Sudan’s Military Takes Over Civilian Government: Pro-Democracy Protests Erupt Across the Capital Khartoum
The Military in Sudan has dissolved and taken over the civilian government. Several civilian leaders have also been arrested and a state of emergency declared. The coup, which is led by General Abdel Fattah Burhan, brings to an end a short period of transitional civilian rule in Sudan.
Military leaders say that the coup was necessary due to increased political infighting among the government. Sudan has struggled to establish any meaningful civilian governance after the ouster of former dictator Omar Al-Bashir. Bashir ruled Sudan for 30 years before he was toppled by a popular uprising with the help of the military.
Tensions Between Civilian Government and Military
After the removal of Omar Al-Bashir, the military decided to bring in civilian rule through a power-sharing agreement. At the time, military leaders promised to pave the way for a free and fair election but they would still hold massive influence on the direction of the state.
Ever since tensions between both these sides have been boiling. As a matter of fact, the civilian government warned in September this year that a coup by the military was imminent.
The fate of the civilian government is still unknown. As of now, the military leadership in Khartoum says that key figures of the civilian government are in custody, including the current prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok. The Prime Minister also survived an assassination attempt early this year.
Massive Protests in the Capital
As soon as the military announced the takeover, a general unease was felt all across Sudan, and mostly the capital Khartoum. Despite the state of emergency, pro-democracy protesters have broken out in the city, calling for an end to the coup.
At the time of writing this post, thousands of protesters, mostly young people, were seen converging in the capital. Local political parties have issued a rallying call for supporters to come out in large numbers and force the military out. For this reason, protests are expected to grow bigger and bigger by the day.
The military has also come under sharp condemnation from the international community. Both the US, the EU, and the Arab League have expressed grave concerns about the happenings there.
It’s not the first time Sudan finds itself in this quagmire. Shortly after the ouster of former president Omar Al-Bashir, thousands of protesters occupied military headquarters in Khartoum demanding a return to civilian rule.
The military’s response was however gruesome. Forces moved in to clear the protesters in a bloody show of might. Dozens of unarmed people were killed during the operation while hundreds more were injured. The military said that it had a duty to restore order in the nation but the actions were widely condemned.
As protesters gather in the capital to force out the new military rulers, a showdown between pro-democracy protesters and the army is looming. If history is anything to go by, it is likely that we are going to see another bloody crackdown. But this, experts, warn, will only serve to make an already bad situation even worse.