Thousands of protesters in Sudan took to the streets on Sunday to voice their opposition to the military coup that occurred in October and resulted in Abdel Fattah al-Burhan sitting at the head of the government.
The protests have resulted in 62 civilian deaths, including one protester who died Sunday after getting hit in the neck by a gas canister that was fired by security forces. The death followed the killing of a teenager who was struck by a “live bullet” to the neck at a rally on Thursday.
The 25 October coup was seen as the end of any hope the country had of an easy transition to democracy. Hamdok warned that the country is in a precarious position and at a “dangerous crossroads threatening its very survival.”
Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok resigned last week, saying that he was unable to reach an agreement between generals and the pro-democracy movement, Africa News reported. The October coup came more than two years after Omar al-Bashir was done in by an uprising. The next election is scheduled for July 2023.
The United Nations said it will hold a press conference to open dialogue among “all key civilians and military stakeholders.” The U.N.’s move was rejected by the Sudanese Professionals Association that said the only way to resolve the crisis is the “complete overthrow of the putschist military council and the handover of its members to face justice over the killings committed against the defenseless (and) peaceful Sudanese people.”
France 24 reported that the protests on Sunday included demonstrators marching towards the presidential palace in the capital. Some chanted, “No, no to military rule.”
“We will not accept less than a full civilian government,” Ammar Hamed, a 27-year-old protester, told the outlet.
TREND FORECAST: In Sudan, racked by poverty and corruption, for years, masses have taken to the streets for decades… and will continue to do so.
Sudan consists of two countries, Sudan in the north and South Sudan. President Barack Obama granted U.S. recognition of South Sudan as an independent state after it formally seceded from the north in 2011.
Barely reported in the western media, since 2003, conflict in the Darfur in the north has included large-scale genocide, forcing millions from their homes and resulting in the death of around 200,000 people.
In 2013, nearly five million people were in need of humanitarian assistance. The conflict occurred after the government was accused of oppressing the non-Arab population of the region.
The government responded by conducting an ethnic cleansing campaign in the Darfur region.
Former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir had previously turned to China, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, and Russia for assistance after the United States imposed sanctions related to human rights abuses in the Darfur region.
On 19 June 2019, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court demanded al-Bashir stand trial for mass killings perpetrated in Darfur.
North Sudan has experienced serious political conflict and social uprisings over the past several months.
On 14 June 2019, North Sudan’s ruling military council had ordered an attack on pro-democracy protesters which killed 120 people.
Subsequently, the military and a pro-democracy coalition agreed in early July on a joint sovereign council that will rule for three years while elections are organized.
South Sudan. In 2018, it was estimated more than six million people in South Sudan didn’t have enough food to sustain themselves. In 2017, the United Nations declared a famine in parts of the country. In addition, between 2014 and 2015, more than a million and a half people were displaced due to conflict, 800,000 ultimately seeking refuge in neighboring Uganda.
In 2009, then President Obama and NATO established a military presence in South Sudan. Obama signed an executive order lifting sanctions against the country.
South Sudan produces 85 percent of Sudanese oil output. This production constitutes more than 98 percent of the government of South Sudan’s budget.