Fetsum: The Cultured Sudanese Transition to Scientific Democracy (part I)
Fetsum: The Cultured Sudanese Transition to Scientific Democracy (part I) Dedication: This is dedicated to YiAKL Movement worldwide. Appeal: I am approaching the last chapter of my thesis with this and the following article. I beg
Fetsum: The Cultured Sudanese Transition to Scientific Democracy (part I)
Dedication: This is dedicated to YiAKL Movement worldwide.
Appeal: I am approaching the last chapter of my thesis with this and the following article. I beg my readers to completely read them even a paragraph at a time because they are very important to our immediate problem and its solution. Thank you!
Condolence: The human race shall see no freedom and peace until ethnic and religious politics disappear from the face of the earth! I forward my condolence to the families of the victims of Religious Politics in Somalia. The good democracy in the country has been in constant threat from Al-Shabaab, a fundamentalist Islamic group suspected of managing the senseless attack that killed 79 people in Mogadishu last December.
Mystery: You give everything for the cause and finish the responsibility with excellence and disappear without a trace like a dust in a wind! Where are Wedi Efrem and his wife, are they still alive?
Reality: The struggle for freedom made a quantum leap in 2019 in the areas of awareness. Isaias and his mission were totally exposed in light of his intentional failure and futile engagement with Abiy. Reality finally brought him to the surface for everyone to see that he was a unique traitor of his type, the only dictator in history without nationalism, a masked servant of the diehard Ethiopians that hate us with passion and that he was a common enemy of the region at large. His self-perception and hidden agenda in view of the Eritrean people faced a serious paradigm shift and his confidence of getting away with anything shuttered by the people’s response (YiAKL, ASSENNA TV, etc.). We now have the potential to close the chapter by 2021 depending on how efficiently we use 2020 with rigorous work, creativity, focus, wisdom and intellectual honesty.
Justice: The situation will grow more miserable for Isaias. He will be more confused, desperate, terrified and out of control. He may even sign something extraordinary with Abiy and start war with the Tigreans in this absolutely one man show that would mean nothing for our people and the world after his departure except problems with the Ethiopians. Despite the negative environment in the region, justice will eventually be served one way or another but it would be brutal to force him sitting on the hot chair with that thick mustache interfering with his breathing because he cannot sneeze and defend himself at the same time. Somebody will have to shave it off without scratching his face for the sake of justice.
Quote of the moment: “We need to have one big organization under one political leadership based on some common grounds that can represent all Eritreans in Diasporas. It must be our New Year’s resolution for all Eritrean political opposition groups, Eritrean civic organizations, Eritrean professional associations, Eritrean communities and religious institutions, and especially our Eritrean scholars and professionals, to collectively join the Yiakel movement in support of our Eritrean youth who are leading the way to remove the reign of oppression, deprivation and subjugation in Eritrea and to give or transfer the political leadership to the Eritrean people.” Dr. Tesfa G. Gebremedhin
Folks, we have tasted the curse of colonialism for centuries and domestic dictatorship in its absolute form for almost three decades for the next generations to deserve nothing less than genuine democracy through the current political experience. But human life is impossible without mistakes and those on political and social matters take decades at minimum to correct. We made a mistake during the struggle by allowing one person or political group to absolutely dictate power and have been living with the bitter consequence as of the moment. We cannot afford it anymore and we don’t need guns for that; only confidence, determination, unity with scientific awareness about the situation and probably a bullet to rest the contradiction on the ground. The people must shape their destiny through solid unity directed towards preliminary knowledge of the society’s immediate challenge (transition) to control the political drama in post Isaias Eritrea irrespective of whatever takes place then. This should be the common ground for unity brother Dr. Tesfa is looking for in my opinion.
Please welcome the sophisticated Sudanese journey to scientific democracy, which I consider the best prototype and circumstantial (proximity, similarity, diplomatic, regional, tactical and strategical, etc.) opportunity for us to change the situation through, despite the condition of our refugees in the country.
Introduction: “The December revolution which led to the eventual downfall of the Bashir regime on the 11th of April 2019 was achieved through a concerted effort of national unity with limited international and political support at its onset.”
The movement started in Aldamazin city against the government’s new economic policies and demonstrations and rioting followed. The unrest then intensified into other towns like Atbara and Algdarif, despite the army’s attempt to diffuse it with deadly force.
“In the wake of this, a loose organization, which became known as the Sudanese Professional Association (SPA), decided to coordinate with protestors in support of their calls for ‘regime change’. The SPA which at first consisted of doctors, journalist, and lawyers, rapidly expanded to include members of other professional committees. It started calling for systematic general strikes to force the collapse of the regime” and “a number of large-scale demonstrations followed.”
Comment: The SPA expanded its scope into different sects of the society serving as the uprising’s conceptual manager and the people obeyed the directions, putting them to reality in the streets of the country. We were not lucky like the Sudanese people with tens of universities, many educated and settled citizens to do what they did from within the country. Our people may be in a weak position to carry out mass uprising on their own but the Diaspora has the capacity to fill the void in this regard as Dr. Tesfa taught in his Latest article. We can do what the Sudanese people did from within the country with maximum freedom and safety in Diaspora but only with honest relationship in between.
In our situation, I see YiAKL et al. as the collective mass movement analogous to the Sudanese uprising and our intellectuals and professionals to SPA et al. (the conceptual force of the revolution). Bayto (Awassa), ERITREA FOCUS, EGS, GI, etc. can, for instance call upon all of us in the Civic and Professional societies to build the missing conceptual force necessary to guide the movement to the next level of the challenge. YiAkl can also initiate the drive in this situation as discussed in the last article.
To this effect, I accidentally saw something good in the AiGaForum Website and found it interesting to share in this opportunity: It says, “Calling all Tegaru professionals living all over the world to fill the form below. The current human capital mapping is of paramount importance to properly utilize all our available resources. (GSTS Board – Nov 2019)”. I think YiAKL and ASSENNA can start something like this to initiate the badly needed intellectual unity that determines the smooth transfer of power to the people and it better be as soon as possible considering the urgency of the matter in view the conspiracies facing our nationhood.
“In the wake of this, some of the political parties sensed the wind of change and, in a bid to keep pace with the political climate they signed with the SPA a memorandum”. Further, “The parties also demanded the formation of a transitional council to manage the country, in addition to forming a transitional government that combines competencies and equal political representation.”
Comment: The intellectuals responded to the people’s unrest and the political parties followed the track with clear understanding of their respective political role in the revolution. There were few others that failed to sign the memorandum (the people’s plan or concept to democracy) but it did not matter a bit! To summarize, SPA as the society’s global leadership produced the memorandum that the political parties accepted and signed based on;
- a) Dissolution of the regime with its parliament.
- b) Equal political representation (equal political say and rights to all types of ideas, genders, etc.) for all citizens of the country.
- c) The formation of a transitional council body to temporarily run the country after Bashir’s turbulent life ends where it did; to be replaced by a transitional government ahead.
The political parties were the catalyst of the movement ladies and gentlemen! Their agreement with SPA was not only verbal, something based on positive expectation or trust but on universal principles and written material signed by both parties. This civilized CONCEPTUAL UNITY between the political parties and the intellectuals eventually created a formidable united front called FORCES FOR FREEDOM AND CHANGE (FFC) that turned the political tide upside down. The development was mathematical; here, FFC = The mass + SPA + The Political Parties. The effort then intensified the rebellion beyond the control of the regime, eventually polarizing the Army to side with the people.
“On the 11th of April they announced the creation of the TMC (Transitional Military Council) composed of senior army officers who had opted to side with the citizens to overthrow the Bashir regime. The TMC at its onset was led by General Awad Ibn Ouf, who was then Vice President and Defense Minister under the Bashir regime, however, public sentiments demanded he swiftly resign from this post. Following his removal, the presidency of the TMC was bestowed on General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan.”
Comment: Bashir was done and the people earned the power to modulate the political drama overpowering the Army through unshakable UNITY with the political parties. They were able to reject the corrupt General Awad Ibn Ouf, a man that Isaias dreamed of empowering and replace him with Fattah.
“On the 12th of April the FFC issued a statement that praised the role of the army in overthrowing the Bashir regime [hoping] that a quick transition to civilian rule would take place. However, the period that followed was characterized by ups and downs regarding the [matter]. The gap between the TMC and FFC grew wider after the Qaeda massacre (3rd June), and existing channels of communication were severely hampered in view of the massacre.”
Comment: As you can see, the Army was reluctant to relinquish power and did its best to violently suppress the rebellion but in vain. The stalemate that went for few months slowly weakened it to fumble and the situation deteriorated to the point of necessitating External input.
When you take something for granted, time will show you how to be taken for one; you cannot trust your Mama let alone others in politics! You cannot even do it with excessive love, respect, patience and sacrifice like our people did for Isaias to only get death, exodus and misery in return. This experience teaches us not to allow any force that may change the regime to run the society alone beyond a flush of time let alone for a year as BAYTO and SINIT proposed. We cannot give an independent force as such the chance to tease the people with some changes, consolidate its power within months and enforce another dictatorship in the country. That is what the Sudanese Army was hoping to do but disallowed by the country’s brilliant scientists. The Liberians allowed the then Vice President to lead for only two months (after Charles Taylor) and move on, which practically took place; but the Sudanese did not even shrug a minute to this idea.
In the meantime, PM Abiy tried to resolve the difference with biased initial proposal to the interest of the people that the activists accepted and the Army dismissed calling for “Ethiopia’s mediation plan to be merged with that of the African Union”. Abiy’s progressive proposal should have shocked the dictator because it was totally the opposite of his destructive policy on Sudan: he was for anther military dictatorship while Abiy was for democracy, a major political contradiction in the fake relationship on the ground!
It was clear by then the two sides were collectively about to form the country’s transitional government through proportional power sharing arrangement with an extra say given to one of them (standard). The fittest was to survive with advantage in this challenge because that extra leverage can polarize the entire power structure to one side of the house by significant percentage of the relationship. The problem was, thus obvious for the Army to reject the idea at first exposure.
Abiy then teamed up with AU and came up with a joint proposal on June 27, 2019. According to Reuters, “Ethiopia’s proposal suggests that a ruling sovereign council would be made up of seven civilians and seven members of the military, with one additional seat reserved for an impartial individual.” The ruling military council had no other choice to accepting it and the preliminary power sharing agreement between the TMC and the FFC was signed on the 4th of July with slight modification. The two sides would then unite to form the transitional government called the CIVILIAN MILITARY SOVEREIGNTY COUNCIL (CMSC) with the power of selecting a Technocratic Cabinet exclusively given to the FFC (the people). At this point of the struggle, the political equation developed from FFC = The mass + SPA + The Political Parties to CMSC = FFC + TMC = The mass + SPA + The Political Parties + TMC (the Army). This means the CMSC represented every sect of the society under the supremacy of the people; complete unity for democracy was achieved by the consent of the entire people as a component.
They then modified the number of members in the Sovereignty Council from 15 to 11. “The eleven-member [Civilian Military] Sovereignty Council of Sudan is the collective head of state of Sudan, for 39 months starting 20 August 2019. It is composed of five civilians chosen by the Forces of Freedom and Change alliance (FFC), five military chosen by the Transitional Military Council (TMC), and a civilian selected by agreement between the FFC and TMC. The chair for the first 21 months is a military member, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and for the remaining 18 months the chair is to be a civilian member” based on Article 10.(c). of the Draft Constitutional Declaration.
Comment: As you can see, FFC took the extra 1 individual in the union of 11 members. This translates to 1/11th or 9% worth of leverage to the beneficiary, the people at EXECUTIVE level of the power stratum.
“Under the terms of the constitutional declaration, the Transitional Legislative Council [was] to be formed within three months of the declaration entering into force. The Forces of Freedom and Change group will nominate two-thirds of the members of the council with the remaining third appointed by other forces. The council is to have no more than 300 members of which a minimum of 40% should be women.”
Comment: Taking the Army as part of the people in this situation, a 100% NEUTRAL TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT free of the political parties was to be achieved through this arrangement. Women were highly empowered and the people earned the exclusive right to form a Technocratic Cabinet by substantially dominating the Army in the government. Further, they were to earn majority sits in the Assembly Council (the most powerful section of any democratic system). In other words, the Army was conditioned to only sign bills exclusively organized by the people, slowly melting out of its symbolic representation into the mass. This proves that the political position of the Army generically depends on the strength of the people (to dictate power or to serve society under the rule of law).
The game was over not for the Weyanes my dear Eritreans, but for dictatorship in Sudan: a solid foundation for sustainable democracy achieved at this stage of the revolution thanks to the law abiding political parties, highly confident professionals and social scientists of the country. We don’t know what will happen in the future but success was achieved through power built with rigorous mass movement and solid conceptual unity not only between the grassroot members of the society (people, civic and professional societies) but also with the very mature political parties in the bliss that forced the Army to overthrow the regime and blend with the people.
To summarize, conceptual unity between the people and the political parties is necessary for genuine democracy to take place in any society. This means their relationship is inherently harmonic as interdependent allies and mutual beneficiaries of any democratic system; but only when the law dictates the terms. Without it, both elements of the society are bound to lose under any form of dictatorship. In this scientific experience, the idea of disallowing the POLITICAL PARTIES from the TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT was part of the revolution consistent to the international laws abiding the matter. Yet, the concept was further accentuated by the people even after the political parties accepted the TRANSITIONAL POLITICAL DOCUMENT exclusively drafted by the NEUTRAL TRANSTIONAL GOVERNMENT as the following information indicates;
“Hundreds of Sudanese on Thursday took to the streets in the capital, Khartoum, and elsewhere in the country to insist that an upcoming transitional government be made up of experts and technocrats, rather than political parties.” Hundreds protest in Sudan against political parties in transitional government; The New Arab, July 26, 2019;
Comment: This tells that the mass uprising leaders (analogous to YiAkL et al. leaders) were coordinating their actions through direct contact and agreement with their united intellectual community analogues to hypothetical ours (united ERITREA FOCUS, Bayto (Awasa), EGS, GI, etc.).
It was simply a clean, well synchronized and organized revolution that the Assenna family and YiAKL movement cannot afford to ignore! One factorial was critical in my opinion: The people were effectively conditioned to be aware of the most basic contents of a NEUTRAL TRANSIONAL GOVERNMENT as a concept vis-à-vis the political parties. They had the minimum KNOWLEDGE necessary to neutralize their transitional government from the influence of the political parties. Specific knowledge was effectively transferred from the SPA to the uprising leaders with the help of the political parties in this beautiful and harmonized revolution that is about to close the chapter of dictatorship in Sudan for generations to come. Not guns but the basic knowledge of the challenge did it. I believe this is necessary for our revolution and must be done at this point of the struggle. Basic knowledge should be effectively transferred in 2020 as one of the main projects of Assenna and YiAKL while focussing to finish it one way or another in the meantime.
In conclusion, the mission was obvious and so was the solution; they were both universal. It was not about transition from dictatorship to democracy through unique Sudanese concept of democracy but through the standard concept of the matter that had been applied in many other societies merging with their unique realities. Both the people and the political parties clearly understood their legal roles in the transitional period like in Liberia’s situation. There was no friction in between because the mass movement and the intellectual community had a very tight integration that no force, even the Army could destruct needless saying the political parties were part of the process overall. Democracy is a common bliss to the people and the political parties without which none of them can enjoy freedom and justice in their country. In other words, both elements of the society protected the country from the common potential enemy, another military dictatorship. The political parties then left the people alone to substantially own the transitional government. In return they were guaranteed to freely develop their programs for the upcoming democratic election based on the yet to be established INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION’s qualification requirement.
To wrap it up, any understanding as such can collapse unless properly processed with the entire world watching. Whatever was said and written about the matter mean nothing unless registered in the Charter, signed by the related authorities in front of international observers and authorized by the Supreme Court of the country. This applies to their experience; so, should we discuss the SUDANESE INTERIM CONSTITUTION in the next appearance. Peace!