Lessons from the failed coup in Sudan – world – Al-Ahram Weekly


Contrary to what had been expected, the success in overcoming the recent failed coup attempt in Sudan did not lead to positive interactions producing greater political stability and ending the transitional phase that was already foreseen. in the constitutional document signed in August 2019.

Instead, it brought new problems and deepened the divisions between the different political forces in Sudan. She also pushed the revolutionary forces to rally and try to reconcile their differences after feeling that the post-coup atmosphere could lead to a forced end of the transition period.

Various observations can be made regarding the failed coup attempt and the political context surrounding it both nationally and internationally.

The first is that this failed coup attempt could have been a test balloon for another coup that could take place either through an actual takeover in the form of a classic military coup. or by the refusal of the Sudanese army to cede the presidency of the Sovereignty. Council of Sudan to its civilian members. This should take place in November according to the constitutional document and will herald the end of the transition phase for the holding of early elections.

The second is that the political inclinations and sympathy among Sudanese military leaders for the political and social base of the regime of former Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir seem obvious and almost visible. General Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan refused to blame remnants of the old regime for the failed coup attempt during his visit to Al-Shajara camp, one of the coup strongholds State, in response to Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok’s accusation against the National Congress Party, which ruled the country during Al-Bashir’s reign.

Third, the failed coup has highlighted the need to reform Sudanese military and security institutions, the political stability of the country now depends on it. This in light of the news of more than one coup attempt over the past two years, all of which have been attributed to the National Islamic Front, the base of Sudanese Islamists.

Fourth, the restructuring of the Sudanese army and the resolution of the relationship between the regular forces (the Sudanese Armed Forces) and the irregular forces (the Rapid Support Forces) is a prerequisite for stability in all Sudanese provinces and the panacea. against coup attempts. At the moment, the interactions between the two parties are sometimes in agreement and sometimes in tension. They are also decided according to the internal political climate. The current situation threatens political stability and even the future of the state itself.

Fifth, the presence of the Forces for Freedom and Change among the Sudanese people has diminished to a large extent due to internal divisions. As a result, spontaneous popular protests against the coup attempt were weak despite appeals by the Prime Minister. There were, however, rallies of Sudanese political parties and forces rejecting any attempted coup and rejecting any attempt by the military to return to power.

Sixth, the merits of the civilian components of the Sovereignty Council have been questioned by the economic challenges and the living conditions of ordinary people in Sudan. The Forces for Freedom and Change have fragmented, questioning their political strength and effectiveness and affecting the balance of power between them and the military. This imbalance resulted in the hegemony of the military during the previous period.

Seventh, the regional and international stance against any coup attempt in Sudan was very significant and clearly shows that such attempts will not receive a positive reaction. Cairo, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi have all issued statements denouncing the attempted coup, and strong positions have also been taken by the United States, the EU, the Arab League and the African Union.

Eighth, the statement by the US State Department alleging the existence of foreign hands behind the failed coup attempt in Sudan raises questions about who these parties are, especially in light of the fact that Eritrea and the Ethiopia have not issued any condemnation of the coup.

FUTURE TASKS: The following matters now need to be addressed by the military and civilian forces of Sudan.

First, they must prove to the international community that Sudanese elites are trusted partners for investment and economic support. If this is not done, there will be a decline in this support, the signs of which are already beginning to appear, particularly in the concerns expressed by the US administration, Khartoum’s main backer.

Second, the problem of eastern Sudan has become important for the future of the state and its stability due to its bias in favor of the military. The closure of Port Sudan more than once in the past year in an attempt to reverse the eastern Sudan trail in the Juba Accord has caused great economic and political losses.

Third, the protests in response to an appeal by the High Council of Beja Nazirs, the local tribal council, led to the closure of Port Sudan, Suakin and Bashayer, among others. These closures, exempting buses, police vehicles and ambulances, pose a major threat to the Sudanese economy. Eastern Sudan controls much of Sudan’s economic relations with the outside world, and Sudan imports 70 percent of its needs through Port Sudan. The closure of Bashayer Port has also had a huge impact on South Sudan, as oil exported through it provides most of the country’s income.

Fourth, settle the constitutional relationship between the center and the periphery in Sudan, decide on questions of political representation and restructure the sharing of wealth. This could take place either within the framework of a constitutional conference or within a legislative body whose formation has been delayed. One of the main reasons for the protests in eastern Sudan is that locals think she is being treated like a cash cow to the rest of Sudan, when in reality she suffers from an under- significant development.

Fifth, the political party of former President Omar Al-Bashir, the National Congress Party, is still influential even two years after the revolution. Mohamed Al-Amin Tirik, head of the High Council of Beja Nazirs in eastern Sudan and member of the National Congress Party, called for the removal of the transitional government and the formation of a military council representing six Sudanese provinces with a component civilian partner replacing the Hamdok government, for example.

The end of the army’s hegemony in Sudan and with it the possibility of a new military coup can only be achieved through a political agreement between the Forces for Freedom and Change and the army guaranteeing the security of those associated with the old regime and military participation in political decision-making in the future. Without such an agreement, the political situation will not return to peace and stability, and the antagonism between the different parties will continue.

Regional and international support to Sudan at this critical juncture is urgently needed, especially given the important geopolitical situation in Sudan and its importance to the security of the Red Sea and the security of the region. Egypt, in particular, should continue to forge partnerships with Sudan.

* A version of this article is published in the September 30, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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