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Military crackdown in Sudan

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January 05, 2022

What is the issue?

The resignation of Sudan’s civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has pushed the country, already battered by political instability, anti-military protests and violence, into further chaos.

For Part 1 click here

What are the recent happenings?

  • General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan disbanded the Sovereignty Council and ousted Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok in a coup in October 2021.
  • As military rule became unsustainable and due to international pressure military agreed on power sharing agreement.
  • Mr. Hamdok called for a dialogue to agree on a “national charter” and to “draw a roadmap” to complete the transition to democracy.
  • In November 2021 Mr. Hamdok was reinstated following the deal to calm tensions and anti-coup protests.
  • However the deal was rejected by the pro-democracy movement.
  • It wants the power to be handed over to a fully civilian government tasked with leading the transition.
  • Since then, Hamdok was unable to form his Cabinet amid relentless protests.
  • According to Mr. Hamdok the deal with the military was meant to preserve achievements his government made in the past two years, and to protect Sudan from sliding to a new international isolation.
  • Having failed to convince the protesters Sudan’s Prime Minister announced his resignation.
  • Prior to his resignation, Sudanese security forces violently dispersed the latest demonstrations by pro-democracy protesters.
  • There are allegations of killing, using tear gases, sound grenades blockade of roads and bridges, sexual violence, including rape by security forces against female protesters.
  • This would push Sudan into further Chaos.

What will be the implications of recent events?

  • The military miscalculated the will of the protesters. The military has power, but is in a difficult situation.
  • When Mr. Hamdok was reinstated the coup, he may have calculated that the military could exercise greater control over the civilian government and elections.
  • But with Mr. Hamdok’s resignation, this plan seems to have collapsed.
  • A direct takeover of the government by the military would be extremely unpopular.
  • Finding a legitimate Prime Minister would not be easy either.
  • According to the constitutional declaration of 2019, the Prime Minister should be selected by a legislative council and then endorsed by the Sovereignty Council.
  • The legislative council was never formed and the Sovereignty Council was disbanded.
  • The military could appoint another technocrat.
  • If the protesters fail to accept Mr. Hamdok, they are certainly not going to accept anyone the military appoints next.

How did it affect the economy?

  • Protests have paralysed an already weak economy.
  • Inflation has soared to over 400%.
  • At least 1/3rd of the country’s population needs humanitarian assistance in 2022.
  • Only a stable and responsive government can address these critical challenges.

What needs to be done?

  • The military has the moral and political responsibility to resolve the crisis.
  • It should immediately end the crackdown, respect the power-sharing agreement, restore the Sovereignty Council and allow the country’s full transition into democracy.

 

Reference

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/transition-in-peril-on-military-crackdown-in-sudan/article38119263.ece
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