Thursday, April 27, 2023

Sudanese Civil Society Leader Analyzes Conflict in His Country

 The International Crisis Group posted on 27 April 2023 a thirty-nine minute podcast titled "War and Anger Inside Sudan's Collapsed Capital" with Alan Boswell interviewing Amgad Fareid Eltayeb, former leader in Sudan's civilian Forces for Freedom and Change umbrella coalition, former assistant chief of staff to former Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, and former adviser to the UN mission in Sudan.

Speaking from Khartoum, Eltayeb described the current situation as the "saddest days in the history of Sudan."  While he acknowledged that Sudanese themselves must take much of the blame for the outbreak of conflict, he was critical of the international community for proposing a poorly designed peace process.  It had good intentions that led to a bad outcome. He argues that the international community was only listening to the Forces for Freedom and Change on the civilian side and not wider civil society.  The international community was pushing for any government irrespective of its wider acceptance among Sudanese civilians.  

The international community reportedly pushed for elections after two years but allowed up to ten years for the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), essentially a private army, to integrate into the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF).  The RSF was trying to prolong its influence while the SAF was trying to shorten it.  Eltayeb believes the RSF needs to be dissolved and the SAF needs new leadership.  When asked what was the alternative to what actually happened, Eltayeb said there needed to be a longer peace process more focused on a discussion of issues rather than who should be in charge.