VERNON Mwaanga says the resolve of the people of Sudan is admirable and underlines the fact that no amount of repression can stop an idea whose hour has come.
Mwaanga said the recently signed transitional power sharing agreement in Sudan had far-reaching implications.
The veteran politician said it was his fervent hope that the international community and the African Union in particular would not allow the military to renege on the historic agreement, which had been paid for by the people of the Sudan with their lives, blood and tears to become an absurdity.
He said it was a matter of record that Sudan has had a very unhappy and cruel past.
Mwaanga said since the country was taken over by the military and particularly since ousted military dictator President Omar al-Bashir ascended to power, the country witnessed an unprecedented level of brutality and suppression of those who dared to speak out against dictatorial and undemocratic governance.
“Human rights were suppressed beyond belief and there was nothing short of genocide committed in the region of Darfur, prompting the International Criminal Court to issue an international arrest warrant for Al- Bashir to be arrested and appear before it to be tried for genocide against his own people,” he stated.
“There were endless protests against the Bashir military regime by opposition parties, academicians, students, women, non-governmental organisations, professional groups and just ordinary people who wanted to see change and a return to civilian government, elected by the people in free, fair and democratic elections, which would be a true reflection of the will of the people of Sudan.”
Mwaanga stated that after Al-Bashir was deposed, a Transitional Military Council (TMC), was formed, which still did not satisfy the protestors who took to the streets of Sudan every day in large numbers.
He said after Al-Bashir’s personal premises were searched by the very security forces he once firmly controlled, they found large sums of money in all kinds of currencies stashed away, which “seems to be be the common curse” of African and other Third World leaders.
“The trial of Al-Bashir has now started in Khartoum and it can only be hoped that he will be justly punished for the crimes he blatantly committed against his own people,” he stated.
Mwaanga stated that as the protests intensified, the African Union finally awakened from its slumber and stepped in to mediate, with a lot of help from the Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed.
He stated that after many months of protests, killings of protestors by the military and difficult negotiations, a joint power sharing military and Civilian sovereign council has been agreed and was signed on August 17.
“It is intended to pave the way for the holding of democratic elections. The Sovereign Council comprises eleven members, six civilians and five military members. The eleven members were sworn in on Wednesday 21st August and includes two women. The signed deal includes the establishment of an independent investigation into the killing of peaceful protestors by the security forces,” he stated.
“Although many Sudanese are cautiously optimistic about the new agreement, there are some who do not trust the military to see this agreement to its logical conclusion. They fear that as soon as the protestors vacate the streets, the military will push out the civilians and continue maintaining control of the government.”
He stated that the guns must go silent so that peace and democracy are given a chance to prevail after Sudan’s dark past.
“Power is never permanent. It is always transitory. The Sudanese people have a right and must be allowed to feel proud of their country yet again,” said Mwaanga.