What’s Going on in Sudan? | NowThis World

It’s the end of an era in Sudan One of the world’s longest-serving heads of state, whose brutal rule over Sudan lasted for 30 years was toppled after months of anti-government protests

[NEWS ANCHOR]: “Turning to big breaking news out of Sudan this morning” [NEWS ANCHOR]: “State media have said the country's armed forces will be making a quote important announcement” [NEWS ANCHOR]: “This out of Sudan After 30 years in power, President Omar al-Bashir has been forced out by the country’s military” [HOST]: But the end of Omar Hassan al-Bashir’s rule by a military coup wasn’t enough to satisfy Sudanese protesters

Now, they are calling for the end of the entire regime that he built and that kept him in power for so long… To understand how this all unfolded, let’s go back to December 19th, 2018 Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets in the northeastern city of Atbara and in other cities across Sudan They protested the country’s economic decline under al-Bashir Inflation had recently skyrocketed to nearly 70% and the price of food had risen dramatically as well

Take bread prices They rose to three times the normal rate, making the staple increasingly unaffordable That’s why the protests were initially dubbed the “bread riots” But while the price of bread might have been the initial catalyst lof some of the unrest, some experts point out that it wasn’t the only reason The protests were largely a result of a broader dissatisfaction with the 75-year-old president’s brutal rule A rule that is older… than the majority of the country’s population Nearly two out of three people there, are under the age of 25, according to CIA estimates

The protests continued to grow Even making their way to the capital Khartoum In April, tens of thousands of anti-government protesters surrounded the army headquarters and made history These protests became the longest sustained demonstrations in Sudan… since it gained independence in 1956 The military started violently cracking down on the protesters

But things started to change… when some Sudanese soldiers began protecting the anti-government protesters This marked the beginning of what would be the end of al-Bashir’s rule [NEWS ANCHOR]: “The Sudanese military has deployed troops around the defense ministry on key road and bridges in the capital Khartoum There are reports that the head of the ruling party and the former vice president have been detained” [HOST]: The military turned its back on al-Bashir, poetically ending his presidency in a coup

the same way he gained power in 1989 People celebrated in the streets of Khartoum But those celebrations would be short lived…

The new military government, headed by Defense Minister Awad Ibn Awuf, was far from what the people demanded The military’s plan included suspending Sudan’s constitution, and said that Ibn Awuf would become the country’s leader for the next two years, then military would hand over control of the country in democratic elections But UN human rights officials have insisted that the new military government listen to the demands for a quick transition to civilian rule “We are calling on the authorities to address the people's demands and whatever transition is taking place, needs to take place with the meaningful participation of the dissenting voices and of civil society"” The new military government also said it wouldn’t extradite al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court… where he faces charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity

He’s wanted by the ICC for his role in the Darfur genocide which began in 2003… Hundreds of thousands of people were killed during that time And there are likely reasons the new government refused to hand al-Bashir over… Some of the military officials swept into power after al-Bashir’s fall… have also been accused of grave human rights violations by the same court… [HENRY]: "One of the reasons why the first takeover which was announced on April 11th was not received very well is because the head of it the one who presented himself as the self appointed leader is actually someone who had been responsible for some very abusive military operations in Darfur and elsewhere and was sanctioned himself by the United States in 2007 And the protesters were just not happy with this military solution They said look we don't want more of the same

[HOST] So the protesters continued calling for a revolution in the streets of Khartoum… demanding new leadership And just like that… In a matter of a day… The Sudanese people ousted yet another leader from office He handing power to this man Another military general, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan… Who remains the country’s leader… At least for now

[HENRY]: People have criticized that also But they feel that the [al-Burhan] is somehow easier to work with and will help facilitate the transition So I'm not hearing from my sources as much anger about him personally and but I think that it is definitely true that the members of the military council include people who have blood on their hands and most Sudanese people know that and that is why they're so keen that power gets shifted to civilian leaders very quickly " So far, Burhan has taken meaningful steps to satisfy the protesters — like lifting curfews placed on them by the previous leader and vowing to dismantle al-Bashir’s regime … But that still isn’t enough for those demanding change So now, protesters and the military government remain in a stalemate

While the military continues to install high-ranking generals to lead the country forward, at least in the interim, the protesters remain very consistent with their demand They seem willing to continue occupying the streets until a civilian government is in power Sudan

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