Coup generals quit forming new Sudanese government in response to protests | International

The commander of the Army and leader of Sudan since the coup last October, General Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, announced on Monday night that the military will finally withdraw from the negotiations to form a new government and will cede the initiative to armed forces. civil policies, although he advanced that in return they will establish a military council without civil supervision and with powers yet to be determined. His proposal comes after the opposition has escalated its mobilizations against the coup junta in recent days, unable to cement its authority, but has been widely rejected by the opposition as a ruse by the generals to preserve their power and privileges. . The announcement also comes after the failure of the international community to forge an agreement between the military and civilians due to the outright refusal of the latter to engage in any type of negotiation.

In a brief message on state television, Al Burhan said his offer seeks to allow civilian forces to “sit down and form an independent government with national powers to meet all the demands of the transition period.” He also assured that after the formation of the Executive he will dissolve the Sovereign Council, which currently assumes the responsibilities of the Head of State and which he himself heads. And he advanced that he will form a Superior Council of the Armed Forces that will be responsible for security and defense, as well as other prerogatives that are agreed with the future Cabinet.

The Sudanese leader’s move has been widely interpreted as a sign of weakness for the coup junta, which since January has been unable to shore up a prime minister and is having to deal alone with a serious economic crisis and alarming levels of violence in the periphery of the country. The decision represents a retreat from his initial promises to appoint a technocratic executive to lead the country until elections in July 2023 under the supervision of the Army. The main opposition groups also view with skepticism the formation of a military council that is not accountable and the rehabilitation in recent months of the Islamists who formed the support base of the regime of dictator Omar Al Bashir, deposed in April 2019.

The military coup perpetrated by the Army last October put an end to the democratic transition that began in Sudan shortly after Al Bashir was deposed after three decades in power after months of massive demonstrations. The coup was a serious setback for popular aspirations to continue dismantling the old Islamist regime, lay the foundations for a civilian and democratic government within the framework of a rule of law, and to consolidate the return of the country to the international community. The instability in the country is behind the attempts by Sudanese to jump the fence from Morocco to the Spanish territory of Melilla, like the one that ended with 23 dead emigrants on the 24th. This Monday, the European Commissioner for the Interior, Ylva Johansson, considered it “unacceptable that people die in this way on our EU border” and called for an investigation of what happened.

In Sudan, the military have since collided with the constant mobilization that the civil democratic opposition has been able to articulate and maintain for more than eight months. The repression of the security forces has killed more than 100 people. Hundreds have been injured or arrested. At the forefront of this pulse are the so-called resistance committees, an extensive network of decentralized groups of revolutionaries deeply rooted in the neighborhoods that have shown a great capacity to dodge the repressive and co-opting tactics of the regime.

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Last Thursday, coinciding with the third anniversary of the massive protest that ended up forcing the military to agree with civilian political forces on the fragile transition that began in 2019, large mobilizations were held throughout Sudan, in a new display of force by the opposition. . The protests were once again suppressed by security forces, who killed nine protesters and injured more than 600, according to the count of the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors.


Following the momentum created by these protests, resistance committees in the capital, Khartoum, announced a “revolutionary escalation” to force the fall of the military junta “by all possible peaceful means”. Since then, they have risen for the first time since the coup several camping, especially in the capital region. At least one of them was attacked by the police last Monday, while Al Burhan addressed the nation, according to the aforementioned committee of doctors.

The Khartoum resistance committees have also now been the first to respond to the general’s announcement. It’s a statement, reject the proposal because it does not respond to their demands to cede power to a civilian government, withdraw completely from politics and face a process of reform and accountability. Also for his intention to form a military council. The coalition of civilian political forces that co-governed the fragile transition with the military, the Forces of Freedom and Change, has considered this Tuesday the gesture of Al Burhan as proof that the coup board is in low hours, has described it as a simple “maneuver” away from the demands of the street and has called to maintain the escalation.

The general’s announcement comes shortly after the United States and Saudi Arabia managed to organize a meeting between the Forces of Freedom and Change and the military for the first time since the coup, in early June, although the outcome was uncertain and the The former have insisted that they will not repeat the pre-riot formula of a mixed government with the military. A political process promoted in parallel by the UN and the African Union did not even get started due to the outright rejection of the civil opposition.

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