FACTBOX-Risks facing Sudan’s transition | Law and order
The Sudanese authorities claim to have foiled an attempted coup launched by supporters of the government of ousted President Omar al-Bashir. Here’s a look at the risks surrounding Sudan’s transition, which began after a popular uprising and Bashir’s ouster in April 2019, and is expected to last until elections in early 2024.
POWER SHARING Under an August 2019 agreement, the Sudanese army shares power with officials appointed by civilian political groups.
Although the military’s role is meant to be largely honorary, civilians have repeatedly complained about the military’s excess in foreign policy and peace negotiations. A point of imminent tension is the pursuit of justice over allegations of war crimes by the Sudanese army and its allies in the conflict in Darfur from 2003. The International Criminal Court (ICC) calls for trials for Bashir and four other Sudanese suspects on events in Darfur at a time when current senior members of the military were also serving there. The civilian cabinet approved the surrender of the suspects, but the Sovereign Military-Civilian Council did not.
Another is an investigation into the murders of pro-democracy protesters on June 3, 2019, in which military forces are involved. Activists and civilian groups have been angered by the delays in releasing the findings of the investigation. Civilians also pushed for oversight and restructuring of the military, in particular through the integration of powerful paramilitary rapid support forces, which military leaders resisted.
INTERNAL CONFLICTS During the transition, violence increased both in Darfur, in the west of the country, and in eastern Sudan.
Analysts attribute this in large part to a peace process that led to an agreement that the transitional authorities signed with some political and armed factions in October 2020. Although the agreement was hailed by many as a first step in In resolving protracted internal conflicts, various groups and tribes complained of being left behind while others scrambled for power, land and official appointments.
Civilian politicians have repeatedly singled out former regime loyalists for contributing to the incitement of ethnic tensions. They accused the military of failing to contain or even encourage unrest in an attempt to destabilize the government – a charge that military leaders are disputing. ECONOMY
A deepening economic crisis that plunged the currency and created frequent shortages of bread and fuel was the trigger for Bashir’s downfall. The transitional government implemented hard and rapid reforms monitored by the International Monetary Fund with the aim of attracting foreign funding and reducing debt.
In the wake of the reforms, inflation has reached historic highs of over 400% and most Sudanese complain that they are struggling to cope, with little relief from the government. There have been occasional protests over economic conditions, which some locals also blame for what they say is rising crime levels in the capital Khartoum.
REGIONAL Sudan is located in an unstable region, bordering the Red Sea, the Sahel and the Horn of Africa.
Several of its neighbors, including Ethiopia, Chad and South Sudan, have been affected by political upheaval and conflict. Relations with Ethiopia have been particularly strained in recent months.
Sudan is pushing with Egypt for a binding agreement on the operation of the Ethiopian Renaissance Grand Dam, which Ethiopia is building near the Sudanese border. Talks over the dam have stalled, but Ethiopia has started filling the reservoir behind the dam, which Sudan says could endanger its citizens, dams and water facilities.
Since late last year, conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region has pushed tens of thousands of refugees into eastern Sudan and sparked military tensions on disputed farmlands along the border. (Written by Nafisa Eltahir and Aidan Lewis Editing by Alistair Bell)
(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)