Daniel Halliday
Feb 4 · Last update 2 mo. ago.
What is behind the protests in Sudan?
Sudan is a country with a history fraught with war and unrest, and protests are not unusual. However, these latest protests, already passing the 6 week mark, have turned anti government in nature as the governments opposition grows stronger. What led up to these latest protests in Sudan and could this signal a different course for the country politically?
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The call to overthrow a 30 year dictator
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Attempt to destabilise the country
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Economic Mismanagement
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Arab Spring 2.0
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The call to overthrow a 30 year dictator

What started as a protest against the rising cost of fuel and bread has become a wider movement, calling for the removal of Omar al-Bashir, the 30 year dictator of the country. From the city of Atbara on December 19 2018, to the rest of the country in the coming weeks, protesters were met with tear gas, live ammunition and an internet black-out in the government crack down on protests in the country. These latest dissent comes in a time of a rising opposition to al-Bashir, a dictator who took power in 1989, and currently has numerous arrest warrants issued against him for his involvement in war crimes, genocide and human rights violations during the war in Darfur and other conflicts.

Surprisingly this protest's first goal has been accomplished in April 2019, which truly shows the world the power of civil disobedience even in Sudan one of the longest authoritarian regimes, responsible for genocide and war crimes but have remained unanswerable to anyone for years. Hpwever the protest movement continues as arresting al-Bashir is just the initial step in the demands of the protesters for a civilian led government. But the protests currently continue as the people of Sudan push for a dismantling of what is left of al-Bashir's military regime, recently agreed and planned to happen gradually over the next three years. The road to justice for the very serious war crimes and genocide, racist claims that the southern Sudanese diluted the Arab blood of northern Sudan may have to wait for the long term push for a more stable and less corrupt Sudan.

aljazeera.com/news/2018/12/prompted-protests-sudan-181224114651302.html allafrica.com/stories/201901220209.html aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/sudan-army-protesters-agree-3-year-transitional-period-190514233712368.html

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Daniel Halliday
May 15
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DH edited this paragraph
Surprisingly this protest's first goal has been accomplished in April 2019, which truly shows the world the power of civil disobedience even in Sudan one of the longest authoritarian regimes, responsible for genocide and war crimes but have remained unanswerable to anyone for years. Hpwever the protest movement continues as arresting al-Bashir is just the initial step in the demands of the protesters for a civilian led government. But the protests currently continue as the people of Sudan push for a dismantling of what is left of al-Bashir's military regime, recently agreed and planned to happen gradually over the next three years. The road to justice for the very serious war crimes and genocide, racist claims that the southern Sudanese diluted the Arab blood of northern Sudan may have to wait for the long term push for a more stable and less corrupt Sudan.
Attempt to destabilise the country

Despite these protests Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir remains defiant, pointing out his long history of winning elections following his initial coup to take power in 1989. Bashir maintains that these protests have been massively exaggerated by the international media and are another ‘Arab Spring style’ demonstration designed to destabilise the country from outside in a similar way to Libya and Syria. He has encouraged protesters to engage in the democratic process and not try to organise or change the government through violence or social media.

However Omar al-Bashir has been removed from power on 11th April 2019, and these efforts to destabilise the country continue by using the chaos in Sudan to target military personnel trying to oversee a transition to civilian led government. According to the Sudanese Head of Military Intelligence Huthaifah Abdul Malik there are those that are infiltrating the protest movement, who are armed and are targeting military personnel in order to destabilise the transition. These unidentified groups are responsible for a continuation of the killing of protesters in Sudan despite them already having achieved what they set out to by deposing al-Bashir.

english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2019/01/27/Sudan-s-Bashir-visits-Egypt-to-meet-Sisi.html bbc.com/news/world-africa-47022694 aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/violence-flares-deal-sudan-transitional-power-structure-190513233212716.html

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Daniel Halliday
May 15
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Despite these protests Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir remains defiant, pointing out his long history of winning elections following his initial coup to take power in 1989. Bashir maintains that these protests have been massively exaggerated by the international media and are another ‘Arab Spring style’ demonstration designed to destabilise the country from outside in a similar way to Libya and Syria. He has encouraged protesters to engage in the democratic process and not try to organise or change the government through violence or social media.
Economic Mismanagement

What seems like protests against the leader goes far deeper; the protests have reached such a crisis point in recent months due to national shortages of bread, fuel and even money as a result of huge long-term economic mismanagement in the country. Such a widespread economic downturn has caused the biggest protests in the 30 year history of the al-Bashir regime, with wide swaths of society, businessmen, activists and academics, all coming out to protest the financial pressures felt all over the country. The national debt of Sudan has been spiralling out of control and the manipulation of the prices of basic amenities to deal with the shortages have failed, while bigger shifts such as the split with South Sudan in 2011 have led to massive losses in oil reserves. All of which has contributed to the recent ousting of Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.

This movement caused by economic crisis wouldn’t have continued if al-Bashir didn’t fail economically, but following being moved from house arrest to Khartoum’s Kobar maximum security prison on a charge of inciting and participating in killing protesters, Sudanese courts could also begin to pursue him over alleged financial crimes. According to leaked US embassy cables from 2010 Omar al-Bashir is thought to have stolen around $9 billion, just one of many crimes the International Criminal Court prosecutors have been pursuing al-Bashir for during his time in power. This monumental change of direction in Sudan could also signify a large economic shift in the country if there is a move to prosecute al-Bashir for corruption and recover some of the $9 billion he was implicated in stealing, an amount that could single-handedly go some way to address Sudan’s financial issues.

reuters.com/article/us-sudan-protests-idUSKCN1Q9239 bbc.com/news/world-africa-47961424 theguardian.com/world/2010/dec/17/wikileaks-sudanese-president-cash-london

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Daniel Halliday
May 15
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DH edited this paragraph
This movement caused by economic crisis wouldn’t have continued if al-Bashir didn’t fail economically, but following being moved from house arrest to Khartoum’s Kobar maximum security prison on a charge of inciting and participating in killing protesters, Sudanese courts could also begin to pursue him over alleged financial crimes. According to leaked US embassy cables from 2010 Omar al-Bashir is thought to have stolen around $9 billion, just one of many crimes the International Criminal Court prosecutors have been pursuing al-Bashir for during his time in power. This monumental change of direction in Sudan could also signify a large economic shift in the country if there is a move to prosecute al-Bashir for corruption and recover some of the $9 billion he was implicated in stealing, an amount that could single-handedly go some way to address Sudan’s financial issues.
Arab Spring 2.0

With wide spread movements of civil disobedience across North African Arab nations resembling the 2011 Arab Spring movement, some are starting to speculate what is going on is a similar to, if not second manifestation of, the Arab Spring movement. Following the self-immolation of a Tunisian journalist in late 2018, itself reminiscent of a similar pre-Arab Spring act in 2010, wide scale protests spread out from the town of Kasserine. Since then weeks of protests in Algeria have led to the stepping down of long term dictator Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and now the long simmering protest movement in Sudan has deposed Omar al-Bashir.

Speculation such as this is arguably causing concern internationally as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia both have sent aid packages to the interim military regime in Sudan in an obvious case of check book diplomacy to gain influence and strengthen this new regime. Obviously Saudi Arabia and the UAE's interference stems from what they may fear will spread further through North Africa and possibly elsewhere in the Muslim world. While it may be too early to draw conclusions, the Sudanese people remain hopeful that the second time around the Arab Spring could finally bring a civilian led government to power in their country.

thesun.co.uk/news/8838641/new-arab-spring-sudan-omar-al-bashir-steps-down alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2019/4/14/uae-and-saudi-arabia-back-sudans-new-military-rulers

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Daniel Halliday
May 15
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DH edited this paragraph
With wide spread movements of civil disobedience across North African Arab nations resembling the 2011 Arab Spring movement, some are starting to speculate what is going on is a similar to, if not second manifestation of, the Arab Spring movement. Following the self-immolation of a Tunisian journalist in late 2018, itself reminiscent of a similar pre-Arab Spring act in 2010, wide scale protests spread out from the town of Kasserine. Since then weeks of protests in Algeria have led to the stepping down of long term dictator Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and now the long simmering protest movement in Sudan has deposed Omar al-Bashir.
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