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Protests in Sudan Continue on the Second Day Amid Military Coup

Sudanese military seized control of the country on Monday 25th October after dissolving the democratically elected government and arresting the prime minister. The coup incited pro-democracy protests in Sudan, where thousands of demonstrators took to the streets to condemn the army’s takeover in Khartoum, Sudan.

This coup comes about 2 years after Sudanese protesters forced the longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir to step down. Reportedly, the military was expected to soon transfer the leadership of the joint sovereign council (that runs Sudan) to the government.

Protests in Sudan Face Military Violence

According to reports, the military officials opened fire on the protestors that killed 7 people and injured 140. They also used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators who were blocking streets and burning tires. However, the protests in Sudan carried on with chants like “the people are stronger”, and “retreat is not an option” echoing in the air. Many women also took part in the demonstrations, raising voices against military control. Several videos have been circling the internet, highlighting the instability in the country.

The local airport has been closed and all international flights are suspended. Most cellphone networks and the internet are also reportedly down. Employees of the Central Bank have gone on strike, and the doctors across the country have refused to work (except emergencies) in hospitals that are run by the military.

Soldiers have been reportedly going door-to-door to arrest the local protest organizers.

Global Condemnation

The military coup has drawn international criticism due to which UN Security Council has called an emergency meeting on 26th October to discuss the matter. The world expressed deep concern over the fact that after so much struggle in the past, Sudan was finally transitioning into a democratic nation.

The country was under autocracy for 3 decades till 2019 when widespread protests in Sudan, against the high cost of living, incited a military coup. The army arrested the autocrat Omar Al-Bashir and decided to oversee a transition period of 2 years after completely handing over the power to the government. However, the relationship between the interim government and the military remained problematic.

The military alleged that it attempted the coup due to a lot of infighting between political leaders. The UN, EU, US, Arab League, and African Union demanding the immediate restoration of the civilian government.

The world also condemned the Myanmar coup in Feb 2021 but it remained in effect even till now.

Tensions Between Civilians and Military

The reports about the Sudanese military’s plan to take over the country have going on for a long time. There were several coup attempts while the interim government was in play, including the one in September, from where the tensions exploded. The conflict pitted more conservative Muslims who supported the military government against those who ousted al-Bashir through protests. Both groups have staged protests in Sudan to prove their point over the other.

The arrested Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok is an economist and a diplomat who has also worked for the U.N. He became the transitional prime minister in 2019 as Sudan prepared for official elections in 2022. However, now Hamdok is not allowed to run for the position.

In its clash with democratic leaders, the Sudanese military is emboldened by the support from tribal protesters. Moreover, two of the most senior military personnel, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and his deputy General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo also have close relationships with wealthy and powerful Arab nations like UAE and Saudi Arabia.

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