Executive Summary

Sudan has ranked as one of the most fragile states in the world for the past decade. Since the establishment of the interim government in August 2019, international donors such as the EU have expressed renewed commitment to aid after years of sanctions and dwindling aid inflows. Ultimately, however, a successful transition to democratic representation is dependent upon the interim government’s ability to navigate economic and environmental threats while it replaces former corrupt patronage systems and internal conflicts with legitimate governance of the country. This report identifies weak governance, a fragile economy, and environmental pressures as key drivers of fragility that undermine the functions of the state and contribute to protracted security threats. We also find that the weak legitimacy of the state has been at the center of Sudan’s fragility and adversely affects state authority and capacity. Drawing from these observations, our three targeted policy recommendations are to establish a microfinancing initiative, to set up an independent anti-corruption commission, and to introduce local CSOs as mediators for upcoming peace processes. The implementation of these policies offers the interim government of Sudan the best chance to exit the fragility trap and successfully transition to democracy.

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