Dr. Elshafie Khidir Saeed
Reform of the military and security sector is not a Sudanese invention, nor it is just a bid by political and civil forces and activists, as claimed by the remnants of the former regime. The concept first emerged in the nineties of the twentieth century in the countries of the socialist camp in Eastern Europe after the popular uprisings that overthrew totalitarian regimes in those countries. Then the concept was further developed and gained international acceptability with Security Council Resolution No. 2151, dated April 28, 2014, which included twenty items stressing that security/military sector reform in post-dictatorial environments is crucial for the consolidation of peace, stability, the rule of law, good governance, the extension of the authority of the legitimate state, and the prevention of regression to dictatorship and countries’ slide back into conflict. The resolution stressed that security/military sector reform efforts should not target only military, security, and police institutions but also all civilian government institutions, such as the judiciary and other justice agencies, penal institutions, and customs, as well as participants who play a role in overseeing the design of the security process and the formulation, implementation, and management of the national security strategy, and other entities that contribute to the provision of security for the state and its people. Security/military reform also target armed groups outside the regular forces as well as private security companies.
The Sudanese security/military sector reform process should be guided by a set of fundamental principles, which include:
First: It does not seek to dismantle or replace military and security institutions, but rather to develop and modernise them in accordance with the principles of democratic transition, peace, justice, human rights, and sustainable development.
Second: It is not a single action over a brief period of time, but rather a complex series of operations (process) that may require a considerable amount of time.
Third: It is tied to the comprehensive reform of all other state civil institutions.
Fourth: It is not limited to solely political, administrative, or technical decisions or actions; rather, it is guided by internationally recognized scientific concepts and informed by the successful experiences of other countries.
Fifth: It must not be subject to impulses and political and media bidding.
Sixth: It is implemented from within the military and security institutions and by their personnel, subject to the transparency principle and the oversight of civilian institutions such as the government and the legislative council.
Seventh: The process of military/security reform can be initiated during the transitional period if it is carried out in accordance with the principle of transparency and in coordination with civilian institutions, but the
the process and
the adoption of its results are the
Given Sudan's political history and its intersections with military institutions, as well as international experiences in this field, the primary themes of security/military sector reform in Sudan should include, but not be limited to: Merging all military formations into a single national army, modernising and developing regular institutions and equipping them with capabilities, and basing the security and military doctrine on the principles of democratic transition and human rights in accordance with international conventions and the rule of law, as well as removing the military and security sector of any political or ideological biases, rehabilitation of those arbitrarily dismissed from military institutions by either returning them to service or settling their status, the need for political and civil society involvement in the formulation of policies related to the national security strategy, ensuring transparency in the decision- making process and security policies, strengthening civil administration and democratic accountability of military, security, and police institutions, Strengthening the supervision of parliament and civil society oversight of these institutions, and dealing seriously with the state of public distrust in the institutions of the security/military sector to restore trust and reconciliation with civilians, embodying the principle of accountability in the institutions of the sector and ensuring the upmost adherence to accountablity and non-impunity principles for any violations that took place in the past or any in the future, and fighting corruption and abuse of influence within these institutions, ... etc
The process of reforming the military/security sector in Sudan must take into account the illustrious past of the institutions of this sector, such as the army, police, and other regular forces, which were genuinely national institutions until the sinister hands of the deposed regime impacted them. The proliferation of sabotage and distortion prompted some to question the authenticity of their nationalism. This sabotage and distortion are the rationale and objective justification for the need for military/security reform in the Sudan.
Soon after seizing power in a military coup on June 30, 1985, Sudan's National Islamic Front desired a completely pure state apparatus, without critical voices or ability to think differently, even from those who had nothing to do with politics, believing and convinced that this was the only way to establish itself in power. Because of this worthless vision, which is fascist in its essence, the former regime carried out this massacre, unprecedented in Sudanese history, dismissing, firing, and displacing thousands of workers in the state apparatus, and monopolising all key positions in the joints of the apparatus in favour of the regime's supporters, with no regard for competence and capability to occupy positions. There have been persistent efforts to monopolise civil society, including the media, culture, and even the administrations of sports clubs.
The great massacre extended to all regular sectors, where thousands of army and police officers and soldiers were dismissed, and the regime worked hard to liquidate any national content of the Sudanese army, obliterate its heritage and ancient traditions based on affirming the patriotism and nationalism of Sudanese officers and soldiers, replace the ruling party's ideology with the national doctrine, and start transforming regular institutions into organs affiliated with the ruling party through policies of recruiting cadres and membership of the organization and docile opportunistic groups, as well as establishing parallel security and intelligence services directly reporting to the organization's leadership. Governor. As a result of the great massacre, thousands of police officers, troops, and army officers were fired from their jobs. The old government worked hard to get rid of any national content in the Sudanese army. They did this by replacing the national creed of patriotism and nationalism of Sudanese officers and soldiers, with the ruling party's creed, and turning regular institutions into agencies of the ruling party through policies like recruiting their cadres and obedient opportunistic groups. In the same way, the ousted regime worked to set up separate security and intelligence agencies that answered directly and only to the leaders of the ruling party.
Therefore, what the Sudanese revolution wants today is to return the army, the police, the security apparatus, and any other regular sectors to the realm of nationalism and the vessel of patriotism, away from partisan or regional affiliations, siding with the people and their issues, and defending them. And certainly, national leadership's political will, both military and civilian, is crucial to progress in security/military sector reform and the formulation of Sudan's national security strategy.