Political Reports

Establishing a Civilian Transitional Authority in Sudan to be Taken Seriously 1-2

Solomon A. Dersso and Zekarias Beshah
Summarized by Sumaya Sayed

Almost three months into the fighting, there is no sign of the war in Sudan slowing down let alone ending. Each of the warring parties in Sudan, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), is locked in a logic for imposing its will by the barrel of the gun. The resultant entrenchment of the fighting is exacting enormous suffering on the Sudanese public and destruction on the state infrastructure.
Despite various diplomatic efforts involving regional and international actors and the announcement of about a dozen ceasefire initiatives or agreements, there is little to show for it. If anything, the approach of the peace and security and humanitarian diplomacy is aggravating the situation. It has bestowed legitimacy on the two warring parties. The singular focus of the efforts for ceasefire or humanitarian truce as well as peace mediation, as illustrated by the 12 June 2023 IGAD summit decision, is on the two parties, thereby inadvertently incentivizing the reinforcement of their respective positions.
Instead of any change of course, both the logic of the warring parties to achieve their objective through fighting and the glorification by the diplomatic processes of the two belligerents have set Sudan on a path for a protracted conflict with even more catastrophic risks it carries with it. There is as a result a present danger of the collapse of the Sudanese state.
Sudanese civic actors are the only ones that provide the Sudanese state and the international community the viable window for averting this present danger of state collapse and the accompanying apocalyptic consequences that are frightening to contemplate. These civic actors comprise diverse groups, including the neighborhood/resistance committee, professional associations, trade unions, political parties and local community formations. Distinguishing themselves from other civic actors in other countries, Sudanese civilian actors have displayed incredible level of organizational ingenuity, agility and resilience.
It was the peaceful protest and other civic actions that they mobilized that set the stage for the overthrow of the three decades dictatorial rule of Omar El Bashir in April 2019. While drawing on rich civic traditions, the non-violent movement waged by these actors, or what is referred to as the ‘December Revolution’, drew the participation of people from various walk of life, with women and youth taking active role in organization and leadership.
When the military sought to abort the revolution by declaring military rule for three years after seizing power by ousting Bashir in April 2019, it was the Sudanese civic actors that fought this illegal seizure of power and imposition of military rule. Despite violent crackdown by the SAF and the RSF, Sudanese civic actors did not opt for armed insurrection as was the case in Libya. They displayed firm commitment for peaceful resistance.

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