangements made no serious progress.
- To end this stagnation, the AUHIP presented the Sudanese stakeholders with a Road-map for the way forward in March 2016. The GoS signed the Road-map, Sudan Call after certain assurances signed it in August 2016. The Road Map Agenda called for a preparatory meeting.
Rather than responding to the requirements of the signed Roadmap, the GoS focused its attention on the 10th of October 2016 recommendations. It feels that its position has been enhanced by certain positive developments in its International and Gulf relations. Consequently, stalemate which preceded the Road map framework reemerged.
The consequent negative climate encouraged process of up-manship within SPLM-N and in Darfur with the emergence of a group challenging the dialogue process. So several voices have emerged with radical agendas among the stakeholders.
- To make matters worse, a process of mutual meddling in neighborly internal affairs emerged between GoS and Southern Sudan State, and another between GoS and Libyan authorities.
The more the stalemate continues, the more will the up manship process escalate, and the cross border interventions continue.
- Although the Sudanese partakers may not be now prepared to face up to the necessary steps needed for meaningful and decisive National dialogue, the need for a breakthrough is more necessary than aver for two important reasons:
First Reason: there is no way to end politically motivated armed conflict without a political agreement and so delay and fragmentation would only lead to more radicalization and more cross border intervention, to the detriment of National security and the cohesion of Sudan.
Second Reason: the real reconciliation between official Sudan and the International community as envisaged through the external debt relief, resolve the ICC predicament and the rest of the 63 UNSC Resolutions most of which under chapter seven of the UN charter, et al, could only be made possible through a comprehensive and Just Peace Agreement, and agreement on democratic governance.
- In anticipation of a planned meeting between all the Sudanese stakeholders, it would help focus attention upon an end game strategy which would justly and objectively address all the outstanding issues.
A strategy for the Roadmap Agenda
That proposed strategy could be endorsed by AUPSC, and presented by AUHIP in the same pattern of the original Roadmap.
Such an approach could be blessed by the TROIKA, the EU, Britain and even UNSC, to give it a powerful backing, and to link it with major National benefits for Sudan.
Such a decisive approach could save the Sudan from the looming hazards.
Attached copy of the proposed Strategy
Strategy for Comprehensive and Just Peace and
Democratic Governance in Sudan
Target: A new National Convention to open a new page in the National sphere which responds to the legitimate aspirations of the People espousing a National program which does not exclude any political Party nor be dominated by any single party.
- The first step towards this target is to establish a climate conducive to serious National dialogue, namely:
(A) Cessation of hostilities to be agreed by all combatants and to be properly observed.
(B) To request US Aid to handle the delivery of humanitarian aid for the two Regions – South Kordofan and South Blue Nile. To allow the sick, the dead, and the exchange of P.O.W to be handed across the border through Asousa by the Red Cross.
(C) release of prisoners and P.O.W.
(D) Guarantee of basic freedoms.
(E) General Amnesty.
(F) General reconciliation.
- Such conducive climate would allow the implementation of the Road Map signed in March and August 2016. Such dialogue should be started by a preparatory meeting to:
(A) Decide the Agenda of the meeting.
(B) To judge the recommendations of the 10th of October dialogue.
(C) To decide the Agenda for a Peace Agreement.
(D) To decide the Agenda for transitional governance.
(E) To Agree upon the Agenda for the constitution.
- The Peace Agreement should be based upon a declaration of principles, namely:
(A) Recognition that Sudanese identity is based upon diversity of composition.
(B) Recognition of citizen equality.
(C) Recognition of imbalance in development and the social services between the various regions which calls for Justice in participation in wealth and power to achieve the required balance.
(D) To erase the destruction caused by armed conflicts, and to compensate the victims for their losses.
(E) To restructure the regular forces so that they have a national identity and to Justly settle the rights of the armed groups.
(A) To decide the length of the period.
(B) To decide its national character so that it is inclusive.
(C) The political parties be to participate in symbolic representation.
(D) The bulk of participation. Should be technocratic.
(E) The duty of the interim government should be:
- To erase partisan monopoly.
- To settle the issue of I.C.C accountability.
- To form a commission for transitional Justice in the tradition of The truth and Reconciliation of Codesa.
- As representatives of National opinion it should:
– Sack to remove the burden of the external debt under the program of HIPC.
– Lift the name of Sudan from Terrorist sponsors.
– Settle all the UNSC Resolutions on Sudan.
Declaration of Principles for the Constitution:
(A) A Democratic constitution which guarantees Human Rights.
(B) Genuine federal decentralization.
(C) To recognize peoples religious beliefs and their freedom to pursue their religious aspirations so long as they abide by citizen equality in constitution rights and duties.
(D) Sudan has multiple extra national obligations, namely, National, Arab, African, Islamic, and International. They constitute five circles which should be pursued in complementary not contradictory terms.