Prepared by: Nada Elsiddieg
This post provides a synopsis of the statements made by Dr. Abdalla Hamdok, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Sudan, during a public discussion at the Atlantic Council.
The Atlantic Council is an American based think tank that was founded in 1961. It serves as a forum for international political, business, and intellectual leaders and mainly focuses on international affairs.
During the session, Dr. Abdalla Hamdok, Prime Minister of the Republic of Sudan, spoke on a number on the priorities and challenges facing the transitional government and the expectations from the friends and partners of Sudan during this period.
Priorities during the transitional period:
- To stop the war and build a foundation of sustainable peace. Part and parcel to this is addressing the suffering of Internally Displaced Persons and refugees;
- To address the economic crisis and revive the Sudanese national economy;
- To reform the structures of state institutions;
- To build solid foundations for the establishment of the rule of law;
- To combat corruption and address the issue of the recovery of stolen assets;
- To work towards fair and well-deserved women’s participation and representation in the structures of the transitional government;
- To build balanced foreign policies based on mutual respect and non-interference;
- To address youth unemployment and create new employment opportunities, in addition to creating a more hopeful environment;
- To orient national resources on health, human development and human resources;
- To hold a constitutional conference, in which one of the highlights will be holding a fair and free presidential election.
Challenges during the transitional period:
- To ‘get it right’ in the peace process. There is a difficulty in this as there are multiple bodies of armed groups. In addition, there are dangers of having parallel tracks of negotiations. There is also the challenge of competing regional and international interest, as well as interference in Sudanese affairs;
- The mounting debts, amounting to around 64.07 billion U.S. dollars and the fact that 30%-40% of the budget goes to subsidy stand in the way of important matters such as funding the short-term requirements for the transition;
- Political challenges:
- Managing the people’s high expectations can be achieved by being transparent on the current state of affairs;
- Inclusiveness and representation;
- To establish and to create a national project which focuses on establishing mechanisms for how the country is to be governed rather than who is to govern the country;
- Delisting Sudan from the list of states sponsors of terrorism.
Expectations from the friends and partners of Sudan:
- To support the delisting of Sudan as a terrorism-sponsoring state;
- To support peace talks;
- To provide political, technical, and financial support to peace processes;
- To aid the Sudanese government in mobilizing development and humanitarian resources;
- To support the Sudanese economy through investments and economic partnerships;
- To provide capacity development support for state institutions.
Other important points made by Dr. Abdalla Hamdok were:
- He described the understanding and agreement between the two sides (the civilian’s side and military’s side) as a ‘historical compromise’ which will allow them to define new dispensation and dawn for Sudan, in addition to stopping the blood-shed.
- He emphasises the importance of the transition’s success and claims it will be a source of hope. He described it as a success story in the making, as Sudan is a region overflowing with crises, therefore overcoming them will provide hope for other nations.
- He stated that they aim to solve each problem from its root, rather than only eliminate its symptoms.
- He stated the peace process revolves around four pillars, each of which is headed by a minister:
- Headed by the minister of finance, H.E. Ibrahim Elbadawi, are the social development and economic development issues.
- Headed by the minister of justice, H.E. Nasredeen Abdulbari, are the legal aspect of the peace process. This revolves around addressing issues of justice, compensation, and the general legal structures of peace.
- Headed by the minister of the federal government, H.E. Youssef Adam Aldai, are the governance and political issues (identity issues).
- Headed by the minister of defense, H.E. Jamal Aldin Omar, are the security arrangements- The DDR commission, mobilization…etc. He stated that the Sudanese Transitional Government would like to provide an opportunity for those ‘carrying arms’ to be incorporated into the national army. He highlighted the fact that Sudanese people are not unified by neither their religion nor their ethnicity, but by their citizenship.
For the full discussion, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46BHYKp2AyE