Sudan: International Stakeholders Welcome Bar’s Draft Transitional Constitution

Khartoum — Nine embassies in Sudan, along with the AU-IGAD-UNITAMS Tilateral Mechanism and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), have welcomed the Sudanese Bar Association’s (SBA) publication of a draft transitional constitution framework document for Sudan.

This support follows the presentation of the document to the drafting committee of a number of pro-democratic political forces, who proposed some amendments, and approved the final version last week.

The Embassies of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States are taking the document as a “serious and encouraging initiative,” with the potential to “achieve a broadly acceptable and inclusive civilian-led government that can put Sudan on a path to democracy and elections.”

In the statement, published yesterday, a great deal of emphasis was put on the document having a wide base of popular support and a focus on inclusivity: “We commend the SBA initiative’s inclusion of a broad spectrum of Sudanese stakeholders and careful expert technical review, and we are encouraged by the initial signs of support from diverse Sudanese actors since the release of the SBA document.”

However, the statement also noted that more work is needed to ensure inclusivity and that “no single actor, group, or coalition should have a monopoly on the political process,” noting that especially Sudan’s military must constructively engage in a political process.

Trilateral Mechanism

The Embassies also reiterated their firm support for the AU-IGAD-UNITAMS Trilateral Mechanism “to help bridge differences among parties and initiatives and to facilitate a restoration of a civilian-led transition to democracy.”

The Trilateral Mechanism met the SBA’s Steering Committee on Saturday, to review the draft proposal. In a statement after the meeting, the coalition welcomed the SBA’s “continued efforts to include a vast array of civilian political parties and forces” in the initiative.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga last week, Volker Perthes, the UN Special Representative for Sudan and head of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), warned of dire consequences “if all do not cooperate to save the country”.

DUP support

The mainstream DUP, the oldest party in the country, with supporters in particular in eastern Sudan, also expressed their support of the document in a press statement on Saturday.

DUP spokesperson Omar Khalafallah stated that the DUP signed “the project of the 2022 transitional Constitution” prepared by the SBA and Sudanese legal experts. The party thanked them for organising the workshop on the constitutional document “within the framework of the national initiative to solve the Sudanese crisis, launched by [the party’s president] Judge Mohamed Osman El Mirghani” to realise “a democratic transition” in Sudan.

Resistance committees

Nine coordination teams of resistance committees in Greater Khartoum said that there is a necessity for tight cooperation between them and other democratic forces, in order to reverse the October 2021 military coup and start building a democratic Sudan in a joint statement last week. The step was widely welcomed by 22 professional associations, including the SBA.

The coordinating teams of the resistance committees in southern Khartoum and those of El Jereif East Khartoum however, denounced the initiative. They stated that the move nullified the Charter for the Establishment of the People’s Authority (CEPA), issued by the Khartoum Resistance Committees in February.

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