On January 15, 2016, the fifth conference of the Sudanese Congress Party approved this program, which reflects the objectives we seek to achieve. This program shows how this party thinks, how it sees itself and others and more importantly reflects the reality of Sudan; its future and the impact of its past.
The Fifth Conference of the Sudanese Congress Party is a new birth for our party. It is moving from one achievement to the next, and over the previous years has crossed many milestones in terms of development and progress and lighting candles of hope and prosperity for the years to come, for both our people and our homeland. For the sake of all humanity, our dream is a “homeland for all”.
Whilst we move with purpose towards the objective of making our dream a reality, this agonized country at the same time continues to provide each one of us with its beautiful sky above our heads and its fertile earth beneath our feet
The birth of the Sudanese Congress Party began in the mid-1970s when the organization of the Independent Students' Conference at Universities and Higher Institutes was established in 1977 as a consequence of the May regime and the then political forces concluding an agreement between them to end their opposition and join the regime’s institutions in what was known at that time as “The National Reconciliation”.
It became abundantly clear that the Sudanese political establishment was now deviating from the right path as witnessed by this alliance of the parties in power (the government & the opposition) against the interests of the people. It is indisputable that sound political practice in any human society requires the delegation of authority from the people to the state. It also requires the government to be charged with running the affairs of state as it requires an opposition that monitors these processes and questions its decisions whilst protecting the interests of the people.
From this political vacuum and the creative genius of tour people and the student movement, arose the establishment of the “Conference of Independent Students” amongst university students inside and outside the Sudan. This was the first anniversary of what we have now become, the first cry of the Sudanese Congress Party that was born and heard at Sudanese universities before heading out to the wider Sudanese public in its second year.
The second rebirth of the Sudanese Congress was in 1986; which was the year of its formal establishment, at a time of one of the great and historic achievements of the Sudanese people since independence, which was the March / April uprising that overthrew the May Dictatorship regime that year.
The Sudanese Congress Party was founded on the 1st of January 1986 through a bold initiative of the Conference of Independent Students' and its members who had just graduated from university. In an historic agreement between the Free Patriotic Movement, many thought and opinion leaders and trade unions, who all gathered together under one roof with one mission; to serve our people and our homeland. This marked the birth of the “Sudanese Congress Party” under its historic name (The National Congress). The naming of the National Congress was not arbitrary, it represents its intellectual depth and symbolizes the true nature of the mission and vision of the party.
The Sudanese Congress Party is built on a foundation of ongoing and open dialogue between the party’s members as well as dialogue between the party and the rest of our partners in this country. It is with this understanding of our organization as one that is; democratic, transparent and open to all the sons and daughters of the Sudan that the party seeks to achieve nationhood from the nation and is the limit of our ambitions. We are not a national group working for goals beyond our borders, and the thinking and ideas that we express are targeted towards national action purely intended to uplift and develop this nation and its people.
The Sudanese Congress Party is not however, isolated from our regional and international context and the movement is closely linked into and learns from the lessons of our human history. The experience from the world around us has been very positive with launching the “National Congress” name for the new party following on from the South African National Congress Party, which was fighting the apartheid regime in South Africa at the time, and also adopting the name to celebrate the Indian National Congress and its methods of peaceful resistance, and co-existence within a multi-religious and multicultural society.
Based on these ideas expressed by the independent students within the universities and adopted by the free nationalists in their work, our party issued its first founding document in 1986 and the second in 1988 under the title of: “Sudan; to be or not to be” and the third at the third general conference in 2005.
At this conference, the party will issue its fourth document and the door will be left open for it to continue to be modified and developed through a deep dialogue between the members of the party on one side and between the party and all the people of Sudan on the other to be the foundation that reflects the hopes and aspirations of the people for a better tomorrow.
A few years after its establishment, the party found itself faced with the challenges of a dark presence that besieged the party from all sides. The independents were driven into exile after being subjected to harassment and torture at the hands of the Salvation Front who had taken power through a coup. The party however continued to work discretely to maintain its presence and participated in the Third General Conference in 2005, in which the Universities; Independent Students Conference at Universities re-defined itself as a student organization reflecting the Party. The party's name was also changed from the National Congress to the Sudanese Congress to distance itself from the damage caused to the name; National Congress by the repressive authorities in power. This Conference was important as it was transition point of the party from an effective political movement to a mass national party presenting a clear program and vision of good governance in order to serve our people.
The tragic reality that Sudan is experiencing today is the result of historic errors that have accumulated over the years due to the failure of the political and military elites who have exchanged power among themselves together with their poor choices. It is clear to everyone that these failures have left their mark resulting in the overall decline in the political, economic and social situation in Sudan. The casualty of this devastation was the opportunity to build a modern state through national and multi-national projects that moved people from regional and tribal allegiances to a national one with its legitimate institutions, civil administration and rule of law. Instead of this, what was sacrificed was peace, development, freedom and social justice.
The experience of national government in our country since independence has been far below the expectations of our people, where failure and disappointment has prevented our people from reaching their aspirations in a country worthy of it that can provide a homeland for all, in which peace, fraternity, justice, freedom and democracy prevail. For six decades, we have been caught in a vicious cycle between a pseudo democracy that was incapable of confronting the big issues and totalitarian and authoritarian rule that exacerbated the crisis. In both cases, ruling power remained monopolized by a tiny elite, which largely destroyed the country's social and cultural fabric and its approach to political and social life was for the sake of power and enrichment rather than altruism and service. Where creed rather than reason and narrow concepts of tribalism and sectarianism prevailed rather than the concepts of citizenship under one nation with institutions of an open civil society, where negligence, indifference and intellectual laziness ruled rather than learning, planning, creativity and rationality until our nation ended-up under the unjust dictatorship of the Salvation regime and the tragic situation it created within the political, economic and social spheres.
However, forces for good, continued to strive to launch a national democratic initiative to build the modern civil state along the lines envisaged by; the revolutionary movement of 1924, during the political struggle for independence, and the popular uprisings in October 1964 and April 1985 and in the continuing resistance to the tyranny of the Salvation regime. These forces continued to look for a way out of the developing national crisis and aspired to establish new political platforms that reflect their aspirations and that contribute towards taking the nation along the difficult path to renaissance and progress.
The birth of the Sudanese Congress Party is an open invitation to the masses of the Sudanese people to rally around a new political and ideological initiative that takes into account the changes taking place, benefits from the lessons of the past, and to make a serious contribution through decisive and historic change to establish a civil state that refutes notions of hierarchy, exclusion and marginalization and acknowledges diversity and guarantees the rights to co-existence of all elements of society, through an authority that will establish the foundations of good governance in a country of peace and security where freedom, justice, development, welfare and all the ingredients of a decent life prevail.