Reformation of Public Administration in Conflict-Affected States: The Case of the Republic of Sudan

Reformation of Public Administration in Conflict-Affected States: The Case of the Republic of Sudan

Ahmet Barbak (Izmir Katip Çelebi University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4978-0.ch014
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This chapter investigates the reformation process of public administration in the Republic of Sudan after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in 2005. Adopting decentralization as the key solution to conflict, reformation of public administration in Sudan found its impetus after the CPA. International organizations, namely the World Bank, United Nations Development Programme, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the International Monetary Fund, have engaged with Sudan through a variety of structural and sectoral adjustment programs. Drawing heavily on the analysis of related policy documents, this chapter, ultimately, seeks to depict how public administration reforms are identified and structured in conflict-affected contexts, compared to safe and stable conditions. At this point, it can be concluded that Sudan needs to determine its constitutional political identity first for succesful transition to democracy. Sudan seems unlikely to complete reforming its public administration unless it could have resolved issues of democratic transition and poverty.
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Understanding The Context: Reform Environment

It is well known that prevailing features and conditions of the state and administration in a specific country context, such as the type of regime, level of centralization and customary law, are closely related to successes and failures of the reforms. Accordingly, post-colonial African countries have long been described by weak state institutions arisen from authoritarianism, unresponsiveness, and corruption. Evidence demonstrates that authoritarian regimes, which have declared they have acted for national unity, have caused marginalization, discrimination, and exclusion in their societies (Panic, 2005; United Nations, 2007). In this context, Sudanese public administration has been politicized and personalized, military coups interrupted democratic transitions in 1958, 1969, 1985, 1989, and 2019, thereby leading to excessive centralization, political instability, legitimacy loss, and violent conflicts (Ahmed, 2008; Takana, 2008; Agwanda, 2019). Sudan has experienced another transition period since April 2019, when Omar Al-Bashir was overthrown.

In June 1989, the military junta, led by Colonel Omar Al-Bashir, took over the government, abolished the executive and legislative branches, and suspended the transitional Constitution of 1985. It formed the Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation (RCC-NS) as the single power, which would also house the standing committees, such as economics, peace and foreign relations. Following purges and executions in the upper ranks of the military, RCC-NS appointed the Council of Ministers composed of military and civilian members and its Chairman, Omar Al-Bashir, became the head of state (Voll, 1991; Elnur, 2009). While key portfolios, such as defense and internal affairs, were controlled by the military, civilian ministers sought for RCC-NS approval for policy decisions.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Technical Assistance: Assistance provided by experts in specific areas, which include modernization.

Conflict-Affected States: States that are adversely affected by violent armed conflicts.

Capacity-Building: Providing technical assistance to develop, operate and evaluate policies.

Comprehensive Peace Agreement: An agreement signed to resolve conflicts mainly by decentralization.

Poverty-Reduction: Sustainable development goal to eradicate extreme poverty.

Reform: Restructuring public administration for improved outcomes.

Decentralization: Devolving the power to sub-national authorities.

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