Sudan ousted two autocrats in three days. Here’s what’s next.
Last Thursday, the Sudanese military ousted President Omar al-Bashir, the dictator who ruled the country for 30 years. The coup followed months of protests against Bashir’s regime. Sudan’s defense minister Gen. Awad Ibn Auf who announced the coup, stepped down on Friday as protesters continued to call for democratic elections.
Mai Hassan of the University of Michigan and Ahmed Kodouda of George Washington University identity four important factors that need to be taken into account in order to understand the developments in Sudan and the consequences thereof.
- Protests against Bashir started in December of 2018 and were mostly a result of the country’s deteriorating economy.
- Two transitions took place since last week. First Bashir’s regime was overthrown by the military and Ibn Auf assumed power for what he said would be a transition period of two years. The next day, Ibn Auf was replaced by Burhan, an army officer that enjoys the support of regular soldiers.
- While some regional actors have denounced the coup, others have responded positively. The United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Saudi Arabia can benefit from the coup because they are trying to limit the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, which had links to Bashir’s regime. On the other hand the takeover hurts Turkey and Qatar, since these countries have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. The African Union (AU) has condemned the change because it opposes takeovers.
- Protesters are rejecting the current situation and continue to call for a transition to a civilian government. However, if the military proves unwilling to diminish its influence, Sudan may end up with a new dictatorship, just like what happened in Egypt after the Arab Spring.