In the midst of the capital Khartoum (Sudan), 3rd June 2019 witnessed a political outbreak when security forces opened fire on pro-democracy protestors.
And it began with!
December 2018: The Rise of Political unrest
- The economic collapse in the nation led the President Bashir’s government to impose austerity emergency measures to the stave the situation.
- The insurgency rose when cuts in bread and fuel subsidy sparked anger amongst the masses which resulted in demonstrations in the East over the rising living standards. The anger slowly spread to Khartoum.
- The protestors demanded re-elections and removal of Mr. President (who had been holding the position for the last 30 years now)
April 2019: The Climax
- The climax of the entire episode led the protestors to occupy the square in front of military’s headquarters. They demanded the military to force the President out of the position.
- On 11th April, army announced that the President had been overthrown from his position.
So who is the Current In-charge?
A seven member Transitional Military Council (TMC), led by Lt. General Abdel Fattah Abdelrehman Burhan took over the charge. However, it struggled to bring back the normality in the nation.
Even though the new council took the charge, economic problems in the nation continued, which brought down Sudanese from all walks of life to the streets. The demonstrations continued. These were led by the Sudanese Professionals Association– a collaboration of doctors, health workers and lawyers.
Demonstrators demanded that the military transfer the power and authority toa civilan administration. Discussions between the ruling generals and the protestors (who had apparently come together under the umbrella group Alliance for Freedom and Change), initially showed little sign of progress, but they eventually came to an agreement.
Any signs of agreement?
On May 15th, the military and the protestors agreed on a three year transition period to civilian rule.
- Demonstrators argued that a long transition was needed to dismantle the political network of the President’s deeply faulted regime and asked for fair elections.
- Both the sides also decided on a structure for the new government: A sovereign council, a cabinet and a legislative body.
- Rosalind Marsden (Former British ambassador to Sudan) claimed that the snap elections would simply pave the way for the old regime to find its way back to the power.
- On June 3rd, Military forces ordered open fire on the protesting masses which took down at least thirty innocents dead.
- Later in the month, the military position holders scrapped all of these treaties on 3 June and said fresh elections would be held within nine months.
As an opposition to these killings, the leaders of the pro-democracy movement cut all contact with the TMC and called for “total civil disobedience” and a general strike.
What about mediation now?
- Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed held the position to mediate who then flew to Sudan. After days of conversation and discussions, on June 11, his special envoy, Mahmoud Dirir, announced that the protestors had agreed to suspend widespread strikes and will return to the negotiating table.
- Military, on the other hand agreed to release the political prisoners.
- However, a privately-owned Baj News website reported that the opposition wanted on an independent investigation into the violent crackdown before direct talks restart.
Any international response that we know of?
- African and western countries have majorly backed the protesters.
- Saudi Arabia had also tried to mediate by initiating and encouraging discussions between the two sides, but had not directly condemned military violence.
- In fact, the African Union (AU) has suspended Sudan from its membership till the time a civilian led transitional authority is established.
- The UN has tried to remove all non-essential staff from Sudan.
- The US National Security Advisor, John Bolton, also condemned the Khartoum violence.
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