Transition troubles: On Sudan coup leader’s climbdown

Sudan’s civilian leaders should stay united and take the country to full democracy

While the deal points to the limits of the military, it does not necessarily mean that the transition will be smooth. Ever since Mr. Bashir was forced out of power, the military has been reluctant to share power with the civilian leadership. It was forced to make some concessions only because the country’s revolutionaries have acquired critical mass support which the generals can no longer ignore. The pro-democracy parties and organisations have already dismissed the deal between the military and Mr. Hamdok, and have vowed to continue the street protests. Mr. Hamdok, a British-educated economist who had worked with the UN, is in an unenviable position. He refused to resign while under house arrest and continued to resist the military coup, which inspired the protests. But his decision to reach a deal with the generals has turned at least sections of the protesters against him. And if street protests continue, it could undermine his government and weaken his negotiating capacity with the generals. To address these challenges, he should first win back the trust of the pro-democracy parties and organisations, and form an independent government with civil society representatives that should put the country’s fraught transition process back on track. The military may have taken a step back, but it could try to usurp power again. To prevent any such scenario, Sudan’s civilian leaders should stay united and take the country to full democracy and a new constitutional order.

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