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Sudan’s transitional agreement and its importance for Africa and the Arab world

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The agreement between the signatories to the Declaration for Freedom and Change and the Transitional Military Council in Khartoum has not been fleshed out in great detail, but the historic deal has paved the way for a new Sudan and a new model of change in Africa and the Arab world. It comes a day after five peaceful protesters and one army officer were killed and over 200 were injured, 77 of them with gunshot wounds after being fired on by soldiers hoping to derail the peace process. However, when the celebrations die down in the weeks ahead and the protest barricades are removed from the streets, the task of rebuilding a new democratic Sudan will begin in earnest.

The problems facing the country are deep and complex, but already Sudan has benefited from the Arab Spring experience of Egypt, where popular protest removed a military leader in Hosni Mubarak, but the army retook control of the country. The Sudanese people used non-violent means to weaken Omar Al-Bashir’s tight grip on power. The approach was in sharp contrast to the violent insurrections in Libya, Syria and Yemen that have led to much death and destruction. It was also contrary to the armed insurrections in three different parts of Sudan that made little headway in changing or removing the now-ousted state President. The Sudanese are hoping that a promise to once-marginalised groups of participation in government may persuade them to cease hostilities and come to a final settlement.

The hope is that a peaceful transition will set a precedent to bring about change thorough the establishment, building and strengthening of democratic institutions. Al-Bashir’s government infamously........

© Middle East Monitor