The Rebels Come to Khartoum: How to Implement Sudan's New Peace Agreement

A peace agreement signed on 3 October 2020 paves the way for armed and unarmed opposition groups in Sudan to join the transitional government, dramatically expanding representation of the country’s peripheries during the interim period before elections. The two most powerful rebel movements remain outside the accord, however. Clinching the agreement was necessary for the country’s transition but implementation poses challenges. The agreement risks bloating the military and sets up a prospective political alliance between the rebels and Sudanese security forces, which could further sideline the government’s civilian cabinet and threaten to bury its reform agenda. The interim government should negotiate with holdout rebels to bring them into the transition. Sudan’s international partners should press for security sector reform that decreases the size and political dominance of a newly expanded military while funding and supporting the authorities’ spending commitments in the peripheries.