Sudanese Professionals Association
تجمع المهنيين السودانيين
|Type||association of trade unions|
|Focus||living wage, improved working conditions|
|Origins||lecturers' union, doctors' union, teachers' committee|
|Mohamed Yousif Ahmed al-Mustafa|
|Subsidiaries||Teachers' Committee; Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors; Democratic Lawyers Association (17 altogether as of 2018[update])|
The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA; Arabic: تجمع المهنيين السودانيين) is an umbrella association of 17 different Sudanese trade unions. The organisation started forming in October 2012, though was not officially registered due to government crackdowns on trade unions, and was created more formally in October 2016 by an alliance between unions of doctors, journalists and lawyers. In December 2018, the group called for the introduction of a minimum wage and participated in protests in Atbara against the rising cost of living. The SPA came to take an increasingly prominent role in the 2018–2019 Sudanese protests against the government of Omar al-Bashir during 2019.
In 2012, a university lecturers' union in Sudan, in which Mohamed Yousif Ahmed al-Mustafa was active, judged that it was not strong enough to be effective. The lecturers' union joined with a doctors' union and a committee of teachers. In 2014, the groups had chosen the name Sudanese Professionals Association and started planning campaigns for a living wage and improved working conditions. In October 2016, a formal alliance between the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, the Sudanese Journalists Network, and the Democratic Lawyers Association was created on the basis of a written charter.
2018–19 Sudanese protests
After the 19 December 2018 Atbara protests started during the 2018–19 Sudanese protests, the SPA initially decided to coordinate with the protestors, by adding a call for an increased minimum wage. After discussing with the protestors, they decided to support the calls for "regime change".
Following the 3 June 2019 Khartoum massacre, the SPA called for "complete civil disobedience and open political strike" on the grounds that the Transitional Military Council (TMC) was responsible for two days of mass murder, pillage, rape and violent repression of workers' strikes. The SPA described the TMC members as "deep to their knees in the blood of the innocent in Darfur, Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile, in addition to Khartoum and other cities and towns." The SPA called for the Sudanese to follow the method of nonviolent resistance "in all [their] direct actions, towards change".
In August 2019, the SPA announced that it would not take part in the cabinet of the transitional government but would instead participate in the Legislative Council in order to oversee the transition to democracy.
SPA member Mohammed Hassan Osman al-Ta'ishi (or Mohamed El Taayshi) became one of the eleven members of the Sovereignty Council, the collective head of state of Sudan for a planned 39-month transitional period, on 20 August 2019.
On 3 July 2020 it was announced that 5 affiliated organisations, Sudan Doctors (CCSD), the Sudanese Engineers Association (SEA), the Sudanese Human Resources Professionals Gathering (SHRPG), the Meteorological Professionals Gathering and the Sudanese Environmentalists Association, were suspended following internal conflict within the organisation
- "About us – تجمع المهنيين السودانيين". www.sudaneseprofessionals.org. Sudanese Professionals Association. Archived from the original on 8 June 2019. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
- Abbas, Reem (28 January 2019). "How an illegal Sudanese union became the biggest threat to Omar Al Bashir's 29-year reign". The National (Abu Dhabi). Archived from the original on 8 June 2019. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
- "Complete civil disobedience, and open political strike, to avoid chaos". Sudanese Professionals Association. 4 June 2019. Archived from the original on 8 June 2019. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
- "Sudanese Professionals Association: 'We will not participate in Sovereign Council and Cabinet in interim period'". Middle East Monitor. 9 August 2019. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
- "Professionals Association, Umma Party will not join Sudan govt". Radio Dabanga. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
- "Sudan's Sovereign Council appointed". Radio Dabanga. 21 August 2019. Archived from the original on 21 August 2019. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
- "FFC finally agree on nominees for Sudan's Sovereign Council". Sudan Tribune. 20 August 2019. Archived from the original on 20 August 2019. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
- "Al-Burham forms Sudan's Sovereign Council". Sudan Tribune. 20 August 2019. Archived from the original on 21 August 2019. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
- "Sudanese Professionals Association announces suspension of membership of 5 affiliated bodies". Middle East Monitor. 4 July 2020. Retrieved 11 July 2020.