OPN 190818 Sudan-1566131907057
Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, deputy head of Sudanese Transitional Military Council, and Ahmad Al Rabiah, Sudan's opposition alliance coalition's leader, sign a power-sharing deal in Khartoum on August 17, 2019. Image Credit: Reuters

The people of Sudan embark on a new chapter in their nation’s history with the transition to a full and meaningful civilian rule, marking an end to the era of former president Omar Al Bashir and the Muslim Brotherhood. This new dawn will be challenging, but it is a challenge that the Sudanese can meet together, building a strong and prosperous nation free of the shackles of military interference and the toxic mix of politics and a religious agenda.

The events of these past five months have come at a heavy price for all who sought an end to the years of cronyism under Al Bashir. The events since Al Bashir’s arrest and the intervention by the military leadership to maintain their influence at the centre of government authority, set a new challenge for the combined opposition and popular protesters. Thankfully, those challenges have been overcome with the new transition agreement affording this opportunity for all Sudanese to embrace a new future.

The agreement now lays out a clear plan for the nation, setting the course for full elections to take place over the next 36 months. Our Arab brothers in Sudan deserve our full support for drawing up this transitionary roadmap, and the UAE fully endorses this process. As Dr Anwar Gargash, the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, tweeted: “The path to a state of institutions, stability and prosperity will not be filled with roses, but our confidence is in the brotherly Sudan and its people.”

Roadmap to elections

The signing of the transition agreement came as a result of the people of Sudan’s efforts to ensure that they would be free of the trappings of the Al Bashir regime. They were determined too that the military would cede their authority and recognise the struggle and determination of the people for a better and inclusive future for all. The standoff between the military and the people has not been bloodless — the process of nation-building rarely is. Now, however, with this agreement, there is a clear way forward.

Right now a military leader will the head the joint civilian-military sovereign council that will prepare the groundwork for elections in 2022. That military figure will be replaced by a civilian figure after 21 months, and will use the following 18 months to ensure that the people and nation of Sudan is ready to embrace its destiny afforded by this new dawn.