Multiple initiatives to solve the crisis in Sudan: differences and chances of success

This paper attempts to analyze the initiatives that were presented to resolve the Sudanese crisis, in terms of their makers, the common denominators between them, the obstacles to integrating them into one initiative, the defect that contributed to the dwindling of their chances of success, and is there a way out to address the crisis and its burdensome repercussions for the Sudanese citizen.

After the decision of General Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan, on October 25, 2021, to terminate the transitional partnership agreement with the Forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change, and to unilaterally govern without the civilian component (freedom and change), many initiatives were put forward to address the crisis; But it was not accepted by the parties to the political process in Sudan, and the crisis remained in place for ten months. In this article, we try to analyze these main initiatives that were presented, in terms of their makers, the common denominators between them, and the obstacles to integrating them into one initiative, and where lies the defect that contributed to the dwindling of their chances of success, and is there a way out to address the crisis and its burdensome repercussions on the shoulders of the simple Sudanese citizen .

Description of initiatives

The number of major initiatives that have been put forward to address the October 25 crisis are more than eight, which can be classified into three groups. The first group of them adopted the principle of preliminary consultations between the military component and the civilian components; In search of the points on which the two parties can negotiate, and how to create the atmosphere for a direct dialogue between them to come up with proposals to solve the crisis. The second group suggested a number of issues in which the two parties could negotiate to reach a safe way out of the crisis. As for the third group, it raised the slogan (no negotiation… no partnership… no legitimacy) for the military component, which removed the civilian component on October 25, and preferred to search for a new path that serves the goals of the December 2018 revolution and brings about change. radically in the structure of the old regime, in order to achieve a sustainable democratic transition.

Within the framework of the consultations held by the head of the UN mission, IGAD (the Intergovernmental Authority on Development in East Africa) appeared on the line, to contribute to bridging the dialogue between the parties to the political process, and the representative of the African Union also appeared as the third facilitator for the dialogue between the parties. Finally, the three of them formed the “triple mechanism”, which declared the futility of its initiative after General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan announced the withdrawal of the military component from the dialogue, and called for the formation of a civilian government in which the army would be removed from the political equation.  

The second group includes the initiative of the National Umma Party, which was presented on December 29, 2021, as a road map, aimed at getting out of the political crisis surrounding the country, in light of the provisions aimed at amending the constitutional document for the year 2019 and developing it in terms of the powers of the two councils, the sovereign and the ministers. and their terms of reference, defining the tasks of the transitional period, completing the structures of its constitutional institutions (the Legislative Council), establishing commissions, reforming the justice agencies, and completing the peace process (3) .

Then came the initiative of the directors of some Sudanese universities, which was put forward on March 1, 2022, with the aim of collecting the existing initiatives in the arena and analyzing them according to a scientific approach. To determine points of agreement and disagreement, then conduct a direct dialogue with all the revolutionary, civil and political forces, and then hold a preparatory forum for the forces agreeing to sit for dialogue; For the purpose of preparing for the inclusive reflective forum, with the participation of all political forces, to agree on a charter and a road map that lays down appropriate solutions to get out of the crisis caused by what happened on October 25, 2021 (4) . 

In April 2022, Dr. Al-Hadi Idris, head of the Revolutionary Front, put forward an initiative based on two pillars, the first of which is to build confidence by releasing all political detainees from the revolutionary forces, stopping violence against peaceful demonstrators, lifting the state of emergency, and forming a neutral committee to conduct the necessary investigations about Kill the protesters. The second: the inauguration of dialogue between the parties to the constitutional document, freedom and change, the military component, the parties to peace, the resistance committees, and all the forces of the living revolution, with the exception of the National Congress; This is to form a civilian government, and to address the crisis that resulted from the decisions of October 25, 2021, and then return to the constitutional document and the democratic path (5) .

During the Eid al-Adha holiday (July 12, 2022), Mr. Malik Agar, head of the SPLM-North Sector, put forward an initiative that consists of three phases, the first of which is the issuance of a constitutional text, in which the competencies and powers of constitutional institutions and the tasks of the transitional period are defined. The second is the formation of a government of national competencies, the main tasks of which crystallize in addressing the economic crisis and minimizing its increasing impact on citizens, completing the peace process, addressing corruption, reforming the civil service, completing the formation of judicial authority structures and commissions, in addition to preparing the country for free and fair elections that guarantee fair and inclusive participation. For all, so that political parties focus on the task of preparing for elections in a healthy and normal political atmosphere. And third:(6) .

Finally, Sheikh Al-Tayyib, the grandfather and Dr. Badr, head of the Supreme Council of Sufism, launched the initiative “The People of Sudan’s Appeal for National Accord”. The initiative consists of eleven items, among which we mention the following items: 1. “Stopping hate speech, isolation and hostile ideas that threaten societal peace, besiege it, strip it, and renounce it.” 2. “Conducting an all-inclusive dialogue that establishes a national consensus for all the people of Sudan and does not exclude anyone. 3.” Emphasis on the establishment and conduct of elections within eighteen months. 4. “Establishing a national movement open to all the people of Sudan. 5.” Authorizing the Sovereign Council to form a government of independent competencies to run the remainder of the transitional period. 6. “Return to the 2005 7. “Preserving the Islamic identity and restoring the dignity of the virtuous Sudanese personality” (7). The Nidaa Ahl al-Sudan initiative, according to the assessment of some political forces, is a “counter-revolution initiative.” Because it has the planning and support of a large number of symbols of the old regime, and it finds support and support from the leader of what happened on October 25, 2021.

The third group includes declarations and covenants that adhered to the three no’s (no legitimacy), and gave priority to serious revolutionary work to overthrow the move that took place on October 25, 2021, and then the process of forming a civilian government from the revolutionary forces begins. live; To be able to bring about a radical change in line with the slogans of the December 2018 revolution, which are based on freedom, justice and equality. Among these declarations and charters, we mention the Declaration of the Sudanese Professionals Association (Wing for Radical Change) (8) , and the Revolutionary Charter for People’s Power (9) , which are adopted by most of the resistance committees’ coordination. In addition to its founders, the Three No’s initiatives are supported by the Sudanese Communist Party and some other relevant civil society organizations.

What do the initiatives have in common?

The common denominators between the above-mentioned initiatives, announcements and charters are embodied in the following points:

  1. That what happened on October 25, 2021 triggered a political and economic crisis in the country, and constituted a real obstacle to the democratic transition process; This made the country lose the regional and international support for the democratic transition process and the implementation of the outcomes of the Juba Agreement for Sudan’s peace on the ground.
  2. The constitutional document of 2019 is not valid as a reference for the transitional period, but the options varied between calling for reforms to some of its articles that are inconsistent with the spirit of the revolution and the needs of the transitional period, or producing a new constitutional document, or returning to Sudan’s transitional constitution of 2005.
  3. Reviewing the Juba Agreement for the Peace of Sudan and addressing the gaps contained therein.
  4. Reconsidering the duration of the transitional period, and extending it for a period ranging from one and a half to four new years.   
  5. The unification of the military forces (the People’s Armed Forces, the Rapid Support Forces, and the armies of revolutionary movements) into a single national and professional army, which is militarily qualified and capable of protecting the country’s political borders and national security.

What are the differences between the initiatives?

The differences are in the following points:

  1. Most initiatives, declarations, and charters refuse to involve the military in the transitional government, and demand a full-fledged civilian government (a Sovereignty Council, a Council of Ministers, and a Legislative Council). This proposal is supported by the Sudanese Communist Party, most of the resistance committees’ coordination, and the Sudanese Professionals Association (the Radical Change Wing).
  2. Some initiatives see the involvement of the military component in the transitional process (to have representation in the Sovereignty Council); But according to new terms of reference and tasks, determined by the document that is expected to be amended or created, and this proposal is supported by Dr. Al-Hadi Idris, Professor Malik Agar, the National Umma Party, and the original Democratic Unionist Party.

The speech of proof and the confusion of the political scene

The proof confused the civil political forces, whose interpretations of the message behind it varied, and put them in a position of reaction, which crystallized between the explicit rejection of the discourse, and dealing with it as a step towards the exit of the military component from the political equation; If the political forces agreed to form a civilian government. The rejectionists described the speech as ambiguity and political disinformation; Because the formation of a “military council higher than the armed forces and rapid support”, from their point of view, does not mean the exit of the military component from the political equation, but rather a return to the political scene in another guise. Al-Shafi` Khader attributes this broad and hasty rejection without studying the content of the speech to a case. Distrust towards the leadership of the military establishment, which surfaced on April 11, 2019, and then continued to increase and accumulate to double after the massacre of the sit-in in the General Command Square on June 3, 2019, and doubled further after what happened on October 25, 2021, It continued to escalate continuously due to the procedures and practices that took place after the removal of the civilian component from power, especially the crimes of raping and killing the youth of the revolution. All of this means that this state of distrust has objective and legitimate justifications.”

But to get out of the circle of reaction to the circle of positive action, which serves the demands of the revolution, requires that the forces of the revolution unite in one programme, even if their partisan thesis differs, and thus be able to besiege the revolutionaries and force them to return to the correct democratic transition path. This means laying down the constitutional foundations on which the transitional period is based, such as enacting laws (such as the electoral law), activating procedures (the census), and establishing commissions (such as the Electoral Commission) serving a healthy democratic transition.

Why are political initiatives rejected? Where is the defect?

Political initiatives are rejected; Because it is evaluated from two perspectives, the first of which is: the entity that originated the initiative: does it stand in the camp of the revolution (radical change), the camp of the revolution (soft landing), or the camp of the counter-revolution, without considering its content and implementation mechanisms on the ground. The second: the position of the military component in the initiative, which ranges from three options: (A) the total non-participation of the military component in power, and the formation of a civilian government with full legislative, executive and sovereign powers. (B) That the military component participate partially in the framework of defense and security tasks (such as the formation of a military council for defense and security). (C) That the military component remain in its sovereign position as defined by the 2019 Constitutional Document, after reviewing the tasks and responsibilities delegated to it. Therefore, the political forces have become dependent on the action of the military component to base a reaction on it that is consistent with the “three street no’s.” , without establishing an integrated strategic vision that can get the country out of the dark tunnel, in which it lives now. The integrated vision means opening a direct dialogue between the various forces of the revolution and the forces that believe in democratic change, to agree on a unified program to overcome the crisis and challenge the military component, whose exit from the political equation was conditional on the agreement of the civil forces to form a government of national competencies that represents the aspirations and youthful aspirations of the December revolution. But before that happens, the military component must be demanded to speed up the integration of the armies in the capital and the provinces into a single national and professional army; Because the democratic transition is difficult to take place in light of the military dispersal and security fluidity that is taking place now. The failure to integrate these military forces into a single national and professional army during the past three years indicates that the leaders of the military component are not serious about claims to depart from the political equation. Before they can talk about holding free and fair elections, they must take necessary practical steps; To unify the military forces into a single professional army, whose tasks are defined in protecting Sudan’s political borders, which have become subject to repeated violations by neighboring countries, and in safeguarding the country’s national security. 

About the author

Ahmed Ibrahim Abu Shouk

Professor of Modern and Contemporary History, Qatar University.REFERENCE

(1)Muhammad Amin Yassin, “The UN initiative in Sudan begins with individual consultations,” Al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper, issue 15750, January 11, 2022.

(2)The text of Hamdok’s resignation letter, the presidency of the Sudanese government, Vision, January 3, 2022, (date of entry: August 10, 2022), at:

(3)“The Umma Party presents an initiative that it described as a roadmap to solve the crisis,” Sudan News Agency (SUNA), December 29, 2021, (entry date: August 8, 2022), at:  ;

(4)Wejdan Talha, “University administrators.. an initiative to gather the class,” Al-Sudani newspaper, March 2, 2022, (access date: August 8, 2022), at:

(5)“The Revolutionary Front reveals the broad response to its initiative to resolve the political crisis,” Radio Dabanga, April 19, 2022, (accessed August 7, 2022), at: .

(6)“Malik Agar launches a three-stage political initiative to solve the crisis of the military seizure of power and complete the peace process,” Al-Sudani newspaper, July 13, 2022, (entry date: August 6, 2022), at: .

(7)“Sheikh Al-Tayyib, the grandfather and Dr. Badr, launches the National Appeal Initiative,” Ram News, July 2022, (entry date: August 7, 2022), at: .

(8)“The Alliance of Forces for Comprehensive Radical Change: A Foundational Statement,” Sudanese Communist Party Facebook website, July 24, 2022, (accessed August 9, 2022), at: .

(9)“The National Charter for People’s Power”, the Resistance Committees website, (accessed August 8, 2022), at: .

SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

I hold a bachelor's degree in political science and international relations as well as a Master's degree in international security studies, alongside a passion for web development. During my studies, I gained a strong understanding of key political concepts, theories in international relations, security and strategic studies, as well as the tools and research methods used in these fields.

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