Repression continues in Sudan. On Wednesday, October 27, state security forces arrested several demonstrators and crisscrossed Khartoum, the capital, in an attempt to end opposition to General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Al-Bourhane’s coup d’état.
Taking into account the warnings of the international community, the army tried to give pledges by authorizing, on Tuesday, the return to Khartoum of the overthrown Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok. The latter was detained after the putsch the day before, with most of the civilians who made up the transitional power. The latter remains “Under close surveillance”, according to his office.
Activists and protesters arrested
In the streets of the main cities of the country, many civilians have been demonstrating since the beginning of the week against the coup d’état by General Al-Bourhane.
To prevent protesters from regrouping, security forces have “Removed all the barricades”, made of branches, stones or burnt tires, in the city center, says a protester. “They arrest everyone who is around them. ” Since Monday, they have fired tear gas canisters at protesters, leaving at least seven dead and 140 injured, according to a source within the ministry of health to World.
In response to this bloody crackdown, activists called on social media for a “Demonstration of a million people” Saturday, to demand the complete transfer of power to civilians.
One of the leaders of Sudan’s largest party, the Umma, was also arrested, along with other activists and demonstrators who blocked the main avenues of Khartoum.
The reasons for the coup
Since 2019 and the fall of the autocrat Omar Al-Bashir, power has been shared between the civilian government headed by Mr. Hamdok and the Sovereignty Council, responsible for leading the transition, but the coup comes in a context of heightened tensions between civilians and soldiers.
The leadership of the Sovereignty Council was to be transferred to a civilian figure in the coming months and the military had so far affirmed their willingness to respect the transition process. However, the exact date of this handover was not yet known precisely. In addition, the transitional authorities were struggling to come to an agreement on the surrender of Mr. Al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court.
On October 16, army supporters pitched their tents in front of the presidential palace, where the transitional authorities are based. In response, on October 21, supporters of civil power took to the streets of the country by tens of thousands to ” to save [leur] revolution ”. On October 23, the civilian camp warned against a “Rampant coup”, during a press conference that a small crowd had sought to prevent.
The international community suspends its aid
In an attempt to explain his coup, General Al-Bourhane on Tuesday pretended the risk of ” civil war “ Born, according to him, from another demonstration against the army a week ago. Visibly unconvinced, the Western ambassadors reiterated that, from their point of view, Mr. Hamdok was “Always the Prime Minister and his government the constitutional power” ; they asked to be able to meet him in person.
To mark their opposition to the coup, the African Union and the World Bank tried to put pressure on the army: the first suspended Sudan from its institutions and the second stopped its aid, which is vital for this country. poor plunged into economic slump and plagued by conflict. A choice also made by the United States, which suspended part of its assistance of 700 million dollars (604 million euros) to Sudan, Monday.
On the side of the European Union, this measure is, for the moment, in the state of threat, indicated the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, Tuesday. “This attempt to undermine Sudan’s transition to democracy is unacceptable. If the situation is not reversed immediately, there will be serious consequences for the EU’s engagement, including its financial support ”, he warned. The measure could concern disbursements not yet made, it was specified from a European source. EU funding in Sudan has amounted to € 500 million since 2016.
Moscow, on the other hand, believes that the coup is “The logical result of a failed policy”, while the United Nations Security Council has failed to agree on a joint declaration on the putsch.
Abdel Fattah Al-Bourhane
Born in 1960, Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Al-Bourhane is a pure product of the Sudanese army. After studying at the military academy, pursued abroad (especially in Egypt), he rose through the ranks to command the army, a key role when Sudan joined the coalition in 2015. led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the war in Yemen. During the protests against the power of Omar Al-Bashir in 2019, the former Sudanese dictator, General Al-Bourhane was seen as a solution to take the lead in the civil-military transition, not having been marked as “Islamist”. He headed the sovereignty council until the dissolution on Monday of all the authorities in place.