Africanews reported on 13 January 2023 that Sudanese government officials met together on 12 January “to broker a more inclusive peace deal” and “finalize a roadmap to democracy”. The conference included workshops on various themes, such as:
World Watch Research analyst Yonas Dembele comments: “Both the international community and the Sudanese people hoped that the ousting of President al-Bashir in April 2019 would lead to reforms whereby democracy, human rights and freedom of religion would flourish. There was a rush of activity to reinstate Sudan into the international community. For example, in December 2020 - after 27 years - the US government decided to remove Sudan from its list of ‘state sponsors of terrorism’. Similarly, in December 2019 - after 20 years - the US State Department removed Sudan from its list of Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) for gross violations of freedom of religion. However, things did not work out as planned, even though some peace agreements were signed between various factions and the government. Problems came to a head in October 2021 when the army took total control of power. That was followed by regular demonstrations by the people demanding restoration of civilian rule.
Yonas Dembele continues: “In the meantime, the military regime has made attempts to bring back some of the institutions and laws from al-Bashir’s time, which basically encourage human rights violations, especially freedom of religion. For example, in August 2022, the government established a community police, which closely resembles the abolished morality police. This is the background facing any attempts at creating a broader framework for peace and democracy in the country.”
Yonas Dembele adds: “The pressure on the government of Sudan to restore civilian rule might push the military regime to agree to a new framework. However, it is unlikely that the military leaders will simply accept the demands of the people and the international community. Thus, even though it is important to recognize this positive move towards a more inclusive peace deal, it would be too optimistic to hope for any concrete implementation in the very near future.”