Quad Sudan’s ambassadors – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United States and Britain – failed last September 3 to hold a scheduled meeting between the country’s key political players, including the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), signatories to the Juba Accords and the armed forces.
The meeting was reportedly canceled as a result of the FFC’s refusal to participate in light of the announced participation to the meeting by political formations not originally included in the discussion format (https://sudantribune.com/article263602/).
The news came just days after the announcement on August 29 of the intention by some political formations detached from the FFC to form a new formation whose goal is to grant the armed forces broad powers under the transitional government. Among the adherents of the announced project are representatives of the Democratic Unionist Party (UDP), the Sudanese Ba’ath Party (SBP), the Hyder al-Safi-led faction of the Republican Party, the Unionist Party (UP), the Forces for National Consensus (NCF), the National Party of the Umma (NUP) led by Mubarak al-Fadil, and representatives of the Sudanese People’s Initiative (SPI) (https://sudantribune.com/article263463/).
General al-Burhan, despite his announcement last July 4 that he would withdraw the military component from the formation of the transitional government, appears intent on ensuring a central role for the armed forces, although he has repeatedly assured Quad Sudan ambassadors of his full readiness for the transition to a civilian-led government. The FFC forces, on the other hand, have defined a transition proposal jointly with the Sudanese Bar Association, and informed representatives of the trilateral mediation mechanism composed of the African Union, IGAD and UNITAMS of the same.
The FFC on August 28 refused to have its proposals incorporated within a unified document together with the national political forces, arguing that such a document would be unproductive and unable to provide the necessary radical solutions to the country’s political crisis (https://sudantribune.com/article263374/). The program of the Forces for Freedom and Change, argued Alwathiq Albreir, a leading member of the movement and head of the NUP formation, remains anchored on the need for a total transition of power into the hands of a civilian-led government and without the participation of the armed forces in the management of the country’s political life.
The Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) has responded to the FCC’s positions by arguing the need to initiate an intra-Sudanese dialogue supported by the trilateral mechanism, which is seen as the only solution to break the impasse in which the different components of the national political system actually are. The SRF sees the possibility of armed forces participation in the transition process as necessary, although remaining bound by a commitment not to accept a role for the armed forces in the future government structure which will emerge from the electoral process (https://sudantribune.com/article263428/).
At the same time, the new U.S. ambassador to Sudan, John Godfrey, took office in Khartoum on September 1, after more than 25 years of the absence of an official Washington representative in the country (https://www.africanews.com/2022/09/01/new-us-ambassador-arrives-in-sudan-after-25-years-of-absence/).