Purpose and Perspective of the Paper
As a personal testimonial, this paper addresses the experience of the SPA from its early inception in 2016 until its divisions in May 2020.
This testimonial is based on personal and direct experience of the different phases. It is a compilation of personal and individual observations with no connection to the positions of the bodies which I hold, or in which I have been a member. Since late 2016, I was the representative of the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors (CCSD) in the discussions and efforts made towards establishing the SPA until its foundation in July 2018. I then became a member of the SPA Secretariat and an SPA spokesperson. Therefore, this paper documents the events from the perspective of a participant. It presents positive and negative aspects to inform future phases and documents the key statements issued during that time (see annexes).
Despite the divisions that plagued the SPA, trade unions and professional associations have since the coup retained a complementary and supportive role to the resistance committees. However, they remain marginal. Despite continuous strikes in various sectors, the collective and joint action of unions has remained underwhelming and failed to meet the hopes and expectations of the Sudanese.
The paper is divided into six parts. Part 1 gives a historic overview of union action in Sudan. Part 2 presents the milestones that led to the inception of the SPA. Part 3 covers the various roles of the SPA in leading the Revolution and SPA structures and bylaws. Part 4 documents the path leading towards the founding of the SPA and its role in popular protests. Part 5 discusses the reasons for rifts inside the SPA. Part 6 provides an outlook into the future in hopes of building more stable and solid union coalitions.
The views represented in this paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Arab Reform Initiative, its staff, or its board.