One More Step Back for Sudan
Sudan’s attempt to move from military to civilian rule was set back another step on January 3, 2021 with the resignation of temporary civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. He cited a failure to keep his nation from “sliding towards disaster” and building a consensus between the interests of the military and civilians. The military has been a powerful force in Sudan’s government since shortly after independence on January 1, 1956. Two years after independence, Sudan had its first coup. Their most recent was October 25, 2021. The Sudanese government has killed over 50 protesters since late October.
Mr. Hamdok’s background is in economics, and he hoped to use his knowledge to build a cabinet of technocrats until an election. Since October, he negotiated the forgiveness of some of Sudan’s foreign debt, but that carried the stipulation that the government would greatly reduce fuel subsidies. Fuel prices rose dramatically, leading to more unrest. Protesters also suspected Mr. Hamdok’s presence as prime minister helped to legitimize military rule.
The military is now firmly in control of Sudan’s government. That leads to the possibility of the country becoming a nation that gives sanctuary and aid to Muslim terrorists. It could also allow the government to slip into a military dictatorship like they had under Omar al-Bashir’s rule from 1993 to 2019.
- BBC News, Sudan coup: Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok resigns after mass protests. January 3, 2021
- BBC News, Sudan coup: A really simple guide. October 25, 2021