AU’s Timeline And Sudan’s Future


The African Union (AU), not too long ago, gave the Sudanese Transitional Military Council (TMC) a three-month timeline to implement democratic reforms for a quick transition to civil rule. Ever since then, not much has changed in the political crisis rocking the Central African country.
From all indications, the political logjam may not be over soon as the country’s military high command, and protesters under the aegis of Sudanese Professionals Association are yet to reach a common ground.
Irked by the political imbroglio in Sudan, African leaders met in Cairo, the Egyptian capital recently, to chart a way forward to resolve the impasse with a view to restoring democratic process in the beleaguered Central African country which, since the ouster of former President Omar al-Bashir late last year, had been characterised by political turmoil.
In December 18, 2018, protests erupted in the East of Sudan, spreading like wild fire to all parts of the country, including the capital, Khartoum, up until April 6, 2019 when the military authorities overthrew al-Bashir, establishing a transition council which is yet to reel out clear-cut political timetable for restoration of democracy.
No doubt, Sudanese citizens, obviously, are at the receiving end as the draconian and authoritarian regime of the deposed al-Bashir, still hangs over their necks like the sword of Damocles as the military does not have the capacity to revamp the country’s ruined economy particularly, under the erstwhile leader.
We recall the sanctions imposed on Sudan by the United States of America, devaluation of its currency and other anti-people policies of al-Bashir’s 30-year regime which indeed, made life unbearable for the citizens, and which invariably impoverished the people.
The Tide thinks that the Sudanese people need a new lease of life which the military cannot offer. The transition council must, therefore, work within the AU’s timeline and refrain from the current intrigues characterising the polity.
We say this because the country may risk a counter coup, if the military rulers and the opposition do not reach an agreement as evidenced in the past few weeks or months.
The leading opposition figure, Sadiq al-Mahdi had already expressed this fear penultimate week as, according to him, “if the current stalemate is not broken, a counter coup may not be ruled out”.
It is against this backdrop that The Tide commends African leaders for intervening in the Sudanese crisis. AU must ensure that its directive is implemented to the letter without further delay. We also implore the international community, particularly the United Nations (UN) to give further impetus to strengthen AU’s resolve for a quick transition to civil rule in Sudan.
The TMC must, therefore, work with the opposition and the Professionals Association to chart a new viable way and means for a democratically elected government.
The Sudanese experience remains a big lesson to other sit-tight African leaders who refuse to leave office even when it is obvious that their game is up.
We need to remind Paul Biya of Cameroon, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea, that it is better to go when the ovation is loudest than to remain in office and cling unto power, until revolutionary forces push them out. All modern democracies are dynamic and subject to change, and those who refuse to make peaceful change possible make violent change inevitable.
The TMC must do the needful now and offer to Sudanese people the peaceful transition they rightly deserve. That is the right path to follow. All hands must be on deck to move Sudan to the next level.