The Sudanese Front for Change
Introduction:Sunday, October 16, 2011
The present geographical boundaries of Sudan were established by colonial rulers. Thus Sudan has become a country that contains many nations with wide range of different cultural backgrounds. The political crisis of the Sudan that escalated under the present regime has deepened the negative effect, which included the overall economic and social life in our country. Those crises have produced ongoing waves of violence, claimed million of lives, threatened the security of citizens, and forced millions to flee their home-lands to claim asylum and refuge in other countries or be displaced in other areas. The deliberate exclusionist policies pursued during the tenure of the present government of the National Congress Party (NCP) has, in reality, led the country to the point of disintegration into several distinct entities.
Sudanese Political Experience:
The forced arbitrary formation of nation state in Sudan was first initiated in 1821 the date of Anglo-Egyptian condominium invasion to Sudan, followed by a second expansion in 1916 when Darfur was annexed through coercion, however, the present boundaries (before the secession of South Sudan in July 2011) of Sudan was established in 1923, where the Sultan of Dar-Massaleit (western part of Darfur) willingly chose to annex his Sultanate to Sudan instead of Chad. Thus Sudan became a vast country with a land mass estimated at about one million square mile, a country composed of multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-culture groups in a multi-lingual society. Even though the South has been seceded the people of Sudan are still composing about 400 tribes. These tribes speak more than 100 languages.
The Sudanese people originating from the country’s geographic north along the River Nile basin - Riverian Elites - were the ones that were most directly exposed to the Anglo-Egyptian condominium colonial rulers. Thus they received the necessary modern education and training to run a modern state apparatus, which is why Sudan’s Riverian Elites have inherited the country’s rule from the colonial masters in January 1st 1956. Since then the Riverian Elites have had set up firm policies not only how the country will be ruled but also by whom. In that sense, they adopted a policy of monopolizing economic and political power in their hands and excluding all from the peripheral areas from genuine participation in social life or a real share in the country’s economic wealth and political power structures. For this purpose, and to consolidate the adopted policy, the Riverian Elites have developed political parties which are classified as either religious and sectarian or extreme ideological, having in the centre of their agenda the exclusion of the people from the peripheral areas.
In another place, the disruption of political system in Sudan is witnessed by military coups which accounted for forty-four years of the period of national independence; it devastated efforts of the national participation in building a modern nation-state.
The history of armed conflicts in South Sudan and the recent armed conflicts in Darfur, South Kordofan (Nuba Mountains) and Southern Blue Nile proved beyond doubt that serious political differences still exist among the different religious and social components of Sudanese society.
The situation in Sudan became catastrophic when minority ethnic groups took over economic and political power structures in the country in June 1989 through a coup d’etat against a democratically elected government. These minority ethnic groups have pursued a narrow-minded policy to the detriment of the country’s overwhelming majority. The NCP’s narrow minded and regionally based policy is based on its own mutilated interpretation of the teachings of Islam. Discrimination, exclusion, marginalization, nepotism, corruption, genocide and harbouring of regional and international terrorism have, indeed, become prevalent during the reign of the present NCP regime. Thus these policies have led the country to the point of disintegration into several distinct entities.
An Approach to the Way-out:
The Sudanese Front for Change (SFC) embraces a new approach to resolve Sudan’s constitutional, political, economic and social problems. In doing so, the SFC stand by comprehensive interpretation to the history of Sudan. Therefore, the SFC believes that one of the major causes of the political crises in Sudan is the misunderstanding of the values of nation-state that base on citizenship and national political institutions.
Since independence, the experience of the ruling elites shows a complete failure to preserve democracy, not only because it neglect to produce a permanent national constitution, but also it adopted a systematic plan to eliminate the role of any progress towards nation-state building.
Political parties in Sudan are classified as either religious and sectarian or extreme ideological, having in the centre of their agenda the exclusion of the people from the peripheral areas. Categorically, the reigns of democratic governments, were characterized where major political parties have spent most of the time in conspiring against each other. Hence, the absence of true exercise of democracy within these political parties, has led Sudan to be considered as a unique African country in having the experience of political instability where, since independent three periods of liberal democratic rule have been succeeded by three periods of military rule. This must be inverted if we are aiming to have a genuine political stability in Sudan.
Sudanese Front for Change is a national front that raises emblem of comprehensive change in all aspects of political life. The purpose is to establish a civil and democratic state that eliminate race and separate religion from the state, where citizenship is the sole criterion for obtaining rights and fulfilling duties. The SFC is an entity that neither rejecting other political entities or armed resistant movements, nor standing as a substitute for those entities. It initiates and fosters national values to resolve Sudan’s chronic crises once and for all.
The founders of SFC and the leadership structure are representing true cross-section of Sudanese community. The SFC calls those Sudanese people of national conviction, who have sincere willingness to change the country for better, those who seek pride life, dignity and freedom, to join us and make the change. As a national front, the SFC aims at working with other political groups, civil societies, native administration leaders and armed movements with similar objectives to address and solve the fundamental problems of all Sudan.
Objectives of the Sudanese Front for Change:
The SFC upholds the values of freedom, liberty, democracy and human dignity. Human life is sacrosanct and inviolable. In that sense, the SFC’s overall objective is to create a unified, democratic, decentralized, liberal, politically inclusive and economically prosperous country where all its citizens are endowed with equal rights, duties and privileges without discrimination on regional, ethnic, religious, gender or cultural background grounds. In order to achieve the above objectives, and in response to the critical challenge of preserving the Sudanese tradition of tolerance and peaceful co-existence, we have established the Sudanese Front for Change.
The present Islamic fundamentalist regime is a factual impediment against change; therefore, it must be overthrown by collective efforts of Sudanese people. Pre agreement among Sudanese people on the political structure to follow post overthrow era is crucial.
The fundamental objective of SFC is to restructure the state of Sudan by setting up a permanent national constitution that would emerge from a broad consensus of all Sudanese social, political and regional forces, to; (a) develop a decentralized system of government and empowerment of all levels of government; (b) prohibit the use of religion for political gains and control of the state politics; (c) create political life in the country where political parties and civil society groups embrace democracy and the concepts of accountability, transparency and institutionalism; (d) recognise and respect human rights and fundamental freedoms as expressed in universally acclaimed regional and international conventions; (e) restructure civil service and the security forces in order to reflect the true ethnic and social composition of Sudan, so that all regions of the country are accorded a fair share proportionate to their populations; (f) establish balanced cooperation and equal treatment in Sudan’s external relationships, especially with neighbouring countries, in order to promote mutual interest and to serve peace as well as regional and international stability; and (g) legislate for equal rights, where all Sudanese citizens are able to promote and protect their special cultural heritage.
Road Map for Peace Settlement in Sudan:
To begin with, it is crucial for the Sudanese people to grasp true values of democratic pluralism in accordance with international standards, fundamental freedoms and principles of peaceful coexistence in a united state. It is the role of SFC to undertake such teaching. In order to achieve sustainable peace settlement in Sudan, the SFC believes that the following practical steps should take place in a chorological sequence to include; (a) strengthening political efforts by unifying the vision that restructure the country; (b) act to overthrow the present ruling regime; (c) formation of an interim national government that have specific task to be accomplished at specified limited time; (d) establishment of round-table constitutional conference; (e) formation of a permanent constitution to be rectified through national referendum; (f) run free and fair general election; and (g) handover political power to dully elected parliament.
Abaker Mohamed Abuelbashar
Secretary for Foreign Affairs
Sudanese Front for Change
20 Tristam Close
Manchester, M13 9TS
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