Sudan still mired in crisis a year since latest coup

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KHARTUM: One year after the derailment of a military coup Sudan Transitionthe country remains mired in deepening political and economic turmoil that observers say poses threats of further instability.
The northeast African nation’s latest coup took place on October 25, 2021, when army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan ousted a key civilian bloc, the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC). its acronym in English), of his role as leader of a transition to full civilian. rule.
The short-lived transition, which followed the 2019 ouster of President Omar al-Bashir, was fragile and overshadowed by deepening political divisions and a chronic economic crisis inherited from Bashir’s three decades in power.
“The main objective of the coup, which is to give the military a veto power over politics in Sudan, was achieved,” said Sudanese analyst Magdi el-Gizouli of the Rift Valley Institute.
“But the measure has greatly damaged the country.”
Burham he initially presented his coup as a move “to rectify the course of the transition”, but instead the situation worsened.
Nearly weekly anti-coup protests have been countered by force that has killed at least 117 people, pro-democracy doctors say.
And a broader security lapse across the country has left hundreds dead in episodes of ethnic violence.
Western governments have cut off crucial aid, and economic hardships mean millions face “acute food insecurity” and children are forced to drop out of school.
Government employees, shopkeepers and civil servants have staged strikes against worsening living conditions.
Earlier this month, Finance Minister Gibril Ibrahim called on the World Bank to urgently resume aid, saying Sudan’s “poorest citizens” were being harmed.
Sudan still has no prime minister since the January resignation of Abdalla Hamdok, who was ousted in last October’s coup before being reinstated weeks later.
No political initiative aimed at rescuing the country has made significant progress.
In July, Burhan vowed to step aside and make way for the factions to agree on a civilian government, but civilian leaders dismissed it as a “sleight of hand”.
Since then, the army has urged civilians to agree on a government, but divisions between civilian groups have deepened.
Some groups say talks should be held with the military, while others insist “No partnership, no negotiation, no legitimacy.”
Analyst el-Gizouli says that he hardly ever thinks about how to solve the country’s problems.
“All the discussion in politics revolves around who is going to govern,” he said.
“But nobody says anything about what they will do in government or how they will solve the economic crisis.”
In August, Burhan MP Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo admitted that the 2021 coup had failed to foster change.
“There are real fears about the stability of the country…it has become too fragile,” said civilian Mohamed El-Fekki, a member of the FFC ousted in the coup.
“It is true that civil disputes have helped prolong the coup,” he said. “But some of these disputes are fabricated by the military.”
Meanwhile, many Sudanese fear Bashir-era loyalists will return to public life.
Since the coup, the authorities have dissolved a committee tasked with dismantling the Bashir regime that had seized his assets and funds.
Several members of the committee have been accused of misappropriation of funds, charges they consistently deny.
“Our work within the committee was progressing by leaps and bounds,” said Fekki, who previously also led the committee.
“All of our profits were lost due to this uncalculated risk (the hit).”
Progress in implementing a historic but costly peace deal with insurgent groups has also stalled, according to Mohamed Zakaraia of the Justice and Equality Movement, a former military-aligned rebel group.
And Burhan’s promise of elections next year is now seen as far-fetched.
“There will be no elections before an agreement is reached,” el-Gizouli said.
A recent proposal for a transitional constitution developed by the Sudanese Bar Association has gained widespread attention.
It demands full civilian rule and has been publicly welcomed by both the FFC and the powerful paramilitary commander Dagalo.
On Monday, FFC leader and former minister Khaled Omar Youssef said the army accepted the proposal “as a basis for an agreement.”
“It’s a positive indicator,” he told reporters. “But there is still a question mark around the transfer of power to civilians.”
Pro-democracy activists insist there can be no transition unless the coup leaders are removed.
“The coup plotters in power have no intention of negotiating or associating with anyone,” said Hossam Ali, a member of an informal group known as a “resistance committee” that organizes protests against the coup.
“We have the patience and determination to put an end to it,” he said.
El-Gizouli believes that the military wants to continue “monitoring the political process.”
“That was the main objective of the coup,” he said. “You still have to give up this veto power.”
Ahead of planned protests to mark the anniversary, the United Nations urged Sudanese authorities on Friday to ensure that protests can take place “and to ensure that security forces refrain from using force.”
“The expression of people’s long-standing grievances should be facilitated rather than suppressed,” said UN Human Rights Office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani.

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