• Polymath Weekly

Protestors back on the streets of Sudan as they call for an end to the military rule

What is the root of the conflict?


After the president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir was overthrown in 2019, military and civilian leaders began sharing power. Though Bashir was removed by the military, the public demanded that civilian leaders be a part of the government, so the military had to create a plan for them to cooperate. As a result, the two political groups began running the country together on a committee called the Sovereign Council.


However, on October 25, 2021, the Sudanese military (led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan) took over the local government in a military coup (i.e. revolt), and the Sovereign Council was dissolved a day after. When Civilian Prime Minister Abdolla Hamdok expressed his opposition to the new government, he was placed under a home arrest. Sudan was now ruled by a military force.


What is happening now?


Upon his return as Prime Minister this November, Hamdok made a deal with the military that involved holding elections in July 2023 - an event expected to begin transition into civilian rule. Feeling betrayed by Hamdok, who only seemed to want to stay in power as long as possible for his own benefit, pro-democracy activists have taken it to the streets, calling for an entirely civilian leadership.


On December 19th, hundreds of thousands of protestors marched to the presidential palace in the country's capital of Khartoum to voice their anger at the deal, and also to demand the return of civilian rule after the coup in October. The protestors were met by security forces armed with tear gas and stun (i.e. noise) grenades, and some officers allegedly sexually assaulted women and girls of the crowd.


People protesting against the October military takeover, along with the deal that reinstated Prime Minister Hamdok. Khartoum, Sudan [Image Credit: Marwan Ali/AP Photo]

To comment on the current events, General al-Burhan (leader of the 2019 military coup) warned that the protests could hold back the planned transition into a democratic government in the future.




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