Sudan and International Order

The Hon. Al Imam Al Sadig Al Mahdi, National Umma Party President and democratically elected Prime Minister of Sudan and Leader of Ansar Allah


An Executive Summary of Imam Alsadig`s paper:

Sudan and International Order

August 28, 2004



The Democratic constitutional system, with its known principles, institutions and constitutional regulations is a new system of governance. Since the American Revolution and the French revolution in the 18th century, this system started to spread all over the world. After the two great world wars it covered most of the countries.

After the Second World War the victorious states led the movement towards the establishment of a new world order, avoiding mistakes of the extinct League of Nations. They aimed to transfer the principles and institutions of the Democratic constitutional system to the international field.

They adopted the UN charter as an international constitution and created the UN as an international organization that regulates the interstates affairs.

UN organization, UN charter and the accompanied international documents became the base of the modern international order. This order witnessed many tensions due to:

  • Contradiction between Eastern and Western blocks interests.
  • Contradiction between the colonial states and national liberation movements.
  • Contradiction between the despotic governments and the principles and institutions of the UN.
  • Contradiction between the Security Council permanent member states and other states interests.

These contradictions deformed the modern international order and left it unable to fully achieve its goals.

International Order and its Impact on Sudan:

Herein I will draw a map for the international order as it is in the first decade of the 21st century and its impact on Sudan.

  1. The UN charter and Statute of the International court of Justice:

The UN charter is composed of 19 chapters; the most relevant to our topic is chapter 7.

Article 41 reads: The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.

Article 42 reads: Should the Security Council consider that measures provided for in Article 41 would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations.

  1. UN Documents:

UN adopted a number of documents which became an international reference in Human Rights, Woman, Child, Disabled rights and so on.

  1. International law:

UN issued a number of laws broadening domain of the international laws. Nowadays the whole world is submitted to the international legal system; not a single state is exempted.

  1. New concepts

New concepts emerged in the international arena e.g. The E.U. linked its aid to the developing countreies with political reform. The Cotonou Agreement linked Aid with a mechanism of three components: EU (donor) the beneficiary government and civil society organizations.

  1. Strategic and security considerations: –

In addition to Strategic and security considerations, the military intervention became very likely for humanitarian considerations. The former Yugoslavia case is a good example.

  1. Human Rights Organizations:

There is a growing awareness of Human Rights. There are tens of NGOs working in Human Rights monitoring and reporting. They contribute in protection of political activists, journalists etc. these organizations gained a huge influence in the international politics.

  1. Role of Relief Organizations: –

Relief organizations are playing very important roles in containing food crisis and natural disasters. They became very influential actors in the modern international order.

  1. Think Tanks:

Many research and studies centers were established to study the chronic, long standing wars, and to suggest working programs to assist the poor exhausted countries to achieve development, peace, democracy and stability.

There are more than 20 think tanks presented studies on Sudan conflicts and crisis, for instance, Carter Center, Foreign Relations Institute (FRI), Max planck institute for comparative international law, international crisis group (ICG). etc.

  1. The Regional cooperation organizations:

Many Regional organizations were established targeting developmental and security cooperation between its members. Some of these organizations contributed actively in achieving stability and peace within their member states. IGAD mediation in Sudan is an example, particularly when an international lever, the IGAD Partners Forum (IPF), assisted it.

  1. Democratic transformation in the international Agenda:

The Western states particularly U.S was not keen about democratic transformation in the South world. Sometimes they conspired democratic regimes because they felt that the leaders of those Regimes antagonizing the American interests (e.g. Musaddag of Iran, Silvador Allendie of Chile.). They preferred to deal with dictators because they were ready to protect Western interests even at the expense of their own peoples interests.

A shift from this position took place following 11/9 events, which clarified the link between terrorism and despotism.

A new trend to support the democratic political reform emerged.

  1. Regional and international studies on democratic transformation:

Parallel to the official efforts to support democracy there are non-governmental efforts directed towards studies of democracy and support of democratic transformation world wide e.g. Madrid Club, No Peace Without Justice Organization and others. At the regional level the following activities occurred this Year (2004):

  • Sana`a Declaration (January).
  • Alexandria Document Declaration (March).
  • Beirut Declaration: the second independence (March).
  • Doha Declaration (June).
  1. Market Economy:

Policies and programs of market economy (e.g. prices liberation, establishments and plants privatization) are highly accepted now.

  1. Globalization:

The prevalence of free economy combined with the communication revolution led to a common international free market, i.e. globalizations.

The coincidence of globalization with the emergence of a unipolar international order dominated by USA made many countries anxious about their national interests and their religious and cultural peculiarities.

  1. S. Policy:

Following the end of the cold war, the political clout of U.S became tremendous. The congress became more influential in U.S. foreign policy making. So, external contradictions between U.S. and its allies developed and like wise internal contradictions between the congress and the U.S. administration.

A team of senior Republican leaders appeared around president Bush. They adopted radical rightist policies. 11/9 events and the collapse of USSR made it possible for them to implement such policies.

In September 2002 the American National Security strategy adopted two important Rules: To wage war against terrorism even without international consent and the right to wage a preventive war.

The U.S. policy in the Middle East is Ideological in nature while its policy towards Sudan is pragmatic. It fears the collapse of Sudanese state and seeks for an achievement.

Earlier, U.S did not show  keenness to deal with Darfur problem. It preferred to complete the South- North peace agreements. The present keenness and attention of U.S and international community was imposed upon them

  1. European Coalition on Oil in Sudan:

More than 80 organizations working for peace established the “European Coalition on Oil in Sudan” to assert responsibility of companies working in oil sector in Sudan for the positive and negative effects on development.

The coalition put strict conditions for the companies.

  1. Sudan and internationalization:

The fact that the Regional mediators and the two negotiating parties prefer bilateral negotiations had led to many shortcomings;

The bilateral Agreement makes precedents, and if others call for the same rights it will be justified.

The tow parties will compete to gain support of the absented parties about the outstanding issues.

Multiplicity of fora and mediators (now there are 4 negotiation forums).

The Sudanese regime inserted itself in a blocked-road when it gave commitments (to the U.N secretary general) that it had neither will nor ability to fulfill. Those commitments were involved in the U.N Security Council resolution (1556). In addition, the report of the U.N special rapporteur on human rights involved a sharp critique to the government. She accused the government of commission of execution outside courts, human right violations, accommodation of Janjaweed into the regular forces. The report affirmed that the government had created the humanitarian tragedy and accused it of protecting the perpetrators.

She concluded that the international community should supervise the investigations about human right violations. Like wise was the trend of the U.N human right commission envoy.

Security Council is going to look into an evaluation of the government performance concerning its compliance with and realization of resolution (1556).

The evaluation is expected to be negative especially if the report looked at the state of confusion followed the resolution (e.g. the contradicting statements given by Minster of information, Minster of foreign affairs and the Sudanese Armed Force Spokesman).

The preponderant possibility is that the Security Council will decide that the Sudanese regime is not able to do what it supposed to do: to protect civilians, disarm the militias, inquiry about offenses, bring perpetrators to justice. Accordingly Security Council will assign the AU to do so and to ensure the provision of the financial and logistic support.

The AU security and peace council had charged the chairman of the AU commission to consider the mandate of the AU forces. This assignment may change the role of the AU forces from the protection of cease fire monitoring teams into broader role including: cease fire guarantee, civilian protection and so on, such a new role rejected by the Sudanese regime till now.

What to do:

The deterioration of the humanitarian situation and inability of the regime to contain it will push the Security Council to mandate the AU to contain it, unless a radical development occurs and indicates the seriousness of the regime.

We propose for the regime many times this sort of radical reform but it did not respond.

Lastly we decided to send a letter to the AU Chairman Obasanjo suggesting the alternative program which asserts the seriousness and prevent the imposition of international Agenda by force.

The current regime faces a military siege (active or potential) in 5 fronts, the country is open for high degree of voluntary internationalization and in Darfur it is likely to be compulsory. To avoid more of internationalization and tears in Sudan, the National choice is to hold a National constitutional conference. To be mandated to engineer peace, nation building, democratic transformation based on the peace agreement already made, targeting a national comprehensive agreement to realize just peace and democratic transformation and to address all grievances.

We appeal to the international community to see the workability of this attitude and to press for it. Instead of dispensing its clout in support of bilateral talks which will never realize a sustainable peace.

  1. International community Role:

In addition to the above mentioned role, there are 4 crucial Issues for the Sudan and very important for its relation with the international community namely:

Peace, development, democratic transformation, Islamic Western dialogue

Sudanese should do their task, but the international community has a complementary role, as follows:

18. : Peace

Stopping war can be insured by cease-fire, a job of the combating forces, but peace building is a broader mission includes them and the other political forces. The two negotiating parties and mediators mix it up and restricted the cease-fire and peace building to the two parties and exclude the others.

If the international community limited itself to the visions of the two parties, and approved bilateral transient positions, then it will supervise a case- fire arrangements not peace building.

The best utilization of the international community clout is the work for peace building.


19. Development:

Sudan development objectives are defined and priorities of developmental programs to abolish war effects and causes are clear.

A National Economic Conference should be held urgently to specify the national development program and to specify what is required from the international community.

Then a joint round table conference gathers the national side and the international side under the auspices of the World Bank to specify the international community role in development.


20.Democratic Transformation: –

The international community talks about democracy as good wishes are not availing specially when we notice that the autocratic regimes have destroyed the democratic infra structures; the political parties, trade- unions; civil service, regular forces.

The international advocates for democracy should establish a research center to define what should be done to realize democratic transformations. A fund to support the democratic tendency should be established.

The center should set a program to build the political parties, trade- unions, and to make all the required reforms for democracy. This program should come as a result of a serious public, official, international dialogue.


21. Islamic Western dialogue:

The Description of negative or positive relations between different civilizations is vague and hence non-sensical. It is wiser to speak about extremists and moderates within the same religion.

Actually there are dualities between: national, regional and international, between, traditional mentality and renewal mentality.

Between the cultural peculiarity and globalization, between the foreign hegemony and liberation movements…etc

These dualities sometimes make tension and confusion.

There are hostile trends in the Western community opted to confront Islam and like wise there are hostile currents in Islamic World opted to confront the West. They feed each other and push the world towards a dark destructive fate.

Other trends namely, secular trends and enlightened Islamic trends exist in Islamic world.

There are currents in Islamic World and the West share the same secular aspirations, but secularism in Islamic World is popularly isolated.

Islamic enlightenment currents accept the religious and cultural plurality and modernization from within, they are intellectually valid and have popular support, especially in a country like Sudan, which engaged into a failed Islam cist experiment and now is prepared to accept enlightened Islamic thoughts. As expressed in the work of the Ansar establishment to issue a renewed Islamic reference, not reactionary when it takes from the heritage and not subordinates when it deals with the contemporary realities

This sort of dialogue obligates both sides to satisfy certain conditions.

Many of these vital issues exist in Arab, African and Islamic Worlds as the case in Sudan. The failure to address them may dismantle those states. The merit of Sudan is that it faces those problems in a freer manner and this may facilitate a comprehensive and just solution. Such a solution should be fully supported by the international community.