Conversation | Here are the key hurdles Sudan must clear to install democracy

Sudan is no stranger to uprisings. After months of protest a massive civilian uprising finally ousted former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir from power. He had been president for 30 years and, in the wake of his ouster, has been charged in connection with the deaths of protesters. 

Even though the current protests have resonated with all members of society, history shows that civilian-led governments tend not to last in the country. With tensions rising between protesters and the transitional military council, the fear is that things could get worse before they get better. This would allow chaos to settle in, preventing democracy from taking root. As things stand, the battle for Sudan is far from over. Confrontations between the protesters and the security services are ongoing.

Some of the country’s powerful generals and opposition leaders have agreed in principle to the formation of a joint civilian-military council to lead the country’s political transition. But they are unable to agree on how big a role the generals would play on the new council. 

Even assuming that agreement is reached, Sudan must still overcome a number of challenges if it is to usher in a viable democracy. These include trying to forge unity among those who led the protests. They were led by a number of groups that fell come under an umbrella organisation called the Freedom and Change Coalition. This consisted of over 21 political parties, trade unions, youth movements and civil society organisations. 

The other two big challenges are managing the fragmented security apparatus, as well as dealing with rebel groups, particularly those who feel most aggrieved in Darfur.

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