The military coup that took place in Sudan on Monday (25/10) dissolved the government and arrested Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. This is the latest political crisis in a country that has been going through a turbulent period for several years.
In addition to political tensions, the economy of Sudan, the third largest country in Africa, is going through a deep crisis, with high rates of inflation and shortages of food, fuel and medicine.
The coup alarmed international powers that recently established diplomatic relations with Sudan after years of isolation.
Below we have compiled some points you need to know about the military coup in Sudan.
What is the background to the scam?
Military and civilian leaders have shared power since August 2019, after the overthrow of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. accused of tyranny.
The army ousted al-Bashir, but street demonstrations demanded the return of a civilian government. The army was then forced to negotiate a plan aimed at transitioning to a democratic system.
Under this law, the country must now be in a transitional period, with civilians and military leaders running Sudan through a joint committee known as the Sovereignty Council.
But the two groups are in open conflict.
What is behind the political tension?
Military leaders in the transitional government demanded reforms from their civilian counterparts and called for the prime minister’s office to be replaced. The maneuver was considered a coup by civilian leaders.
There have been several failed coups since 2019, most recently last month.
The main civilian figure, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, has linked the movement to loyal supporters of Bashir – many of whom say they are involved in the armed forces, security services and other state institutions.
In recent weeks, pro-military demonstrators have swept through the capital, Khartoum. On the other hand, there were also large spontaneous protests in support of the Prime Minister.
Pro-military protesters accused the government of failing to solve the country’s problems.
Hamdok has implemented some unpopular measures to try to reform the economy, such as cutting fuel subsidies.
But the political weakness in Sudan has a long precedent.
In the past decades, the disintegration of political parties and their inability to build consensus has paved the way for attempts to seize power through military coups. The secession attempts were a pretext to “restore order,” wrote regional analyst Magdy Abdel-Hadi.
Today there are no less than 80 political parties in Sudan.
This broad partisanship disturbed the Sovereignty Council: internal divisions between the army and the civilian camps impeded any political consensus.
what is happening now?
The President of the Sovereignty Council delivered a speech in which he declared a state of emergency and dissolved the Council of Ministers and the Council itself.
Major General Abdel Fattah Abdel Rahman Burhan also said that general elections will be held in July 2023.
Prime Minister Hamdok was reportedly arrested by soldiers on Monday along with a number of other ministers. Local information reported that the headquarters of the state television and radio network had taken control of the army.
Internet use is also restricted.
The African Union, the United Nations, the European Union, the Arab League and the United States expressed “deep concern” about Monday’s military coup.
What could happen then?
The coup was not necessarily a “closed deal,” as political analyst Alex de Waal suggests, given Sudan’s “enormous capacity for civilian mobilization.”
He told the BBC: “Whenever the army tried to push the limit, they were hindered by mobilization in the streets. I think that’s what we will see now.”
According to the Sudanese Ministry of Information’s Facebook page, the prime minister asked people to demonstrate in support of the government.
Pictures and reports show protesters gathering in Khartoum. Military forces were also deployed to suppress these actions.
In June 2019, before a democratic transition was agreed, soldiers opened fire on protesters in Khartoum, killing at least 87 people.
Memories of this massacre are in the minds of the residents as the two sides clash.
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