Opinions & Features October 23, 2021 at 12:00 pm

It is time for the African Union to help Sudan back to civilian government

Alexander Opicho | Contributor

Alexander Opicho October 23, 2021 at 12:00 pm

October 23, 2021 at 12:00 pm | Opinions & Features

Protesters backing civilian rule demonstrate in Sudan. Photo: AFP

Is this century a season for gunshots in Africa? Why is African politics dressed in a cloak of bloody violence and ethnically fuelled wars? Must the gunshots in Tigray be the identity of Ethiopia? Is it true that the gunshots in Central Africa must dictate the fabric of our democracy? Are the gunshots in Cameroon the only way to arrive at a choice between English and French as an official language? Can the gunshots in Congo bring value addition to Congo’s heavenly gift of minerals, huge landmass, good climate and talented population? Are the gunshots in Sudan going to be any blessing to Africa? How have gunshots of ethnic identity helped Somalia?

Can’t we sober up and civilize ourselves above the tomfoolery of Boko-Haram terror in Nigeria? Can’t we style up and point out those politicians giving place for hiding to the Alshabab terrorists in Kenya? Why are gunshots here and there in Africa? But no food and clean water for our people, no good education for our children and no social decorum for women and the powerless. I mean is the African political class a new hobgoblin from the netherworld?

Look, we already have Southern Sudan in a fragile political situation, yet again we are shamelessly allowing the political class in Khartoum, Sudan, to hurl the Sudanese nation down the road of failed statehood. We are likely set to lose the huge landmass of Africa in the two Sudan’s to the abyss of perennial political turmoil at a pretext of recognized sovereignty. Please, the African Union must not act stand-offish, it has to come out to stop lurking self-destructive violence in Khartoum. 

Diverse media outlets like YouTube and Digital media, as well as television screens with a focus on Africa on October 22, 2021, buzzed with videos of raucous crowds of young and elderly protesters, as well as women and children, who had taken to the streets of Khartoum to call for the military to take power. 

Political logic will not fail to tell you that these goony protesters were only doing all these out of anxiety and collective emotions of self-defeat. Certainly, there is no human being in the current world who deserves to be ruled by an outrageous group of soldiers. And even though they were good soldiers, they belong to the barracks, not the state-house. Thus, the unmitigated wildness in politic thinking we are observing among the unruly citizens in Khartoum is not freedom of speech, but an overtone of a season of anomie for Sudan. And it can likely jeopardize Sudan’s transition to democracy, or even shred it down to a society forlornly held captive by bondage to dictatorship of weapons, buckling under the oppressive brutality of military Junta. 

For heaven’s sake, we must not let this happen before our eyes. Especially we the living lovers of civilian democracy must publicly condemn in black and white the blind call by callow protesters demanding General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the current head of the armed forces and Sudan’s joint military-civilian Sovereign Council, to initiate a coup and seize power. We tell you that those demands are desperate, and they are coming from untrained minds. Please be patient and work on the ways of taking Sudan back to the rule of the civilian by the civilian for the civilian. It is correct for you to love your soldiers, it is a kind of patriotism. But please, you don’t need a military government.

Maybe one must also know that, on its own, the current Khartoum-Sudan cannot help itself out of the quagmire it is in. It requires the providence of external intervention from inter-governmental organizations like the African Union to step in and quicken the process of democratization in Sudan. The African Union is morally obliged to this duty fast and effectively. However, it can only do it if the people of Sudan desist the urge for military-mania. 

The people in Khartoum must also learn and accept a lesson that the army without other systems is no longer a sign of national strength. This is a lesson they were supposed to learn under the prolonged autocratic rule of Omar Al Bashir. An army is just an army even if it’s made up of your fellow Muslims. Islam cannot wipe out the military mannerism in the army. So, the people of Sudan, just as all the people of Africa, need civilian electoral democracy for governance, not anything else. 

Ergo, the people of Africa and the African states through the African Union must not sit back and watch Sudan getting destructed at the altar of political selfishness in Khartoum. We must intercede for Sudan. We must extend the same intercessionary spirit to Congo, Tigray, Somalia, Cameroon, and the Central African Republic by extending to them peace-building interventions with a primary motive of carrying Africa above unnecessary ethnic wars. If we can do this with dutiful obligation, we shall build ample time for Africa to unleash her socio-economic and technological development potential.

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