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Freedom and Change Seeks New Opposition Alliance in Sudan

Freedom and Change Seeks New Opposition Alliance in Sudan

Monday, 16 May, 2022 - 07:00
Protesters demanding civilian rule take to the streets of Khartoum. (AFP)

Sudan's Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) announced the formation of a new alliance called the "United Civil Front," which unites all forces supporting the December 2018 revolution that toppled ousted President Omar al-Bashir.

The Forces called for direct negotiations with the military to restore the civil democratic transition and form a united national army.

The leader of FFC and former Minister of Cabinet Affairs Khaled Omar Youssef said the Freedom and Change are working to establish a new alliance that unites civilians.

Youssef explained that the alliance would comprise political parties, specialists, resistance committees, and civil society to coordinate the resistance against the current military rule.

The former minister called for a radical change to end what he described as a "monocultural state," adding that the aim is to form a state that represents the various Sudanese components, ends totalitarianism, and establishes a "democratic culture."

Youssef asserted that the democratic transition can only happen gradually, noting that "we seek a radical change within a democratic framework, as opposed to those who call for a radical change within a totalitarian framework."

The official explained that democratic change could not happen without military reform and without rearranging the relationship between civilians and the military.

He indicated that the military institution's role should be limited to protecting the homeland and citizens and guarding the constitution. It should not be involved in politics and must execute constitutionally mandated tasks.

Youssef also warned against dissolving the Rapid Support Forces and armed movements, calling for merging them into the military.

"The demands for dissolving the Rapid Support Forces and the armed movements are illogical because there are about 200,000 fighters. If those forces are dissolved, where will these fighters go?" asked Youssef, warning that this will lead to the formation of about 200 militias.

Moreover, the senior official criticized the "hostility between civilians and the military," noting that the military leaders must realize that the democratic civil transition is in their interest by rebuilding, arming, and training the army to focus on its duties.

Youssef clarified that the FFC does not want to return to the partnership with the military, saying that the October 25 coup ended the chance of forming alliances. Still, it is essential to discuss civil-military relations with the army.

He criticized the opponents of dialogue, saying this "unites the military establishment against the democratic transition."

Furthermore, he added that protests and demonstrations alone are not enough to end the coup, suggesting that other peaceful activities, including strikes, disobedience, and others, must be used to expand the resistance.

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