Sudan-mass protests taking place to end military rule and poverty

Thousands of people are coming out on the streets regularly against military domination and for democratic rule

The people of Sudan has experience of bringing down its military rulers through popular protest, having done so in 1964 and 1985 long before the Arab Springs of the 2010s. In these revolutions, as in the current one, women played a leading role. The recent protests have seen an alliance of Sudanese living on the breadline with members of the country’s social elite residing in Khartoum, uniting a range of political perspectives. 

Over the following two years, the government worked actively to undermine grassroots organisations, unions, and resistance committees (RCs), which were formed during the revolution in city neighbourhoods, towns and villages across the country to organise and coordinate protests. Over time, the RCs evolved into localised centres of political activity and dissent, which is why the government tried to marginalise them and depoliticise their work.

Professional associations have been crucial in articulating the demands of the popular movement. Their historic role in previous uprisings gives them a moral authority in the current dispensation.

On December 19, people across Sudan took to the streets to mark the anniversary of the revolution that toppled longtime President Omar al-Bashir in 2019 and once again reaffirm their rejection of the army’s insistence to stay in power. The demonstration was part of a series of protest actions held regularly since October 25, when the Transitional Military Council (TMC) carried out a coup against the civilian government.

Protestors remained mobilised, rejecting the appointment of ‘another Bashir’. Ibn Auf resigned after just one day on April 12th. He was replaced by Abdel Fattah Burham, a third army officer, who offered more far-reaching reforms. The military continue to hold power, and some officers are no doubt gambling on an accelerated version of Egypt’s experience after the 2011 protest movement. 

                                                              Rukhsana Manzoor Deputy Editor


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