Some considered it a blow to the Sudanese opposition.. What does it mean for the civil forces party to leave the Freedom and Change Coalition?
Khartoum- In a surprising move, the Sudanese Civil Forces Association announced its disengagement from the Coalition for Freedom and Change (the former ruling coalition), while continuing to coordinate with the resistance committees and professional and political forces, in order to overthrow the army leaders who seized power.
The Gathering was one of the most prominent forces that had reservations about the political agreement between the Military Council and the Forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change in July 2019, justifying its position with what it said were “deficiencies and loopholes that should be completed to protect the revolution.”
In May 2021, the assembly supported the resignation of its candidate in the Transitional Sovereignty Council, Aisha Musa Al-Saeed, in protest of the disregard for the voices of civilians at all levels of government.
As soon as the assembly’s statement was issued, several questions arose about the reasons for its exit from the Freedom and Change Coalition, and the effects of the move on the political scene, especially after the leaders of the coalition revealed ongoing efforts to form a unified center for the opposition forces.
The assembly appeared long before the fall of the regime of ousted President Omar al-Bashir, and contributed to the drafting of the Declaration of Freedom and Change, and was one of the first signatories to its declaration calling for “the departure of the regime of June 30, 1989, in order to reach a government and civilian transitional structures, achieving just peace, democratic transformation, development and the dignity of living.” “.
The assembly, according to its founding charter, is “a platform for factional, women’s, youth, and regional civil society organizations and public figures,” and is currently active in 15 Sudanese states.
The Civil Forces Caucus is one of five main entities that contributed to the establishment of the Freedom and Change Coalition, which are: “Sudan Call, the National Consensus Forces, the Sudanese Professionals Association, the Federal Gathering, and the Civil Forces Alliance.”
The Freedom and Change Alliance, which led the protest movement against the ousted President Omar al-Bashir, was founded on the Declaration of Freedom and Change signed in January 2019 to overthrow the existing regime at the time, and then the alliance became a governing coalition for the transitional period until the morning of October 25, 2021.
Reasons for separation
In a statement, the assembly attributed its exit from all the structures of the Freedom and Change Coalition (Central Council), to what it called the opportunity for a new revolutionary formation on firm foundations.
The assembly’s statement did not hide its objection to the weak performance of the transitional government, especially in the areas of rebuilding and restructuring the Sudanese state, peace and economic files, and the failure to include the dismantling of the former regime in the military and judicial bodies and educational curricula.
In its statement, the assembly alleged that there had been abuses in joint action and the emergence of internal blocs within the Freedom and Change Coalition, which had weakened the participation of other forces.
Political analyst Manzoul Assal expressed his astonishment at the timing of the Civil Forces Rally’s announcement of its separation from Freedom and Change.
And Assal – in his interview with Al Jazeera Net – said that the reasons for the disengagement brought about by the assembly had been in place for a long time, and would have been acceptable if it had taken place during the resignation of Aisha Musa.
He said that the current assembly position makes it difficult for efforts to unite the opposition forces, and increases the complexity and confusion of the current political scene.
For her part, a member of the secretariat of the Civil Forces Rally, Mervat Hamad El-Nile, revealed that the association has been in a state of continuous discussion for more than a year, regarding whether or not they should remain within the FFC.
And she warned – in her interview with Al Jazeera Net – that they agreed to postpone the decision on the matter, giving priority to the national interest and taking into account the existing constitutional situation at the time.
“In our opinion, the constitutional requirement that prevents this step has now been removed,” she said.
Regarding the accusations against them of blocking the efforts of the opposition forces’ unity, Hamad El-Nile responded by describing the decisions to leave freedom and change as “a step forward” in order to support and coordinate the various revolutionary forces from an independent position, to achieve the aspirations of the Sudanese to remove the military from power, and restore the path Democratic Civil.
The most affected
On the other hand, the security and military expert, Major General Muhammad Ajeeb, believes that the forces of freedom and change are the most affected by the fact that the gathering of civil forces has broken away from the coalition.
Ajeeb expected – in his interview with Al Jazeera Net – the continuation of the fragmentation operations within the coalition, in protest against the marginalization and exclusion practiced by the Group of Four, in reference to the parties: the National Nation, the Sudanese Congress, the Arab Socialist Baath and the Federal Assembly, against the rest of the coalition components.
Ajab urged the groups opposed to the administration of the coalition to agree on a vision that is far from entrenched, based on strengthening the steps of the military component in order to organize general elections at the end of the transitional period.
For his part, Ammar Hammouda – a spokesman for the Freedom and Change Coalition – regretted the group’s exit from the opposition coalition, but stressed that they were not harmed by the move.
He told Al Jazeera Net, “We may currently disagree with the gathering of civil forces in the means and mechanisms, but this does not mean that we are all working to end the military’s control over the reins of power, and this is what is important now.”
Since October 25, Sudan has witnessed protests rejecting exceptional measures taken by the army chief, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, most notably the imposition of a state of emergency and the dissolution of the Sovereignty Councils and the transitional ministers, which political forces consider a “military coup”.
On more than one occasion, Al-Burhan denied that the army had staged a military coup, and said that these measures were aimed at “correcting the course of the transitional phase,” and pledged to hand over power to a transitional government.