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Al-Burhan contradicts his promises on the role of the army in Sudan

After provoking the coup d'état, he does not clarify whether the Armed Forces will continue to participate in the government
 The Chairman of the Sovereign Council of Sudan, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan

AFP/ASHRAF SHAZLY  -   The Chairman of the Sovereign Council of Sudan, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan

The last two months are taking their toll on Sudan, which is still unable to recover from the recent conflicts and coups. 

Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the lieutenant general who carried out the latest coup d'état on October 25, achieved his goal of taking control of the government. 

According to statements issued on Saturday to Agence France Presse and Reuters, Lieutenant General al-Burhan promised that the military would have a say in the 2023 elections, while moments later, he contradicted himself and assured that the army would not interfere in political affairs again after the transition period.  

Al-Burhan clarified that these elections would be open to "all forces that participated" in the transition period, including the military and the Rapid Support Forces, led by Lieutenant General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.  

Sudan registers demonstrations against coup d'état
PHOTO/ ARCHIVO - Sudan registers demonstrations against coup d'état

Despite a number of personalities pledging in 2019 not to return to their positions after the elections, Al-Burhan maintained his stance and said, "In the constitutional document before the Juba Peace Agreement, there was a clear text about not allowing all participants in the transitional paragraph to participate in the immediate aftermath. But the Juba Peace Agreement gave the participants in the transitional period the right to be part of the next government." 

"There is, as I mentioned, a political consensus charter that is already on the scene. When it is finalized, it will be presented to the political forces, and all those who wish to join this political charter, except the National Conference, will find the door open for him to participate in the manner stipulated in the constitutional document." 

However, he later contradicted himself in his statements, so the participation of the military in the Government is not yet assured.   

Sudanese women celebrate in Khartoum after the signing between the Transitional Military Council and the opposition of the constitutional declaration for a civilian transition
PHOTO/AFP - Sudanese women celebrate in Khartoum after the signing between the Transitional Military Council and the opposition of the constitutional declaration for a civilian transition

"When an elected government arrives, the Army and regular forces have no participation in political affairs," Al-Burhan stated. 

"None of the political forces will be part of the transitional government, including those belonging to the former ruling party led by Al-Bashir," he added.  

In 2019, the army ousted former President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who carried out 30 years of dictatorship, and replaced him with a transitional military council that would come to rule for a two-year term, followed by elections.   

When the former Sudanese president came to power in 1989, the country was in the midst of a 21-year civil war between the north and the south which, coupled with the outbreak of the conflict in the western region of Darfur in 2003, made it impossible for Sudan to recover from its consequences.  

Protests in Sudan
PHOTO/ARCHIVO  -   Protests in Sudan

Former President Omar Hassan al-Bashir was accused of committing murder, extermination, rape, torture and war crimes against members of the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups, as well as civilians in the Darfur region.  

As a result, the International Criminal Court (ICC) denounced him for war crimes and crimes against humanity.  

After the successful coup d'état of October 25 carried out by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the Sudanese people lost hope of laying the foundations of a democratic and fully civilian government, as well as the rule of law and the consolidation of the return of the transitional government to the country without any military intervention.  

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok attends a press conference during the International Conference in support of Sudan at the Grand Palais Temporal in Paris, France, May 17, 2021.
REUTERS/SARAH MEYSSONNIER  -   Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok attends a press conference during the International Conference in support of Sudan at the Grand Palais Temporal in Paris, France, May 17, 2021

After these events, the Sudanese population felt betrayed by the signing of the agreement reached between the ousted Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok and Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, in which Hamdok would regain his position as Prime Minister, on the condition that the military would be present in the Government. 

The signing of this agreement has provoked opposition from pro-democracy groups, who are taking to the streets demanding a fully civilian government.  

However, Prime Minister Hamdok argues that the signing of this new agreement will avoid more deaths, declaring in a ceremony broadcast on state television that "Sudanese blood is precious, let us stop the bloodshed and direct the energy of the youth towards construction and development". 

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok (center) and Major General Malik Tayeb Khojali (left) inspect a guard of honor in El-Fasher, North Darfur
AFP/ ASHRAF SHAZLY - Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok (center) and Major General Malik Tayeb Khojali (left) inspect a guard of honor in El-Fasher, North Darfur

According to information coming from the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, 44 people have already been killed in the various protests since the coup, including a 16 year old teenager, shot dead after being shot in the demonstrations in the city of Omdurman.  

However, the UN along with the European Union have welcomed this agreement, labeling this latest signing as "a first step", despite the UN clarifying that all parties "needed to urgently address unresolved issues".

Al-Burhan, faced with the number of deaths during the protests said, "Investigations have been launched into the victims of the protests, to find out who did this and punish the criminals. The government protects the right to peaceful protest."