Sudanese Democracy in Danger: Military Coup Detains PM and Dissolves Government

On Monday, the Sudanese military detained the prime minister, dissolved the government, and declared a state of emergency. It had only been two years since the Sudanese citizens marched to overthrow the longtime dictator Omar Hassan al-Bashir around two years ago.

The Biden administration plans to halt the $700 million bilateral assistance to Sudan. The U.S. is calling for the military to release civilian leaders, restore civilian control, and to not use violence against protesters.

The coup came days after the U.S. envoy to the region met with military leaders and warned them the American support was contingent upon Sudan’s agreement to give power to civilian rule.

Top military leader, Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan appeared on state television to announce new measures but did not specifically mention the detention of the prime minister, the suspension of the government. He also didn’t talk of the transition to a fully civilian government. He did mention that the military was still on target for democratic elections by mid-2023.

However, Sudanese public is moving. Crowds are gathering in the streets in protest. Locals have reported security forces reacting to the protesters with batons and live ammunition. Many are protesting to the two and half year of democratic progress that might disappear with this takeover.

Since Bashir’s ousting, Sudan has been struggling between a balance of civilian-military power sharing, although just last month, pro-Bashir elements in the army attempted an ultimately failed coup. Sudan’s Information Ministry, which is run by civilians, has issued statement calling for the people to defend their revolution,

Sudan’s current political coalition, led by anti-Bashir forces, had made progress with the westsern governments to normalize diplomatic and economic relations after years of sanctions prior to the military overthrow on Monday.

Another alarming issue is that while the civilian government of Sudan has authorized handing Bashir over from the Sudanese jail to the International Criminal Court in the Hague, the military had blocked the move.

Upcoming days will be important for the future of Sudan, quite indeed.

Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2021, All rights reserved.

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