7 November 2023 - 11.15-13.00  / Room 10 Palais de l'Europe

Interpretation FR/EN

The fall of Omar al-Bashir in 2019 opened an era of genuine hope in Sudan. After 30 years of harsh Islamist rule, Sudanese, including Sudanese women, experienced new liberties.

The prospect of a transition to democracy, stability, and prosperity was real. To support that process, the European Union prepared an aid package of more than 400 million euros and the United States offered 700 million dollars. Those hopes were dashed in October 2021 by the military overthrow of the civilian prime minister, Abdallah Hamdok. Then in April 2021 civil war erupted between two military factions, and Sudan’s transition now lays in tatters.  The war destroyed the capital, Khartoum, and has displaced more than 4 million people. Nearly 8 million children are teetering on the edge of famine. Health clinics are closed or without supplies and humanitarian relief is blocked. Some are calling the international community’s approach to Sudan “unapologetically racist.” Meanwhile, “mediation efforts are in disarray.”  This Forum Talk examines what went so wrong. But its primary focus is squarely on what can be done now to end the fighting? What is needed to re-build the foundations of a transition to democracy? What can and should neighboring countries do? What can young Sudanese – who drove the overthrow of al-Bashir and now are providing grassroots humanitarian aid – contribute? And what role can Europeans and others play?

Forum Talk 6: Sudan’s Democratic Transition De-railed

Full screen: ENFR / ORIGINAL

Palais de l'Europe, room 10 7 November 2023 (11.15-13.00)
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Director, Syracuse University – Strasbourg


Dr. Buthaina ELNAIEM

Activist and Independent Writer


Dr. Buthaina Ahmed Elnaiem, a conflict resolution and peace building expert, has significantly impacted civil society in Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Somalia. As Deputy Head of The Carter Center Khartoum Office, she led Peace Programs, empowering youth and grassroots organizations in conflict zones. A co-founder of HOPE, she fervently advocates for democratic transformation, uniting youth for political engagement in civil society. Her collaboration with Sudan's transitional government, UNDP, and GIZ focuses on democratic transformation and grassroots empowerment. Currently, on the Executive Board on ‘The Civic Front To Stop The War’, she emphasizes her dedication to peace, democracy, and civil society development in the region.


Dr. Guma Kunda KOMEY

Former Peace Advisor to former Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok


Dr. Komey is a Sudanese scholar, civil activist, and consultant with focus on peace, conflict resolution, and state-society relations. He is an Associate Professor, at College of Humanities and Center for Peace and Development Studies, Universities of Juba and Bahri. Komey holds BA and PhD from the University of Khartoum; and MA from the International University of Japan in 1991. Komey was senior research fellow at Institute of Social Anthropology and the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Germany (2005 -2012); and visiting professor at the University of San Francisco in 2013. Komey served as Peace Advisor at the Office of the Prime Minister Dr. Abdalla Hamdok (2020 - 2021). Currently, Komey works with The Carter Center as Deputy, Senior Country Representative, and Head of Peace Programs Office in Sudan.



Chef de Cabinet, European Union Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea