11 February 2019

Sudan 'Group of 52' Renews Call for Transitional Govt

Khartoum — The Peace and Reform Initiative, also known as the "Group of 52" has renewed its call for the formation of a transitional government. Its members, 52 prominent civil society and political activists, announced that they will not submit their demands the Presidency again but "initiate direct coordination with the forces behind the popular protest movement to achieve the required change".

In a statement on Saturday, the Peace and Reform Initiative repeated its call for a transitional period of four years during which a technocrat government will handle the affairs of the country. This new cabinet is to be formed in coordination with the leaders of the current protest movement and the major political opposition forces, and will consist of "well known and credible national cadres and a broad representation of political parties".

In March 2016, the group wrote a memorandum to President Omar Al Bashir, pointing to the rapidly deteriorating economic situation and political crisis in the country, and requesting him to stop the wars in the country, combat the financial crises, take steps towards a democratic transition, and organise free elections.

The Peace and Reform Initiative, counting among its members Dr El Jazouli Dafallah who served as prime minister in the transitional government after the Sudanese uprising of 1985 that ousted President Jaafar El Nimeiri from power, also set out a specific road map to address the political crisis in the country, which was broadly welcomed. The Presidency and the ruling National Congress Party however ignored the memo.

Therefore, the group now decided "to go beyond addressing the Presidency" and "work together with the leaders of the popular movement, coordinating various initiatives in partnership with the political and armed opposition forces allied in a joint committee, to exert pressure on the situation for the sake of change".

The group emphasised the need to address "the causes of the protests in the country, triggered by the rulers' adherence to its unrestricted monopoly of power, and the unilateral policies that have led to the worsening of the economic situation and of foreign connections because of unrealistic policies which caused the international community not to provide technical or financial assistance to Sudan".

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