Source: Wikimedia Commons
When asked about the recent power-sharing deal reached in Sudan between military rulers and protesters Mousa Mohammad, a 67 year old Sudanese immigrant to the United States, answered, “ It’s a good idea if it’s something temporary, if it leads to democracy then it is good.”
Talks mediated by the Arab Union (AU) and Ethiopia resulted in a power-sharing deal promising democratic elections at the end of three years, with the Military Council ruling for the first 21 months of this period followed by a civilian-run administration for the last 18 months. Since reaching this agreement in early July, the Forces for Declaration of Freedom and Change-- representing the protesters-- delayed signing the agreement twice, citing the need for further negotiations including an investigation into the violence resulting from the military-led crackdown in late June. The agreement was officially signed early July 17th, with a “sovereign council” yet to be appointed.
While it is true military coups destabilize dictatorships, they do very little towards building democracy. Inevitably this negotiation has left many protesters feeling the initial issues that spurred their objection to Omar Al-Bashir have gone unresolved. More importantly, it leaves many wondering how the Military Council will behave at the end of the 21 months when rule is to be transferred. They have demonstrated fairly recently their willing use of violence to subdue political dissent, with no accountability. This deal offers stability in the short term, it’s long term effects are yet to be discovered. When prompted on the likeliness this deal will lead to democracy Mousa answered, “I’m skeptical.. are they (military) going to allow this? I don’t know. I don’t think so.”