“Peace in Sudan?”
Eric Reeves | September 8, 2019 | https://wp.me/p45rOG-2rX
The chances for negotiation of a just and comprehensive peace in Sudan are likely to be very few, even with a nominally “transitional” government that is supposed to evolve into purely civilian governance. The negotiations to begin tomorrow in Juba, capital of South Sudan, may be our first and best chance to establish a framework for the Peace Commission that Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok has announced (see Sudan Tribune dispatch below).
But the question is finally whether the military elements of the transitional government really want peace. This question is particularly exigent when we look at the records of Sovereign Council chair General Abdel Fatah al-Burhan and Sovereign Council member and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) commander Hamdan Dagalo (“Hemeti”). It is likely that over the past decade, Hemeti has accumulated more Sudanese blood on his hands in conflict in Darfur and South Kordofan—as well as in Khartoum and elsewhere—than any other man in the country. Is he now really ready to make peace, given that his conduct of war has been by means of serial atrocity crimes, including genocide and crimes against humanity?
Until the armed forces—which under the Constitutional Declaration include both the regular Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the RSF—are brought fully and completely under civilian control, no peace negotiated is safe from the brutal instincts of military leaders such as al-Burhan and Hemeti.
Sudanese delegation to meet armed groups in Juba
Sudan Tribune, September 7, 2019 (KHARTOUM) | http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article68071
A Sudanese delegation will travel to Juba on Monday to meet with the Sudanese Revolutionary Front and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement led by Abdul Aziz al-Hilu, a member of the country’s sovereign council said on Saturday.
The chairman of the Sovereign Council, Let. Gen. Abdel Fattah al- Burhan, received on Saturday a written message from the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, which was conveyed to him by the South Sudanese presidential security adviser Tut Kew Gatluak related to the negotiations between the Government of Sudan and the armed opposition groups.
In a press statement after al-Burhan meeting with the South Sudanese presidential aide, Sovereign Council member Shams al-Din Kabbashi confirmed the commitment of the Government of Sudan to establish peace in the country, pointing out that President Salva Kiir and the Government of South Sudan are the keenest for the success of the negotiations. “The Sudanese negotiating delegation will go to Juba on Monday to start negotiations which include from the side of the movements, the Revolutionary Front and the SPLM North faction of Abdul Aziz al-Hilu.” Kabbashi stressed that the peace process is based on a partnership between the Sovereignty Council and the Council of Ministers.
[Who will be in this delegation, created in advance of what Prime Minister Hamdok speaks of as the creation of a “Peace Commission”? Will it be dominated or controlled by military men? Will RSF commander Hemeti have a central role? Given the terrible record of human destruction for which he and the RSF are responsible in Darfur and South Kordofan, this seems a gratuitously bad choice—ER]
The Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok said that consultations are underway to form the Peace Commission which will be tasked with the peace file.
The armed groups on Saturday said that a delegation would come to meet them in Juba from the Sovereign Council next week after receiving a special envoy from the prime minister met them.
“The SRF met with a special envoy from the Prime Minister, Abdallah Hamdok who assure the SRF of the determination and keenness of the transitional authority to achieve peace as a top priority (…) and requested the SRF cooperation in achieving this noble goal as soon as possible,” said the rebel umbrella in a statement signed by its new leader Hadi Idriss.
During his meeting with the South Sudanese envoy on Saturday, Prime Minister Hamdok said the armed movements were an integral part of the country’s change process.
[Prime Minister Hamdok certainly understands what is at stake: the question is whether the military elements of the transitional government will him and the Peace Commission enough power and leeway to negotiation a true and just peace—ER]
Further, he praised the efforts of the Government of South Sudan and its invitation for the armed movements to facilitate a comprehensive peace agreement leading to achieve security and stability throughout the country. He stressed that the environment is conducive to dialogue with armed movements, as an integral part of the process of change.
[It is indeed “conducive”—but we must fear the influence of the military, including the RSF, which has its own sense of how “peace” can be achieved—ER]
For his part, the Special Envoy of President Salva Kiir, Tut Galwak, said that the Government of South Sudan has completed preparations and arrangements for the success of the negotiations, adding that the stability of Sudan and South Sudan is interlinked. The SRF leadership is holding meetings in the southern Sudanese capital Juba, where it has been present for weeks. The rebel groups three days ago said they reunified the two SRF factions in preparations for the peace talks, adding now they will discuss the position paper for the talks.
The SRF statement said that the peace talks should lead to a just and comprehensive peace that addresses the root causes of the Sudanese crisis and addresses the effects of war.
[This acute sense of what is necessary for a “just and comprehensive peace,” one that addresses the “root causes” of wars over the past three decades. is precisely what is needed. But will it be shared by the likes of al-Burhan and Hemeti? – ER]