By Hussien Arko Menawi
Tuesday 28 May 2019
For decades there has been a massive resistance in different contexts against tyranny in Sudan, and every concerned group has contributed as much as it can for achieving freedom, but it is unfortunate that the freedom fighters themselves deny each other’s contribution against tyranny, so, how do they come together for building a democratic rule in Sudan when a final victory is achieved?
The dispute over the issues of struggle among Sudanese, suggests many things. It suggests uncertainty over the multiple contexts in which the Sudanese people have managed their battle against dictatorship.
It also suggests that there are more than a reason might pose a threat to any future effort for building a unified country. It certainly suggests that we Sudanese are still far behind any recognition of our diversity.
The recent events were a simplified model justifying the degree of conflict of opinions over the Sudanese revolution. It is obvious that people in Sudan are still in disagreement over the denouement of a narrative that can shed light on the truth of their revolution.
Some of them call it the Dec 19 revolution and others call it the Dec 13 revolution, while a large sector of the Sudanese people insists on cumulative historical factors that date back to the insurgency of Torit 1955, followed by successive rebellions and uprisings throughout several decades.
The period between the events of Torit 1955 to 13 or 19 December 2019, Sudan suffered bitter experiences, some of which were extraordinarily horrible and apocalyptic,resulted in disintegration of the country and creating,a new state with full sovereignty, while some parts of Sudan, still under the yoke of wars to the extent of genocide, yet, people in Sudan are not able to agree on a unified ground and a common loyalty or to recognise the priceless sacrifices paid by almost the majority of the population of the margin for freedom, dignity and the state of equal citizenship.
Since independence from the condominium rule in January 1956, the governance system in Sudan has consistently been pendulous between military and civilian rule up to the current situation of the Military Council. During this period, Sudan has experienced some five civil regimes that have not lasted more than 14 years and four sporadic military regimes, ruled Sudan over 50 years. The longest of which was the 30-year dictator regime of NCP and the shortest is the current Military Council led by Burhan who overthrew Al-Basheer a month ago or so. Between the rising and falling of resistance against tyranny, Sudan has passed through dark periods marked by the wars of the margin that broke out due to historical injustice and resulted in the dismantling of the country and committing crimes against humanity widely believed to be the crimes of the 21st century.
An insightful perception is that the resistance against tyranny in Sudan seems far behind the culmination and still a long and tough journey ahead for another foreseeable or unforeseeable destination. The key factors that have led the country to the current conclusion, are the precise story of multiple contexts struggle in Sudan.
It is very difficult to understand the dilemma of highly complicated contextual reality of our resistance if some of us consider Sudan’s socio-political conflict from where they stand as if they were viewing a scene from a bottom of a mountain to see everything on the peak and surely, the minute details cannot be seen but some projections, unless we look it from the bird’s-eye view.
In fact, the major events and their course in Sudan have taken place in many different contexts, each of which played its role in the direction of overthrowing the regime. Some of these contexts were genuine while others came under compelling circumstances and they were not necessarily part of the nationwide resistance against tyranny, for instance; the recent step from the current Military Council? in any case, it was neither a part of resistance against tyranny nor the junta involved have the slightest interest in the democratization of the Sudan and it was totally surprising for some people.
This unexpected intervention came under extraordinary pressure and the measures taken were not related to the goals of the revolution of the mass but they were consequences of a conflict within the organization of the military establishment, overlapped with another deeper conflict within the organization of the National Congress Party. Both positions, the military disobedience and the internal fighting of the NCP party emerged vividly to the surface because the president has become a liability to their future. This context was merely an auxiliary factor created by exceptional circumstances.
The context of the internal war and its impact on the cohesion of the NCP party or the military establishment is an indisputable reality. The NCP regime in Khartoum signed CPA in Naivasha in 2005 under immense pressure from the international community. In this agreement, practically? Khartoum has conceded more than one-third of its revenue by which the regime used to fund the state organ and wars, while the power-sharing agreement with the SPLM, made a dramatic downsizing of Khartoum’s ability to make crucial decisions both at the level of the centre and the level of the southern region and under the agreement a new reality has emerged whereby the level of governance in Southern Sudan is closer to the confederation. Regarding the war in Darfur, Khartoum has undergone for the first time in the history of its wars against the margin an unprecedented experience that made Sudan accepts the international forces on its soil, in addition to dozens of international resolutions issued against the head of state on crimes against humanity and thus the regime became politically, diplomatically and economically crippled by the conflict of the Western region of Darfur.
Yes, no one denies that the recent action of the military Council was an important tool to put an end the dictatorship that lasted for dozens of years. Had it not taken such a step, the nearest possibility would have been the spilling of blood in the streets of Khartoum and other cities. This possibility was highly expected especially if it was linked to what the former president was intending to do according to the statements disclosed by some members of the Military Council. What should be distinguished by Sudanese is that this step, despite its effectiveness, has taken place in a completely different context, that has no similarity to other courses of the conflict in Sudan. It was neither similar to October 1964, nor April 1985, nor the massive struggle led by the Sudanese margin.
Precisely the context that has made the revolution continue and fuelled with feelings of freedom and injustice resistance is the struggle of the margin which began early in conjunction with the independence. This context usually addresses the deep, and root cause issues related to the structural change of the state according to the diversity of Sudan, which was expressed by the late Dr John Garang in his vision of new Sudan. From the course of events in Sudan, wars on the margins of Sudan were the main reasons for uprisings in Khartoum. The fall of the regimes in Khartoum has always been linked to the war in the margin as it has played a vital role in weakening dictatorship in Khartoum from all aspects, whether economically,or militarily or diplomatic ties, and eventually the efforts of the margin have paved the way for segments from so-called enlightened society to move and join their effort together with the margin for toppling the regime of tyranny.
In October 1964, the war in the south was the main engine for moving the street as well as in April 1985. The context in which some uprising took place, particularly those of Oct 1964, April 1985 and the recent one, they all fall into the category of regime change rather than structural change. During the period of the NCP regime, the conflict of margin turned into a new and different phase of a resistance led to the criminalization of the entire regime of NCP as well as severe economic attrition, as some international reports indicated that Khartoum government spent in Darfur front between 2003 to 2009 alone more than 30 billion dollars, which are huge figures to a country like Sudan with very limited resources and this factor has exactly led the Sudanese street to move violently against Bashir regime in the recent period. However, there are still wide differences between the concepts of the revolution, whether it is about regime change or structural change.
In light of the multiple contexts of our resistance, it’s futile to talk about the rosy image of the unity of Sudan, while some of us do not value the bloodshed for freedom and dignity over the time in the hope of creating a unified country where every individual can enjoy full citizenship regardless his/her ethnicity, colour, language and religion.