Sudan: protests against stalled deal

Submitted by AWL on 17 July, 2019 - 11:29 Author: Simon Nelson

Audio recording of a Workers' Liberty London meeting on Democracy and Revolution in Sudan (12 July) with Sudanese human rights activist Namaa al-Mahdi here

Further demonstrations have been held in Sudan’s capital Khartoum following the killing of a civilian in El-Souk by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia.

There had been demonstrations in El-Souk calling on the RSF to leave.

The demand for civilian rule and an end to the Transitional Military Council (TMC) regime that replaced that of Omar al-Bashir is increasing.

A rotten deal, not yet signed, would allow the military to govern for 21 months and then hand power to a civilian administration for a further 18 months. In face of that, the protests have continued.

The deal would form an 11 member council, five civilians, five military representatives, and an 11th person elected and agreed by both sides. The first person put forward was a retired military officer!

The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors (CCSD) has said on Twitter that six civilians have been killed in Sudan over the past three days. The CCSD said the Transitional Military
Council (TMC) must be held responsible for the deaths.

Negotiations between the Alliance for Freedom and Change (AFC/FFC), an umbrella group for the opposition dominated by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), and the

TMC have stalled but are due to start again as Solidarity goes to press on 16 July.

Following the initial agreement, protests have continued with another “million man march” on Saturday 13 July to mark 40 days since the violent break-up of the Khartoum sit in on 3

Details of the massacre and the atrocities committed by the TMC backed RSF and other militias are only now coming to light. Videos and pictures can be shared after the TMC
allowed internet usage to resume.

While negotiations may well stall again, the AFC appear to have been far too accepting of the proposed transitional arrangement. In a statement they said: “What we have realised
today is a gateway to the application and the realisation of the goals of the revolution. We will continue our road through a vast partnership with all the national forces that have not fallen in the mire of the oppression of the late regime of al-Bashir.”

A vast partnership with all national forces that were not a part of the oppression of the Bashir regime cannot by rights include the military.

With the prospect of the army having almost two years running the country, with the AFC’s consent at least for now, the danger of a military consolidation of power and the crushing of the burgeoning labour movement and civil society is very real.

To give an indication of the control the military still seeks to put forward, crowds celebrating the agreement were fired upon with live rounds by the RSF. Already longer standing
opposition movements have rejected the deal. Many of these are armed groups that have fought the government and the RSF in different formations in Darfur and elsewhere. They do not provide an alternative, but their distrust is not misplaced.

Worryingly, the deal has not raised the ire of Egypt, Saudi Arabia or the UAE. All of them are key players in the Arab League and want to see “stability” in Sudan.

And we should remember that Bashir provided that stability until recently.

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