What is happening in Sudan?
To say that Sudan is undergoing a turmoil is an understatement of sorts. The country is no stranger to political upheavals. Popular uprising in 2019 brought down Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the Sudanese autocrat. An uneasy transition to power ensued. Once again, an uprising is brewing in Sudan. People of Khartoum have taken to the streets. At least 10 protesters were reportedly killed in clashes with the security forces this week. This is due to the military takeover of the country.
Who is behind the coup?
The power sharing mechanism between the civilian and military leaders following the downfall of Omar Hassan al-Bashir was uneasy to say the least. General Abdel Fattah Burhan has dissolved civilian rule and arrested political leaders. Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok was ousted. The demonstrators demand that he must be reinstated. In August, 2019, Burhan’s role as de facto head of state was affirmed when he became head of the Sovereign Council, a body comprising civilian and military leaders that was formed to oversee the transition towards elections. The deal was designed to steer Sudan towards democracy, but it proved to be fragile with a number of previous coup attempts. However, on Monday, Burhan announced the dissolution of the Sovereign Council.
A man with a shady past or just another run off the mill general?
General Abdel Fattah Burhan has constantly strived to normalise relations with Israel. Burhan took part in a phone call with then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former U.S. President Donald Trump in which they agreed to take steps to normalise ties in October 2020. Earlier that year, he met with Netanyahu in Uganda.
In addition to this, in 2015, he oversaw Sudanese troops who fought alongside Saudi-led coalition in the Yemen war. Burhan’s alliance with Saudi and the Emirates is not a secret.
What is expected next?
Sudan is rife with military led violence. As the protesters have flooded the capital carrying Sudanese flags and chanting "No to military rule!" , the military has kept mum over the unbridled violence that has taken place. This has invited backlash from the west. The United States of America has suspended some $700 million in economic support to Sudan. Along with this, European countries have also put pressure on Sudan's military.