Interview with the Communist Party Spokesman Dr. Fathi Al Fadol
By the end of 2018, actions against the high cost of living that kicked off in Sudan had already spread across the whole country, and continued without a break, despite massacres. Even though these actions received some media coverage, part of them have so far been kept unveiled.
The Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) have been one of the determinant powers in the uprising. The Sudanese National Liberation Movement (org. Hareket-ul Teherrur el Watani el Sudani-HASTO) had changed their name to SCP, in August 1946. (BULUT, Faik. “Sudan Halk Ayaklanması Hakkında Ezber Dışı Belirlemeler.” https://www.gazeteduvar.com.tr/)
We have talked to SCP, who have played a significant role in the country’s history with a good 73-year-old struggle, and made a two-part interview with party spokesperson, Dr. Al Fadol.
While the first part of our questions were more about the current agenda, the second part focused more on the historical and social processes, and the overall situation. The impacts of the revolution are not solely effective in Sudan, but are also informative for all revolutionary movements in our region.
How are the streets? What is the frequency of protests and activities? Are these protests and activities common in the country and what do you think about the participation of people both in quantity and quality?
Yes, the protest actions, demonstrations, sit-ins, and strikes are some of the daily features in the country. It is not limited to the capital or the main cities, but it is in the towns and rural areas. The local causes are different, but the main feature is the masses are demanding their rights. But local demands are usually anti-dictatorial and pro-opposition in principle. The uniting factor is that they are led by the resistance committees which sprang up or built by the opposition forces.
I can safely say the mass protest action is continuing unabated. As recent as Thursday the 17th of July tens of thousands gathered in the capital marking the end of a week-long mass actions demanding justice to the victims of the repression and civilian rule.
The composition of the people participating in these actions differs so city to city or towns. In the capitals and some cities the working people, the working class the professionals and civil servants are the main forces. In the cities of Atbara and Port Sudan, the working class is the main force. In the North around the River Nile and the Middle in Algazeria region, the peasantry is the main force. Here also the professional engineers and agricultural workers play a major part in the organization and the building of the resistance committees.
(Although we have seen your recent announcement, we thought that it would be educatory for us) What is the current condition of opposition coalition? We see that it consists of organizations with different ideologies. After the fall of Bashir, what are the topics that are discussed in the coalition? Furtherly, what do you plan about these topics as SCP?
It took the SCP are other political forces to establish both the political platform and the loose organizational unity of the opposition. The Freedom and Change Alliance, as you correctly stated consists of different groups that have different ideologies. But it is the Broad Front which we believe is the correct tactics for this period of the revolution.
Everything is being discussed. In the majority of times, an agreement is reached, in other each party or organization may reserve its independent position. At present, the main topics are related to the two documents which will form the basis for the establishment of the three levels of government as well as the relation with the armed groups. For the SCP we are doing our best to achieve unity of action,but that will not be done by betraying our principle stand that what took place in April 11th was a coup to abort the revolution, the removal of Albashier aimed to create the conditions for attracting some opposition whose interests coincide with the regime with the purpose of enlarging the regime base. Because of the TMC is a continuation of Albasiers set up.SCP reject its presence in any role in the future of the country.
What are the terms of goverment that the coalition and the military council agreed on? How will the coalition and communist party take a position in the government?
The problem here every now and the military changes its mind. So, it is difficult to say there is an agreement or a deal on how or who will govern. Because the SCP refused the way some forces within the Alliance have agreed with the military if that deal would stand then the SCP will not form any part of any transitional govt.
The military council reported a coup attemp has occured. How do you evaluate?
It is clear whenever there is a disagreement between the opposition the junta, their way of escape is to refer to a coup. Their last statement of coup happening is the fourth time since they assumed power. On the other hands that call plays in the hands of some forces in the international community who looks at the military as a stabilizing factor.
Does the Army only consist of pro-junta or pro-Beşir or Rapid Support Forces? Is there a group in the Army that supports the opposition?
The present army officers were mainly chosen by the Muslim Brotherhood.may be in the last ten years or so their grip on the choice of officers have weakened. As for the generals they are Albashiers choice. The RSF is a bandit militia led a warlord who readies to serve the high bidder. He is completely sold the Gulf states for the time being.
Of course, within the army and lower levels within the officers and the soldiers, there is a force of the patriotic group.
If we understand right, some of the dissent armed organizations and guerilla groups in your country chose to make seperate negotiations with the junta. How do you evaluate this? What is the political position of the armed rebels?
Yes, some groups negotiated with TMC. But today all the armed groups supports the principle of civilian government and the return of the arm to their barracks.
What is your vision about the direction of the revolution? What is the main subject that SCP is trying to organize?
In a nutshell what we are passing through the revolution in Sudan is a revolutionary crisis developing. So far, several achievements were made, still, several highly important goals lie ahead. To achieve that means not only to topple the old regime but to dismantle it and liquidate it and to build the democratic alternative that behaves the way to completion of the tasks of the national democratic revolution. In each turning point in the advance of the revolutionary struggle, we must be cautious and aware of the difficulties and the change of tactics and alliances to suit the level of the struggles and the goals of the revolution.
“We know for sure that our experiences have added a few more lessons to our mutual revolutionary history.”
In this part, we have talked about the historical and social dynamics of revolution. We tried to learn about the situation of the Proletarian class, the women’s movement, and the socialist movement. Also answering our questions about the ongoing war, Dr. Al Fadoul has called for a common stance by all revolutionary movements in our region, and stated that they are calling for a meeting to improve mutual action and ideas.
How did we reach the revolution process in Sudan with the perspective of historical and social progress?
Since the independence of our country our party has been fighting to complete political independence with economic independence. To rid the country from complete dependence on foreign imperialist circles, to develop the country into a real democratic state where the working people have the real say in implementing the program of the national democratic revolution.
However, it has the repeated case whenever the organized masses were near to achieve their aims the forces of reaction inside and outside the country conspire against the independent mass movement and resout to arms to abort its uprisings.
This happened in 1958, two years after independence, in 1969 and 1989. At all these junctures the SCP, the democratic trade unions were subjected to brutal repression resulting in the killing of SCP leaders, prominent trade unionists, and student leaders.
So, we can say what the present situation represents is the very progressive and revolutionary historical process that characterized our struggle since independence. It took the SCP time to rebuild after the coup in 1989. The SCP has learned its lessons and is building on its vast experience and those of the region to reach its goals.
What is the condition of the working class: (In general terms)
a. In Quantitative terms: Number of workers, fields of work, working conditions, etc.
b. State of their organization (Syndicates, unions, etc.) Relationship with revolutionists, the position they take in the revolution…
c. Sudanese Professionals Association seems to have an important role. How does this association work? Are workers represented in the organization?
As stated earlier the SCP and the working have always paid the highest price on the success of the counter revolution. In 1969 the target of the military regime was to confiscate democracy, abolish and ban political parties and trade unions. Aiming to weaken the SCP and the working class. This after 30 years of the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood, which from the very beginning has declared the organized working class and its part as its main enemy, the working class has suffered a lot.No trade unions were aloud outside the official governmental one. But through arduous and relentless struggle and sacrifices, especially in the years since the uprising in 2013, communists and their allies managed to gradually build democratic alternative organizations to challenge the official ones. We can not say the working class has acquired its previous status as the main force in the trade union movement and the struggle,.Still mits influence is increasing and it is playing a considerable role in the opposition. Skilled workers represent about 50% of the working class. and there organized in independent trade unions. Majority work in the railways, in the port, and the private sector.AS you expect the working conditions are among the worse.NO satisfactory pay, no health insurance, very short paid holidays, and contracts that protect the workers from being dismissed.
The SPA plays an important role in the process and the Alliance. It is grouping all professional bodies, including representatives of the working class.
Can you tell us about the overall state and progress of revolutionist, socialist movements as a whole? How did they take a position in the revolution?
It is difficult to speak about revolutionary and socialist movements. It is around the SCP the democratic mass organizations in the working class, the peasantry, the revolutionary intellectuals the students, youth and women, where the strategic alliance is built. Of course, there exist other political parties that included and grouped in the Forces for National Consensus, Arab Nationalist of different affiliations.
Can you tell us about the overall state and progress of women movement?
The Sudanese Women’s Union was established in the early fifties by a group of communist and democratic women. Its first president late Fatima Ahmed was a member of the CC of the SCP. Since then there is an interaction between the women’s movement and the SCP. Today they are playing a majore role in the revolution. They occupy leading positions in the political and trade union movement.12 female comrades are members of the CC of the Party out 41 Imembers. Two female comrades are members of the PB of the Party. It is worth stressing that female participation in mass actions has reached 64%.
There is a war that going on in Yemen where Sudanese soldiers take part in. If we look at the big picture, we can say there is a process that takes place which we can call the start of the 3rd World War (3rd ‘Sharing of the World’ War). How do you evaluate the war in Yemen and the region? What should be done?
How are your relations with the revolutionary forces in the region? To strengthen the solidarity with the revolutionary forces and to strengthen the struggle, is there anything you wish to say?
The SCP has called for a meeting of the communist parties of the region to discuss the present dangerous situation in the area. It is the war in Yemen, the situation in Syria, the Kurdish problem, the possible military confrontation, and intervention by US imperialism against Iran, and above the explosive situation in occupied Palestine. Whether this will lead to a third world war or not, the situation remains tense and necessitate attention and common action by the communist parties of the region and those around the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. We feel such a meeting is of vital importance to improve both relations, understanding as well as solidarity.
How do you foresee the impact of Sudan Revolution to the coming revolutions in our region?
The Sudanese revolutionary process will add to the historical rich experiences in the region. While discussing the situation in our country after the 6th Congress held in 2016, the CC studied critically the experiences of the Egyptian, Tunisian and Palestinian uprising. We are sure our experience has added a lesson or two to our common revolution history.