Sudan Political Process enters a decisive phase requiring wide participation
Mohamed Belaiche, Ambassador for the African Union to Sudan
Volker Perthes, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sudan
Ismail Wais, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Special Envoy,
After the signing of the Framework Political Agreement between a considerable number of Sudanese stakeholders on 5 December 2022, the political process has entered a new and decisive stage. The first phase succeeded, with capable Sudanese efforts, in establishing the foundations for a peaceful dialogue process, in which the voice of logic rises, where violence is dimmed, in order to reach a Sudanese-owned political solution. A solution that effectively ends the coup of 25 October 2021 and ensures the restoration of the civilian-led transition towards peace and democracy in Sudan. This second stage is now focusing on important national issues related to the stability of the transition in Sudan. A credible civilian government will be formed once acceptable consensus around these key issues is attained to reach a final political agreement and new constitutional arrangements.
In this stage, the Trilateral Mechanism is playing a facilitation role by providing technical support and proposals to the different stakeholders and enabling discussions among them. This is not limited to the signatories of the framework agreement but involves the participation of the main revolutionary forces that have expressed reservations about the framework agreement. Their voices in these discussions are necessary and important, to ensure the implementation and sustainability of the resulting agreement. The sharp rejectionist position taken by some revolutionary forces in Sudan against this framework agreement should prompt pro-democracy forces to work harder to involve these skeptical voices and ensure their contribution in developing a consensual agreement to overcome these reservations. The common goal, after all, is to establish a civilian government and lay the foundations for democratic governance. The process of change and transition towards democracy in Sudan is a gradual one, and it will not achieve all of its goals overnight. The forces that want to democratize Sudan may differ about the best way to reach this goal. But unites them is much more than what divides them.
In this political process and at this stage, no one has the right to monopolize the pro-democracy and pro-change agenda. Everyone has the right to participate and contribute to shaping the democratic future of Sudan. Therefore, the efforts of the Trilateral Mechanism will continue to work towards involving all national forces interested in the democratic civil transformation of the country to participate in the workshops and conferences that are now taking place around five key issues: dismantling the former regime, security sector reform, justice and transitional justice, implementation of the Juba Agreement and the question of Eastern Sudan. The recommendations emanating from these workshops will provide rich substance for the next phase, which will include direct negotiations between the different stakeholders to produce a final agreement. Issues such as building of one professional Sudanese army, transitional justice, or planning for the practical implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement on the ground and others cannot be limited to the signatories of the framework agreement alone, but also require the broad participation of affected citizens, civil society, women, academics, and other national political actors. The Trilateral Mechanism will ensure maintaining the participation of the sixty percent of non-signatories from the revolutionary camp in all relevant activities as was illustrated in the first conference on the dismantling of 30 June regime.
The Trilateral mechanism will also continue to coordinate closely with the international community in supporting the Sudanese people to realize these objectives. A final agreement to return to civilian rule and forming a new civilian transitional government on this basis will also guarantee that Sudan can fully re-establish its relations with the international community with all the benefits which this entails for its citizens: foremost greater stability and security, international cooperation, and more economic opportunities.
We, in the Trilateral Mechanism, hope that all parties that share the goal of civilian-led democratic transformation will work to accelerate the completion of these stages and reach a Sudanese-Sudanese solution acceptable to and with the participation of the broadest possible majority, in order to form a transitional government to manage the rest of the transitional period. We will keep supporting this Sudanese identity of the political process We remain by their side to work hand-in-hand towards a final settlement that will bring this dark chapter to a close and a return to the path towards freedom, peace and justice for all.