A visitor to Sudanese Capital Khartoum notices that it witnesses a state of waiting and expectation. Opposition political powers are waiting for Arabic Spring to Sudan perhaps to rescue it from the current status it faces. At the same time, the Sudanese Islamic Movement that supports the President Basher witnesses a state of hidden anger which sometimes expresses itself in demanding a clear road map for rescuing the Sudanese State.
Perhaps Dr. Hassan Al-Turabi- Leader of opposing People's Congress Party- the most expressive person about the state of political movement that Sudan has been witnessing for a year. The man who does not weary is waiting for the return to rule, hoping the occurrence of peaceful public revolution as the same as the ones of the Arabic Spring Revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia and other Arabic Countries in order to put an end to the deterioration of the political and economic situations in Sudan.
During my last visit to Sudan and my interviews with a number of educated persons and writers I noticed that there was a state of worry about the future of the Sudanese nation after the separation of the South. The prominent presented questions may be exemplified in the range of possibilities of collapse and tottering of edges of state in the west, east and bordering areas. What is the process that should be taken by the ruling political class in order to find a safe solution for the state in order to protect its national unity? This what will be presented by us and to answer thereto at the same time.
A year of distinctive changes
Sudan has witnessed since 2011 five distinctive changes of dangerous tottering that can't be ignored in the procession of political and social development to the Sudanese people. The first of these events is the voting of southern citizens in the referendum for the right of self-determination in favor of separation the matter that resulted in declaration of their independent state through subordination on July 9, 2011.
The second event is connected with the situations in Southern Kordofan State. After his losing the election of the State Governor that was made in April 2011, Abdulaziz Al-Hilo declared his mutiny against the government, resorting to the bordering areas with the Southern Sudan State. The significance of such mutiny reproduces the state of armed mutiny once more in Sudan after the separation of the South.
It appears that the third has mercy in its inside and torture in its outside. On July 20, the Sudanese Government signed two agreements with Sudanese People Liberation Movement (SPLM) the first of which concerned with Abyai Region. The second one concerned with Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile Issues and the status of People's Movement in Northern Sudan. In spite of the intermediary of the former President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki and the support of African Union and United Nation to both agreements, they did not prevent the detonation of security and military situations in the bordering areas.
Milk Agar, who escaped to Southern Sudan is still leading armed mutinied campaigns against the Sudanese army up to date.
The fourth of these events is represented in the delivery of broad Sudanese government which resulted from negotiation for several months with the opposition parties. However, the governmental formation was disappointed to the Sudanese hopes in general. It did not include the major political powers except the Democratic Unionist Party.
Therefore, the Sudanese political states was marking time and the Salvation Government was in need for rescue. The fifth important event was not expected at the end of the last year whereas the assassination of the leader of Justice and Equality Movement, Khalil Ibrahim was declared, the matter that will result in clear effects in the future of conflicts in Darfur.
Preludes of Sudanese Spring
Many observers consider that Sudan with its revolutionary and struggling history varies in experience since independence that the experiences of other Arabic countries such as Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Sudanese people suffered from changes and substitutions of ruling regimes and domination of soldiers, from conflicts of visions and whims in the world of politics.
Those who go far saying that the entry of Sudan into the wave of Arab Spring in the present time appears to be as a difficult matter to be obtained. There are several reasons behind such interpretation the most prominent of which is the political careless state among many citizens, the power of strong arm of security apparatuses and intelligences, the lack of liaison of social webs in the Internet, which means the lack of big and organized category of youths that deal diligently with the Internet, endeavoring to lead the peaceful change process in Sudan.
Nevertheless, there are groups of dangerous challenges that impose the necessity of change and creating an actual penetration in current Sudanese political prospect. I consider that the totality of such challenges represent preludes to a revolutionary change process may occur suddenly and with no arrangement or control to its movements and may be led by the ruling political class in order to maintain the unity of the nation and to avoid the danger of division and collapse. Perhaps the most prominent challenges are as follows:
The economic challenge: Sudan lost most of oil resources after the separation of the South the matter that resulted in increasing the inflation rate and the increase of deficit rate in the balance sheet of the country. Because of the unjust American and Western blockade to Sudan , the burdens of means of living were unbearable by normal Sudanese citizens whereas the prices of commodities, fuels and foodstuff appreciated. Further, corruption spread specially among party and administrative cadres.
The Security challenge: It is represented in danger of chaos that will come from the edges. Darfur peace process that guarded by Doha is still fragile and of many hindrances as the effective powers, on top of them is Justice and Equality Movement are still carrying arms, insisting on overthrowing the rule in Khartoum.
In southern bordering areas, specially Southern Kordofan, Nubba Mountains and Blue Nile, reproduction of mutiny armed movements has been performed once more. If we consider that Bijah tribes and eastern Sudan areas are witnessing a state of hidden conflicts, it will appear to us that the revolution of Nubba natives in northern Sudan, which adopts in its revelations a historical dimension as rising the flag of "Kush Liberation Front" is pushing onward the tottering of collapse of borders of Sudanese State.
The political challenge: The political elite is still divided and lacks the unified vision that defines the future of the Sudanese State after the end of the current transitional period. There is general understanding that the Government of President Basher tries to appropriate the rule on the account of public national interest . The major political power such as Umma Party under leadership of Sadiq Al-Mahdi and so People's Congress Party under the leadership of Hassan Al-Turabi, notably the powers of old and new mutiny in Darfur and bordering areas are still outside the equation of power which means enacting of a new harmonious constitution for Sudan is a dangerous process.
Regional and International challenge: There is a new geostrategic formation for geographic neighboring areas adjacent to Sudan in north and east Africa. These changes are largely representing a strategic reduction from standing of Sudan. Sometimes they represent a threat to its national security directly. In addition, the western countries, on top of them is USA are still afraid of intellectual satisfactions and Islamic attitudes of Basher's regime. So they exercise the worst kinds of pressure on it, the least of which is not the sword of the International Criminal Court that is always directed towards the neck of President Basher.
Basher and safe exit from Sudan
Maybe what is unrevealed in Sudan, which is sometimes declared by political opposition powers, is that President Basher is a part of complicating the Sudanese problems.
Some people consider that he (Basher) clings to power in order to be protected against ICC. This matter in its essence presents a sacrifice with the interests of the nation, exposing it to danger of collapse and separations. Sudan is in need of a kind of a new thinking outside the conflicts of the traditional elites who impatiently wait to return to warmth of power and its glittering.
No doubt that the substitute of chaos coming from the borders of Sudanese State is to adopt one of the revolutionary solutions that presents a safe exit of President Basher and a safe move of Sudanese States towards a safe place.
It is possible for President Basher to be a part of the solution instead of being a part of the problem. In this case, it is possible for President basher, apart from the eagles wing in the ruling National Congress Party, to lead himself a reconciliation process for building an actual democratic regime in Sudan based of multiplicity, equal citizenship and justice of distribution.
I consider that this negotiating process is not less in its importance than the Comprehensive Peace Agreement implemented by President Basher with the South under the leadership of the late John Gerang. This requires assimilation of all active political powers in Sudan including that armed ones in confronting Khartoum Government.
In this case, an agreement will be performed for actual national salvation government represents all major powers in Sudan and the traditionally marginalized areas in Sudan, provided, this government should govern a social dialogue about a road map of transitional stage and to set a new constitution for Sudan.
It is true that there are very complicated issues should be negotiated in the new constitution such as identity, religion and citizenship, the voting, the form of rule, election of the president of the republic and the nature of federal regime issues and etc. These are issue worth negotiating and dialogue and not talking about the future of the President Basher and who will lead Sudan in the coming stage.
It is possible for President Basher to lead another negotiating process with USA and the western countries through assistance of Arab League and African Union for freezing the decision of remitting him to ICC and to remove sanctions imposed on Sudan. In this case, it is possible to connect the safe exit of President Basher out of power, ensuring forgiving him judiciary inside or outside Sudan- in a state similar to GCC Initiative for solving Yemeni crisis- with implementation of tangible advance in the matter of transferring power to a civil elected government in Sudan.
The restoration process from the inside- which will be led by President Basher himself- makes Sudan as a different model of Arab Spring. However; this needs a foreign support and consolidation in order to reach a peaceful settlement for all armed conflicts in Sudan. This is a necessary condition for implementing reformation and democratic conversion depending on changes and factors come out from inside Sudan itself.