Articles and Analysies
Updated JEM Proposal for Change by Dr. Abdullahi Osman El-Tom
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Jun 23, 2008 - 8:55:17 AM












Our slogan: (Justice, Equality and Unity)







Proposal for Change: Towards a Sudan of Justice and Equality

(Updated Version)


Compiled by Training and Planning Office, JEM

June 2008








Proposal for Change: Towards a Sudan of Justice and Equality



The Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) is a national organization open for all the marginalised Sudanese people.

JEM was launched in the mid 1990s as an alternative to all northern-based political parties.   In 2003, and following intense government-led attacks on the indigenous people of Darfur , JEM re-launched itself as an armed Movement.   Since then, JEM and in collaboration with the Sudan Liberation Movement of Darfur , has signed a number of Resolutions with the Government of Khartoum .   Following completion of a peace agreement with Khartoum government, JEM will transform itself into a full national political party and contribute to the reconstruction of the Sudan .


The Problem Stated :

In a nutshell, Sudan has been controlled by elites of the Northern Region throughout its independent history; that this control has remained the same irrespective of the nature of the government of the day.   The hegemony of the Northern elites has prevailed through democratic, theocratic, socialist and military governments alike.   The domination of the North that is reckoned to constitute only five percent of Sudan ’s population is so pervasive and has been maintained at a huge cost to the nation.   The result is obvious: wars, famines, disease and poverty.   JEM intends to correct just that.


The following is a summary of what JEM stands for:


General Objectives of JEM:

1.      Eradication of economic, cultural and political marginali sation of the majority of Sudanese, which has been a feature of Sudan ’s politics since its Independence in 1956.

2.      Establishment of a just system based on democratic principles, rule of law, respect of human rights and accommodation of diversity of all Sudanese people.

3.      Institution of constitutional reform that enables all regions of Sudan to rule themselves within a federal system under a united Sudan .

4.      Improvement of standards of living for all people in the country and with equitable access to public services.

5.      Initiation of sustainable socio-economic development that will span the whole nation.

6.      Realization of the supremacy of the law and separation of powers in the country.

7.      Establishment of a federal and democratic government of national unity.

8.      Liberation of Sudanese citizens from poverty, disease, illiteracy, hunger and restoring their dignity and confidence.

9.      Enabling all Sudanese citizens to participate effectively in the process of production, creativity and peaceful co-existence.

10.                          Empowerment and support of women, youth and other marginalised sectors in the community to assume their full role in building a prosperous society.

11.                          Provision of care for the weakest members of the society including children, orphans, widowed, elderly, displaced and the disabled.

12.                          Institution of congenial and friendly relations with the outside world guided by principles of mutual respect and promotion of common interests



Objectives shall be realised through the following means:

1.      Political negotiations between JEM and Khartoum Government.

2.      Waging war against the government of Khartoum with the aim of liberating the entire Sudan and in conjunction with other Movements that share common objectives.

3.      Mobilisation of all the marginalised people in the Sudan to stand for their legitimate rights through media, conferences, rallies.. With the aim of isolating the Government of Khartoum , both internally and externally

4.      Establishment of civic authorities in the militarily liberated zones and provision of basic services and development work.

5.      Provision and development of alternative policies for the interim period and drafting guidelines for division of power and wealth and for the definition of the new Sudanese identity.

6.      Encouragement of all members of the Movement in the country to become exemplary models in the pursuit of revolutionary work in the Sudan .

7.      Mobilisation of the members of the Government army to take side with their marginalised and dispossessed communities and to fight for overcoming the mentality of submission to the oppressive rule of the racist minority of Khartoum .


General Principles:

1. The Sudan shall remain a sovereign and united country.

2. The Sudan shall become a federation of Six Regions: the Central Region, the Southern Region, the Northern Region, the Eastern Region, Kordofan Region, Darfur Region.

3. Khartoum shall maintain a special status as a National Capital Zone during the interim period.

4.      Country shall be ruled according to a new Federal and Democratic System.

5.      Arabic and English shall become the official languages of the country while genuine.   Indigenous languages will be promoted and officially recognized.

6.      The country shall be obligated to protect Human Rights of all citizens.

7.      The country shall have four levels of governance: Federal, Regional, State and Local.


System of Governance

		The Federal Government:

JEM will work to remove religion from Sudanese politics and shall call for a Non-theocratic federal republican state.


1.      The country shall become a Presidential Parliamentarian Republic .

2.      The President of the country shall be directly elected by all citizens of the Sudan

3.      The President shall appoint a Prime Minister nominated by the majority political party in a free elections

4.      Regions shall be the basis for division of powers without prejudice to Political Parties and free elections

5.      Regions shall rotate in the position of the President of the Sudan during the interim period. This system shall be reviewed after the first round of six Terms covering all the six Regions. No region shall hold more than one Term at a time.

6.      For each presidential term, presidential candidates from the relevant Region (only) shall be nominated for election by the political parties

7.      In each Presidential Term, the positions of (a) President of the Sudan (b) Prime Minster (c) Head of House of Senate (d) Head of Parliament (e) Head of Judiciary and (f) Head of Supreme Court shall be drawn from different Regions, with no Region holding more than one position in one Presidential Term.

8.      A proportional representation system shall be adopted whereby parties that score above a certain level (to be agreed upon) shall constitute the Federal (National, henceforth Federal) Council of Ministers and the Regional Council of Ministers, all without prejudice to the right of Regions for representation.

9.       Federal Ministerial positions and key Federal positions in the State shall be divided among all six Regions in accordance with their population weight.   This shall remain so and shall be reviewed when all Regions achieve parity by the end of the Six Interim Presidential Terms

10.                                                                        At the end of the first round of presidential Terms, the Terms for President of the Sudan, all Constitutional positions at Federal, Region and State levels and heads of registered political parties shall be limited to four years and can be renewed for no more than one extra Term.

11.                                                                        There shall be two elected Federal legislative bodies: a House of Parliament and a House of Senate.  


12.                                                                        The Federal Parliament and the Senate shall be constitutionally mandated to oversee performance of the President of the country and the Prime Minister, to question them and dispossess them of the confidence of the Houses if necessary.


Regional Government:

1.      Regional Governors, Regional Ministers and State Governors (Wulaa) are accountable to the Regional Legislative Authorities that have power to depose them.

2.      Regional Legislative Councils shall be mandated to propose new national laws to the two Houses, the Federal Parliament and the Senate.

3. Regional Legislative Councils and State Consultative Bodies shall have the right of veto regarding any proposed change of Region and State borders legislated by the Federal Parliament or the Senate.  

4.      Regions shall retain their geographical and administrative borders of January 1956 ( Independence ).

5.      Each Region shall consist of constituent States.

6.      Each Region shall have its own constitution within the parameters of the National Constitution.

7.      Each Region shall have a Legislative Council.

8.      Citizens of their respective Regions shall choose Regional Governors through direct elections.

10. Regional Ministers shall be appointed by their respective Regional Governors.

11. Fair ethnic mix and minority rights shall be observed in the composition of the Regional Ministerial Council and State Administrative Councils.

12. JEM will affirm to preserve the gains of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLA/M) outlined in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).


State Government:

1. Each State shall have a Consultative Authority (Shura).   Members of this Authority shall consist of local governments,

2. State Governors (Wulaa) shall be elected by citizens of their respective States.

3. Each State shall have its own Administrative Council appointed by the Governor of the State.

4. The Head of the Local Government shall be elected by his/her own people.


Status of Khartoum :

1.      Khartoum , the capital shall be treated like a separate region.

2.      All Regions should be represented in ruling Khartoum

3.      JEM shall participate in running Khartoum during the Transitional Period

4.      Khartoum shall be cleared of all armies

5. The capital of the Sudan shall be moved from Khartoum to a more suitable locality in the country- to be specified in the future



 Sharing the Wealth of the Nation

1.      Economic policies in the country must be guided by a citizen-led philosophy with the use of public services as a primary framework for distribution of wealth in the country.

2.      Allocation of National Budgets to different Regions in accordance with their population weight.

3.      All key positions in the public sector shall be divided among different Regions on the bases of population weight.

4.      Uniformity of delivery of public services (health, education, security) shall be adopted throughout the country.

5.      Provision of free education for all citizens up to the college level with the Primary education to be made compulsory for all citizens.   

6.      Primary Health Care shall be offered free for all citizens in addition to free health coverage for the poorest of the nation.

7.      Provision of water, electricity and cooking gas for all houses in the country within five years.

8.      Connection of all State Capitals in the Sudan with tarmac roads within three years and connection of the Sudan with its 9 neighbouring countries within 9 years.


9.      Extension of Sudan railways network to connect the Federal Capital with all State Capitals within 7 years and capitals of neighbouring countries within a period of 10 years.

10.                                                                                  Fair distribution of developmental schemes among all Regions.

11.                                                                                  Institution of a minimum wage for all public employees at an equivalent of $US500

12.                                                                                   Equal provision of investment opportunities for all Regions of the country.   Annual development and investment loans must be allocated to members of all Regions on equal bases with clear mechanisms for prevention of favouritism, nepotism and monopolisation by certain circles.

13.                                                                                   Fair allocation of all developmental schemes in the country to reflect Regional distribution of population and to prevent concentration of these schemes in Khartoum and other favoured Regions.

14.                                                                                   Sources of revenues classified as national like petrol, minerals, ports, etc must be shared between the Federal government and the producing Region.   Share of the Federal government in this wealth shall be limited to 60%, the balance to be retained by the Region.


The National Army:

1. The National Army must be renamed to reflect its sole and primary role of protecting the country against outside intervention.   Hence it should be renamed Sudan Defence Forces “SDF”.

2. The army must be constitutionally depoliticised.

3.      The army must be removed from all cities to Barracks posted at border locations and away from seats of national, Regional, State and local governments.

4.      Key positions in the army must be reorganised to reflect regional diversity of the Sudan .

5.      All entries into military colleges must be allocated on the bases of the regional distribution of Sudan ’s population.



6.      Military curricula and training must be revised to ensure respect for civic life, political neutrality of the army and respect for human rights.

7.      Sudan police force must be augmented to take full responsibility for keeping law and order and providing security within the country.

8.      The army must be cleared from all paramilitary appendages like the Janjaweed, Popular Defence Forces, ethnic militias, Jihad Forces, Border Guards, and Peace Forces of recent years.

9.      All Secret Service Security Authorities must be either disbanded or entirely reconstituted to bear the new spirit.



Compiled by: Training and Planning Office, JEM

August 2005, updated June 2008










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