In Sudan since the outing of president Omar al-Bashir there has been riots of concerned citizens of Sudan to make a change into the steps of democracy. This is a great step as it pertains to democracy but there is one looming question that yet remains unanswered. Will these uprisings have a positive outcome? This is a phantom that lurks behind every transitional government. Whenever there is a coup, or a leader is suddenly put out of power, the resulting power vacuum can be as bad for the country as the previous dictator. This fact is a reality of any governmental overthrow. Sudan has a long and sordid history with a battle for democracy. The first government uprising took place in 1964 and it had a 6 month transitional period to democracy. This unfortunately failed and again in 1985 there was another uprising with a transitional period of a year. That on also failed but fortunately, this coup has promising signs. The previous two anti government uprisings in 1964 and 1985 were carried out in a haste which was probably the reason they were not successful. This new cycle of a try at democracy has been going on for about 4 years now which might be the change that’s needed for Democracy to finally gain a foothold in Sudan.However in order for these most recent effort to be fruitful it is vital for the leaders of this transition to democracy to look at what did and did not work in the past two uprising and formulate the best outcome. The first issue is how to run the interim government and get everything situated. The leader on the uprising this time is Abdel Fattah al-Burha. The leader of the 1985 uprising Abdulrahman Siwar al-Dahab, quickly started to negotiate with political parties, and he ignored political professionals’ advice about how to organize the government, drawing their ire. He was also a much more authoritative leader and seized control of many aspects of the new interim government. Burha however seems like a much weaker leader, less capable of culling. One thing that Burhan is trying to secure his power is to ask for assistance from outside entities such as Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia. This is a curious and controversial move on his part. For one, it is curious that someone who is supposed to be a strong leader is inviting so much outside forces into his country. The people of Sudan seem to agree. They dislike Burhan inviting other countries into Sudans affairs because their government has a history of selling valuable lands to the Gulf companies. There are ways this can be beneficial though. Some middle eastern countries have promised to give Sudan 3 billion dollars in aid. If this money is used correctly it can be a great stimulus to a floundering economy and may even help establish government stability. However, while this aid is a great opportunity for Sudan if their government mismanages it all potential benefits of the money could go to naught. One clear example of how such a thing could happen is the situation going on right now in Venezuela. The country of Venezuela is sitting on massive oil reserves and based on its potential for wealth, could’ve been a prosperous nation. However its repressive and corrupt authoritarian government has thrown the country into a state of disarray. It is tragic when you consider how far Venezuela could’ve gone under better leadership. Hopefully Sudan doesn’t face the same fate. Despite all the potential problems faces there is still hope for the future of their democracy. The opposition seems united and negotiations haven’t completely broken down. As for the possibility of Sudan having a thriving democracy, all we can do is watch and wait.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.
In your article, you illustrate the transitional phase Sudan is facing in their governmental regime. It’s interesting to know that the citizens of Sudan have been pushing for democracy for the past few years. The characteristics of democracy follows: basic rights, rule of law, competitive elections, and additionally but not necessarily required, the presence of a civil society and the relationship between capitalism and affluence. Sudan, as you said, struggles with this as they have had a “long and sordid history with a battle for democracy”.
I agree with you in saying that leaders of this transitional economy have to really evaluate the failed uprisings in the past and really formulate a plan for the positive trajectory of the state. Without the proper plans, “a power vacuum can be as bad for the country as the previous dictator.”
You go on to discuss the new leader on the uprising, al-Burha. In this portion of the piece, I disagree with you. You emphasize his attempts at securing power by asking assistance from other states such as Egypt, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia — with some middle eastern countries promising to give Sudan 3 billion dollars in aid. You spend time contemplating the benefits (the aid) as well as the drawbacks (dependence and a sign of weakness in comparison to other states). While both are valid arguments, they have no real relevance to the path towards democracy. This factor of power plays is more about international integration and power within the global stage, not democracy. Democracy refers to the ideas mentioned above, which would relate to more domestic issues rather than a ruler’s power and how the country stands in comparison to the others in the world. When thinking about democratization, the transition varies with each country’s background. In Sudan’s case, the main focus should be directed to the motivations and plans of the protestors, “In the past, democratic experiments were led by [Sudan’s] traditional political parties.” (Foreign Policy) Thus, it is essential that the protesters have a clear direction with where they want Sudan to go.