- Documents on Democracy
On April 11, longtime Sudanese autocrat Omar al-Bashir was ousted following months of nationwide protests against his military-backed regime. The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) took a leading role in organizing and supporting the protests, joining with other groups to form the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC). (For more on the uprising in Sudan, see the article by Mai Hassan and Ahmed Kodouda on pp. 89–103 above.) The SPA's statement on the August 17 power-sharing agreement signed by military and civilian leaders is excerpted below:
On this joyous day, it is painful that some of the revolutionaries who had taken part in the protests in December and in the glorious sit-in at the military headquarters are missing from amongst us today. They were the ones who strove laboriously, and with profound faith, to see through the revolution to its very end after the overthrow of the regime. . . .
The former regime and its president deserve to have their names written in the darkest chapters of history. Let the warrant issued by the ICC for the arrest of the former president bear witness that the defunct regime had left not a single crime that it had not committed.
All these crimes against our people make the matter of judicial accountability one of the most important duties of this government. . . . We affirm the commitment of the FFC to conducting a transparent, just and objective national investigation into the massacre of the military headquarters sit-in. We assure you that we will work with urgency to ensure that any individual who has committed a crime against the Sudanese people since 30 June 1989 shall not escape justice. . . .
The devastation caused by the former regime has affected all aspects of life, including an adequate standard of living, food for children, clean water, healthcare and education. The former regime also, and very deliberately, destroyed the social fabric of communities by dividing and [End Page 179] discriminating between citizens on tribal, ethnic, regional, religious and racial grounds—a heinous process that the Sudanese people had never before experienced. . . . The regime also, again very deliberately, degraded the women of Sudan. The regime oppressed women through repressive laws, and through the creation of courts of "law," prosecution tribunals and police divisions whose sole purpose collectively was to humiliate women. . . .
To the [formerly ruling] National Congress Party and its allies: Say it: justice has prevailed and the reign of injustice has come to an end. You abused your power and authority. You killed, arrested, tortured and displaced the people of this country. Many of you remained silent in the face of these crimes and turned a blind eye to the injustices. During your unjust rule, our country suffered civil wars and internal conflicts. People starved and were displaced across borders, their dignity was compromised and our lives became unbearable.
During your time in power, corruption spread at an unprecedented magnitude and rate. Under your regime, the wealth of this country was scattered and distributed into the pockets of a few of you. During your era, all that our youth dreamt of was to emigrate and leave their homeland behind, and death became the wish of many. . . .
We will not do what you did, and vengeance shall not be our approach. Instead, we shall pursue accountability and just punishment. For those who did not commit serious crimes or have not committed visible and personal crimes, we invite them to join the campaign to build this nation. . . . Ultimately, you too are from this country, and your right to citizenship has not been withdrawn. Nonetheless, you must choose how you wish to make amends for what you have done, for silence in the face of injustice is complicity.
On May 20, during his inaugural address before the Ukrainian parliament, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky called for snap parliamentary elections, which were held on July 21. Below are excerpts from Zelensky's August 29 address to the newly elected parliament:
I am very pleased that we have a parliament willing to work for real. Not to engage in populism, not to disrupt important decisions with thousands of meaningless amendments, but to implement real reforms...