Premium Journalist
3 minute read
12 Apr 2019
7:48 am

Sudan pays high price in blood for overthrowing Al-Bashir


There are fears of new confrontations between Sudanese opposition and military.

Former Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir. Picture: AFP / ASHRAF SHAZLY

Sudanese citizens have paid a high price in blood and courage for the overthrow of Omar Al Bashir’s regime in Thursday’s military coup in Sudan.

The ousted president had come to power in a coup in 1989 and ruled Sudan for three decades with an iron fist.

Why now? Bashir was removed after months of anti-regime protests, with the military abandoning him and siding with those seeking his downfall.

What happens next? In a televised statement, the army announced a two-year military council to oversee a transition of power and declared a three-month state of emergency. Activists have demanded the military hand over power to a civilian government as soon as possible.

But there are now fears that a new confrontation between protesters and the military authorities could take place as opposition activists reject the three-month state of emergency imposed by the army and its plans for a two-year transitional military council.

Despite the initial euphoria, over Bashir’s forced departure, which swept through the streets of the capital Khartoum doubts are now emerging with opposition forces refusing to deal with the army and on Thursday urging sit-ins to continue, the Sudan Tribune reported.

Following Defence Minister Awad Bin Ouf’s TV appearance, officially announcing the overthrow of the previous government, tens of thousands of frustrated Sudanese labelled the military coup a hoax, saying that the same faces they are opposed to are in the security committee.

The head of the opposition Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP) Omar Al Degair said his organisation would not allow the “theft of the revolution” after expressing disappointment in the subsequent events.

He further asserted that the military statement was nothing but an effort to duplicate Bashir’s regime.

“We reject the formation of the military council. The leadership of the armed forces had to contact us to hear our point of view about the future of Sudan but they took their decision alone and therefore we reject on behalf of the people and we will remain on the streets,” he said.

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which coordinates the popular protests, also rejected the statement by the defence minister and called on the protesters to continue demonstrating until “comprehensive change” is achieved.

Amnesty International, meanwhile, has backed the concerns of the opposition.

The organisation’s Secretary General Kumi Naidoo said that although Thursday’s events should serve as a wake-up call for leaders around the world thinking they can deny their citizens their basic rights, Amnesty was alarmed by the raft of emergency measures announced.

“Sudan’s military authorities should ensure that emergency laws are not used to undermine people’s rights. Instead, they must now consign to history the assault on human rights that marked Bashir’s 30 years in power,” said South Africa’s Naidoo.

“The transitional authorities must take all necessary measures to facilitate a peaceful transfer of power in Sudan. That means respecting the rights to freedom of expression and assembly, and ultimately ending an era of bloodshed and oppression in the country.”

Bashir, who the military said was “under arrest” at a “safe place”, remains on the ICC’s wanted list for war crimes and genocide.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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