Now Sudan is at cross roads and is experiencing it is worst days in history that may threaten to undermine its very existence. Deterioration at every level has reached unprecedented peaks. To make the matters worse, there are a range of formidable issues that have yet to be resolved.
The South has gone its own way but left behind a legacy of deep antagonism that culminated in bloody confrontations between the two Sudans. In the Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile and Abyei tensions and conflicts are simmering high. On the Darfur theatre, the tragedy is still on-going and the prospects for durable peace seem painfully elusive. Past and present agreements have failed to bring about any inclusive political settlement that is responsive to the legitimate aspirations of the Darfuri People.
The ramifications of the war in Darfur are many - the disintegration of the social fabric, the proliferation of small arms, the dominance of the culture of violence and the prevailing insecurity and instability- to mention just a few.
On the economic front, the country is now grappling with extraordinary economic pressures created by the loss of oil revenues following the cessation of South Sudan and the collapse of the productive industrial and agricultural projects.
These catastrophic realities are unfolding in the midst of a feverish political polarization among the constituencies of the Sudanese community exacerbated by a parallel polarization on the issues of liberties, democratic transformation and the drafting of the constitution.
All these woes are unravelling while foreign presence and the strained relations with the international community are hardly ignorable and may provide good reason for the international community to consider the option of imposing foreign solutions on the country.
In view of this grim landscape, various visions and approaches were presented by numerous Sudanese constituencies to evade a situation that is quickly spiralling towards a disaster.
Ironically, some quarters within the government camp callously advocate for maintaining the status quo and allow only for expedient and cosmetic reforms while others are fully aware of the gravity of the situation and insist on radical and genuine reforms.
At the grassroots level, many people feel utterly frustrated and lost any hope for positive change through civil activism. Driven by despair, they opted for military action to bring the government down. On the other hand, some people strongly believe that civil uprising and disobedience similar to the uprisings of 1964 and 1985 and, more recently, the Arab Spring that had seen the ouster of the Egyptian and Tunisian regimes, are effective tools to bring about the desired change. However divergent they may be, they all agree that regime change in Sudan is necessary and inevitable.
In fact, the national forces have been ringing the alarm bell and warned of these potential scenarios for a long time. They continue, over the past two decades, to reiterate that political exclusion, monopoly of power and wealth, disruption of development, the cultural tyranny and partisan solutions will only lead to the disintegration of the country and open the door wide for foreign intervention. A telling example is the Security Council resolution (2046) that threatens to impose whatever solutions necessary if the parties fail to resolve their post-cessation differences.
In view of the above and given the vulnerability of the country and the fragility of its social fabric, the destructive spread of arms at the hands of tribal or political armed groups as well as the government forces, paramilitary forces and tribal militias, the best approach to achieve a peaceful transit is the national consensus between and among the different actors. This could be materialized by a round-table conference similar to the CODESSA Meeting in South Africa and to be inclusive of all the Sudanese stakeholders both from the government and the opposition sides.
Such pre-emptive approach will save the country from the inevitable disastrous consequences of disintegration and all-inclusive wars. Moreover, it sets the foundation for a clear roadmap to guide Sudan during the interim period to avoid the pitfalls that bedevilled the countries that witnessed violent transformations.
Undeniably, the current situation calls for radical changes in policies, structures and institutions to deliver nationally consensual and acceptable alternatives.
Sudan Peace Conference
An Initiative for Just & Comprehensive Peace and Complete Democratic Transformation
11th July 2012
The National Umma Party- Sudan