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Sudan coup generals determined not to lose long-held power

By ousting senior civilian figures and disrupting a transition to democracy, Sudan’s generals have ensured they maintain control in the East African country, as they have for most of its post-independence history, analysts say.

On Monday security forces detained civilian leaders, including Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who have shared power with the military following the ouster of the autocratic president Field Marshal Omar al-Bashir more than two years ago.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan declared a state of emergency and dissolved the cabinet, as well as the ruling Sovereign Council of military and civilian figures which he has led since August 2019.

The Council was supposed to pave the way for full civilian rule. Since its independence from Britain and Egypt in 1956, Sudan has experienced rare democratic interludes, but overwhelmingly years of rule under military leaders.

The army’s move “epitomises their fears” of civilian rule “in a country which was under the control of the military for 52 out of its 65 years of independence,” Horner said.

To Magdi el-Gizouli of the Rift Valley Institute “the coup was far from surprising”. The Sovereign Council ruled the country alongside a transitional government led by Hamdok, an economist, but the role of civilian leaders had been receding.

The main civilian bloc, the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) which led anti-Bashir protests, splintered into two opposing factions, one of which held demonstrations in support of the military. Protests against the coup have already led to three deaths on Monday, and there will be “heavy civilian resistance”, Gizouli said.

“The military will have little option but to crush it by force,” he said. Gizouli believes Burhan will remain in power for the foreseeable future but might talk with civilian leaders who remain free, like Foreign Minister Mariam al-Mahdi.

Source: IOL

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