What the coup in Sudan means and why the rest of the world needs to step up: Explanation

SYDNEY, Oct 29 (The Conversation) Sudan has a long history of comings and goings of democracy, and the recent military coup is part of that, bringing an abrupt and authoritarian end to a short period of democratic order.

There is a lot at stake in Sudan this time against the past. Not only is peace and security in the country at risk, but the security of the larger region is also at risk as dangerous and mutually incompatible interests have emerged in it, who want to take the country in their own direction.

The fall of Omar al-Bashir’s National Congress Party government in 2019 marked the end of 30 years of autocratic rule, but it also meant that activities after this period needed to be carefully managed. Not only was peace and justice at stake, but the identity of the country was also at stake.

Sudan was divided into radical Islamist elements, informal and formal armed forces, political parties, numerous groups and armed militias. All of them claim to represent the interests of the people of Sudan.

After Bashir was in office, the transitional government not only had the responsibility of managing a country reeling from a financial crisis, but it had to do it with a very difficult power-sharing system. The military was to rule for a period of 21 months, after which the civilian group was to rule for the remaining 18 months and elections were to be held in 2023.

The dissolution of this arrangement would now lead to conflict between rival groups and establishments, which have to defend their interests and their interests also affect areas beyond the borders of Sudan and other major conflicts around the world. joins.

Islamists sympathizers with Sudan include former members of Omar al-Bashir’s National Congress Party (NCP) and Islamist extremist ideologue Hassan al-Turabi’s Popular Congress Party (PCP) in the country.

Sudan’s Islamists have the backing of the Qatar-Turkey coalition. They have had good and sometimes bad relations (at least until the revolution) with Iran and Gulf member states such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Many Islamists were imprisoned or many of these went into hiding after the revolution. They now find themselves lost to the Sovereignty Council’s military faction, which launched this week’s coup.

The group consists of two main figures: the Rapid Support Force (RSF) led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemedati’ Dagolo.

The faction is politically pragmatic, but it is equally dangerous and is internally divided over its ambitions to control Sudan. Al-Burhan is said to be responsible for the massacre in Darfur.

Hemedati is responsible for the June 3, 2019 massacre in Khartoum as well as illegal gold mining operations in Jebel Amer, Darfur. In recent years, the RSF has been supported by Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Hemedati sent his RSF fighters from Saudi Arabia to fight against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The military faction has stakes in several companies such as the ‘Military Industrial Corporation’ and al-Junaid, from which it receives illegal income through various means. It gets this income from unregulated gold mining, construction, oil, aviation and arms deals.

Out of this, a large amount does not go to the government treasury and goes to private accounts abroad. This revenue makes the military side of the government financially invincible and it weakens the civilian government.

In such a situation, the civil side of the government in trouble is an impossible task. This side cannot defeat the military bloc or its foreign allies on financial grounds.

Sudanese citizens are leading a daring campaign of civilian resistance against the military junta. It is possible that they could push back military gains, but doing so requires significant diplomatic pressure on countries that support al-Burhan and Hemedati. Further, forensic investigation of illegal revenue channels requires immediate attention as it undermines the effort to establish a democratic system.

We have learned from the recent crises that nation building is a difficult task, but the alternative is even more frightening. This nightmare is drawing near for Sudan. Now the question is, can the international community take steps now to stop it before it is too late?

(The Conversation) Simmi Shahid



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