9) "THE CURRENT POLITICAL DEADLOCK IN SUDAN. HOW DID WE END UP HERE?"
Just before the June 3 attacks against protesters in Khartoum, the leadership of the Sudanese Communist Party published their view of the complicated political situation in Sudan since the takeover of power by the transitional military council (TMC), and the challenges facing the "Forces for the declaration of Freedom and Change" coalition, FDFC. This is a slightly abridged version of the SCP statement.
"When the TMC took over power we immediately recognised the council as the security committee of the previously ousted dictator Omar Al Bashir," said the SCP. "As such, we refused to sit down with the council to negotiate anything but the immediate handover of all powers to the FDFC, the legitimate leaders and representatives of the millions of Sudanese who led them through five months of non-violent protests to the triumph of defeating one of the world's most notorious dictators with a horrid record of human rights violations.
"However, shortly afterwards, the party had to submit to the wishes of a majority of its partners at the FDFC and accepted to sit down with the TMC to negotiate a handover of power based on terms of power sharing with the TMC. On our part we saw such a drastic change of position as costly in terms of meeting the aspirations of the millions of our people for a genuine change. Not least we had to endure the apparent and loud discontent of some of our loyal members, friends and sympathisers. However, as we were governed by the terms and rules of FDFC, we chose to move pragmatically and to take the position that ensures the unity of the opposition under the leadership of FDFC.
"Through a lengthy and strenuous process, the FDFC managed to reach a deal with the TMC regarding the duration of the interim government; the composition and terms of reference of both the ministerial and the legislative councils. However, the negotiations collapsed over the composition of the supreme council and who will be the president of the supreme council. Currently, at least officially, the negotiations have not been resumed. In the meantime, we have increasing concerns about the intentions, nature and impartiality of the TMC.
"In the short period of the TMC rule we have witnessed repeated, grave violations of human rights. And while we do not accuse the TMC of directly causing these violations, we certainly hold it responsible for failing to protect the safety and security of the people of Sudan. We also accuse the TMC of deliberately concealing the divide between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), the National Armed Forces and the Security Forces of the previous regime, which is still active and operating with apparent impunity. The outcome of this unclear situation of these different armed groups is the creation of a security vacuum whereby crimes and violations against human rights can go by un-accounted for and no one is held responsible...
The TMC has failed in exercising transparency, swiftness and effectiveness in closing the circle around remnants of the previous regime. Security forces loyal to the previous regime are operating freely and terrorising peaceful demonstrators. There has not been any serious clamping down on the financial, or political institutions, or individuals loyal to the previous dictator. In fact, most of Sudan's embassies and diplomatic personal loyal to the previous regime are operating freely around the globe seeking support and unlawful legitimacy for the TMC from the international community.
"The TMC has single-handedly and through several decrees issued by General Abdul Fatah Burhan, given itself powers including representing the nation internationally. As such, members of the TMC have been travelling in the region, visiting several countries, speaking in the name of our people and entering into shady deals and promises on behalf of the people of Sudan in addition to receiving financial and logistical support from some of these said countries, unlawfully. The TMC has virtually declared itself the legitimate government of Sudan and is acting as one.
"The TMC is actively attempting to break the unity and patience of the people of Sudan and their voluntary leadership, the FDFC, by using several dubious methods including procrastinating the handover process; engaging all parties into lengthy, tedious and tiresome talks; taking shifty and inconsistent negotiations positions, etc.
"The TMC has been threatening the peaceful protesters from practicing their legal rights of going on strike and using civil disobedience to install civilian authority which is their aim.
"The Sudanese Communist Party is also aware of the gross interference of some foreign governments and companies in the internal affairs of Sudan, driven by their own interests that are in direct conflict with those of the people, who dream of a free, civilian, just and democratic Sudan, which respects all its neighbouring countries and the international community based on mutual respect for sovereignty, and for nurturing mutual interests that are in line with peace and justice for our people and for other nations too.
"The Sudanese Communist Party has been receiving confirmed reports about the activities by the RSF and its leader Mohmed Hamdan Dagolo, both inside and outside Sudan. Our reports confirm that RSF have been receiving financial, logistical and perhaps even military support from some foreign governments. Simultaneously, we have witnessed the systematic disarmament and marginalisation of the National Sudanese Armed Forces. We view any plans to reinforce RSF especially at the expense of the National Armed Forces, as a direct threat to our peaceful revolution and as a means of aborting the dream millions of Sudanese young people have of a civilian authority in our country. It is a dangerous and irresponsible move that puts not just the Sudan, but the region as a whole on the verge of total chaos and civil war.
"The RSF are nothing more than militia thugs who have terrorised and murdered thousands of innocent civilians in Darfur and we consider their leader as a war-lord as well as a war criminal.
"Where do we stand now? After repeatedly failing to get the TMC to hand over power to FDFC through direct talks, the SCP called for and supported the general strike on May 28 and 29. We also fully support future strikes, demonstration, civil disobedience and all other forms of non-violent protests to achieve the goals of our people. We call on all our members, friends and sympathisers in Sudan to participate in future strikes, demonstrations, etc. to force the military junta to listen to the wishes of the people. We also call on our friends and the international community abroad to show solidarity and support for our cause and to highlight and showcase our aspirations for Freedom, Peace and Justice.
"We urge the international community to act swiftly to exert maximum diplomatic pressure to try and stop the armament of the militias of the RSF and to push for supporting and recognising the National Armed Forces with its honourable junior rank officers and soldiers who aspire together with the rest of the people of Sudan for freedom, justice and peace under a new civilian and democratic era..."
Political Bureau of the Sudanese Communist Party–Khartoum
(The above article is from the June 16-30, 2019, issue of People's Voice, Canada's leading socialist newspaper. Articles can be reprinted free if the source is credited. Subscription rates in Canada: $30/year, or $15 low income rate; for U.S. readers - $45 US per year; other overseas readers - $45 US or $50 CDN per year. Send to People's Voice, c/o PV Business Manager, 706 Clark Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5L 3J1.)