The Sudanese people, in the process of preparing for the protest march scheduled for Thursday 21st of October to resist the military’s encroachment on democracy and to preserve December’s glorious revolution, are currently living through a dangerous and complicated moment in history; a moment that forces all those who believe in the democratic transition to reconcile themselves with the following:
The main strategic conflict in the currently heated Sudanese political arena is between the military coup proponents, led by the head of the Transitional Sovereignty Council, Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy, Muhammad Hamdan Dagalo (Hemedti), along with the support of the remnants of the former regime, civilian politicians, and leaders of armed movements partnered with the transitional authority.
The diametrically opposed civilian-democratic transition camp, the other side in this conflict, is represented by forces birthed out of the revolution and political parties opposed to the coup.
In a conflict like this, neutrality is a moral, political, and national crime.
The most important national duties now for the civilian-democratic transition camp will be to unite and come out on the October 21st march to defeat the coup using the revolution’s weapons: peace, unity, belief in freedom, and betting on the people.
The October 21st march is not an endorsement of a political party or a mandate for an alliance or an acknowledgment of the correctness of the way in which the transitional period was managed in the past two years.
Rather, it is a battle in which the Sudanese people will have to defend themselves against putschists, as a military coup in Sudan threatens to throw the country into a comprehensive civil war chaos that will destroy the unity and stability of the homeland in the presence of multiple armies and competing coup projects. Therefore, defeating the coup with the power of the crowds is grounds for securing the country from slipping into chaotic bloodshed.
The misleading coup propaganda depicts the deposed regime’s remnants’ demonstrations and their sit-in – supported by the military – as protests against the economic failure, lawlessness, and the hijacking of the revolution!
This is despite the fact that the military leaders of the coup are the worst offenders in terms of exacerbating the economic crisis due to their control of over 80% of the proceeds of economic activity in the country, and their opposition to the reforms which would mandate these resources’ return to the hands of the Ministry of Finance!
The economic crisis has also worsened due to their iron clad grip over the most important source of hard currency in the country, gold; which is being smuggled by the tons outside of the country and its proceeds are used in political bribery and empowering the putschists.
Paradoxically, the Minister of Finance, the head of the armed Justice and Equality Movement, and the Islamist leader, Jibreel Ibrahim, is a proponent of the military coup, attributing his support to the state’s economic failure while disregarding his failure to adhere to his duties as the finance minister to question the military regarding smuggled gold, its companies’ taxes, their currency speculation, the country’s main port, and the national route for transporting exports and imports, which has been closed for over a month under their supervision and with the complicity of their security committee in the Red Sea State
Ibrahim, aligned with the putschists in implementation of the Islamists’ agenda to destroy the glorious December revolution, did not object to the huge sums that were spent on the inauguration ceremony of the governor of Darfur, Minni Arko Minawi, who has also aligned with the putschists under the allegations of the government’s economic failure.
As for the security failure and the lawlessness and rise in crime witnessed all over the country, then it is those who manipulate the tribal strife in Darfur and eastern Sudan for political gains and use the security and military apparatuses to do so who should be questioned. Both apparatus are currently outside the control of civilian government.
Both the Ministers of Interior and Defense were appointed by the military component, which strongly opposes the police and security apparatus being under the management of the civilian government, and obstructs all reforms that would achieve security and justice for citizens, such as the security and military reform and the justice agencies reform, especially for the judiciary and the public prosecution.
The great irony in the putschists’ propaganda is that the movements of the remnants of the former regime, and the fringe group that had split from the Freedom and Change coalition under the auspices of al-Burhan and Hemedti, are out to “recover the hijacked revolution.”
The most dangerous attempt to hijack the revolution is the current creeping coup that aims send back the country to where it was before the December revolution.
The slogan of expanding representation within the transitional bloc, which is one of the cherished slogans of the democratic movement, was hijacked by the putschists who desire to expand the coup’s base with the remnants of al-Bashir’s regime, corrupt and conspiring against the democratic transition to put the country’s political destiny under the control of the military.
The October 21st march must mark a historic milestone in the history of the transitional period.
After defeating the coup through the unity and peacefulness of the people and their massive turnouts, peaceful mobilization, and revolutionary dignity and loyalty to the blood of the martyrs of freedom, a serious return must be made to assess and evaluate the transitional experience of the past two years.
Intensifying the political will to expand the mass of the civil democratic transition, the formation of the Legislative Council, and holding deep intellectual dialogues to crystallize detailed visions of a practical way to remove obstacles from the path of the democratic transformation and achieving comprehensive peace, and how to accomplish a package of structural reforms in the state apparatus and in laws and legislation, in the direction of achieving the golden goal of the transitional period; free and fair elections that enable the Sudanese people to choose their own government, under a democratic constitution that protects basic rights and freedoms.
The elections must be at the heart of intellectual dialogue, organizational political action, and legal reform for the forces of civil democratic transition.
Thus, an end is put to any attempts at hijacking the elections, thereby protecting it from the vulgarity and flatness that it is now subjected to from the putschists trying to block the democratic process and seize power by force.
At the same time, the pro-coup camp misleads the public opinion by stating that it wants will hand over power to those elected by the people, when in fact, they want to take power and monopolize it by force, under the shadow of weapons, corrupt money, and the absence of freedoms and an independent judiciary.
They falsify electoral processes with predetermined results that are almost always in their favor.
The military coups that have decided the fate of the Republic of Sudan for 52 years of its 65 years in existence have proved their political and economic failure, as evidenced by the reality of the underdeveloped state the country is in now. Therefore, a coup government is against the interest of the country’s development, and in this context it is necessary to draw a distinction between the putschists and their self-interests, and the army, which consists of Sudanese citizens who reject coups and see the interest of the army in the context of the general national interest.
The civil democratic transition project is not hostile to the army and the police.
Rather, one of its main goals is to develop the military institution professionally and to give fairness to the honorable among its employees who are crushed by poverty and affected by corruption and nepotism. Military honor obliges all these forces not to aim their fire at defenseless civilians during their peaceful demonstrations.
To conclude, the October 21st march is the Sudanese people’s way to maintain the bridge that will lead them to freedom. The pro-coup camp wants to burn this bridge down and lock the Sudanese public between two bitter options: a regionally supported military tyranny, or civil war.
We, the Sudanese people, have no choice but to make October 21st our day of victory, through awareness, peace, and unity.