People of Sudan call to grant supreme authority to the army
August 14, 2022 (KHARTOUM) – The round table conference of the ”People of Sudan” initiated by the religious figure al-Tayeb Aljid, recommended that the would-be-established Supreme Council of the Armed Forces be given broad authority, including sovereign powers, to be the supreme authority in the country.
The conference ended its sessions on Sunday, after two days of discussions on many issues amid a broad boycott by the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) National Consensus coalition, Sudanese Communist Party and Resistance Committees, the spearhead of the anti-coup protests.
The military-backed initiative mainly involved the dignitaries of the former regime from the banned National Congress Party (NCP) and their allied groups. All of them hailed the coup and expressed their political support for the military leaders who are perceived as their saviours.
“The conference defined the structures of the transitional period so that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is the supreme authority entrusted with defending Sudan and its people, protecting national security and constitutional order, as well as assuming sovereignty duties,” provides the final communiqué read at the closing session.
While a cabinet of technocrats will assume executive duties, adds the statement. Also, the conference refused the appointment of Sudanese holding a foreign nationality as prime minister.
The legislative council and state councils are formed on the basis of consensus between the political forces, according to the recommendations of the conference.
The participants underscored the need for national reconciliation, strengthening partnership, avoiding exclusion, and combating hate speech.
Asked about the inclusion of the dissolved NCP in the initiative, the Aljid said he did that in the name of national reconciliation and the need to bring all the Sudanese together, disregarding the principle of accountability for war crimes and corruption.
The conference further recommended the termination of the mandate of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS).
Ignoring the political and legal reforms, the conference encouraged speeding up the electoral process to elect a legitimate government.
However, the participant proposed to implement the recommendations of the initiative through three phases: national reconciliation, formation of the transitional government and elections.
They also proposed an 18-month period to achieve the outcome of the conference.
The meeting recommended restoring the constitution of 2005 after amending it to take into account the Juba Peace Agreement and other peace agreements, in addition, to adopting a decentralised federal system of government.
In addition, the participants called to suspend the Eastern Sudan Agreement until a consensus is reached by the local stakeholders.
Rapprochement with armed groups
The adoption of the political platform of the pro-military camp was announced as the FFC and the National Consensus coalitions are drafting their programme for the transitional government and the elections.
However, the groups of the People of Sudan Initiative seek to operate a rapprochement with the armed groups of the National Consensus coalition that supported the coup of October 25, 2021.
Mohamed Zakaria, National Consensus Spokesman told Sudan Tribune on Sunday that a meeting took place between them and the People of Sudan groups upon the request of the latter on Friday night, hours before the launch of their conference
“We received an invitation to attend the round table conference, but we declined it,” he said.
“The People of Sudan Initiative are still drafting their plans and so do we. That is why we agreed that each party would work individually to complete its vision and then consider forming a joint committee in the future,” he added.
Mubarak Ardol Secretary-General of the National Consensus said that their drafting committee for the constitutional declaration and mechanism for the formation of transitional government includes representatives of their coalition, the Democratic Unionist Party of Mohamed Osman al-Mirgani, a faction of the Beja Congress, the Council of Churches and Sufi orders and the Native Administration.
Ardol claimed the Resistance Committees are part of this panel but he was referring to former members of Omdurman neighbourhoods committees.
In his speech at the closing session on Sunday, Aljid said they would reach out to all those who were not able to participate in the two-day meeting to brief them about the outcomes of their conference.
The FFC said they had not been invited to take part in the conference.