After 30 years in office, Sudanese military dictator Omar Bashir has been overthrown in a coup.
This comes in the aftermath of nationwide protests since 2018, in response to rising costs of living.
As crowds in Khartoum were seen jubilantly celebrating the downfall of the regime, questions open up as to what steps the nation will go moving forwards as a new government emerges.
“I announce the restructuring of state institutions according to the law and pledge to fight corruption and uproot the regime and its symbols,” General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan announced, a day after he was sworn in to head Sudan’s new ruling military council.
He also ordered the release of all prisoners jailed by special emergency courts and the immediate lifting of a night-time curfew imposed by the council earlier this week.
General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, took control of Sudan’s transitional military council on Friday when his predecessor General Awad Ibn Ouf — a close aide of ousted veteran president Bashir — he resigned after a mere day as head of state.
Recent history has shown that revolutions in the Arab world seldom end on a peaceful note – and it remains to be seen whether Sudan will transition progressively.
Recently in Algeria, the regime of Abdelaziz Bouteflika was ousted by popular demand and in the aftermath, an outburst of rampant violence ensued. Likewise, post-Gaddafi Libya is in a state of what seems to be, anarchy and war for control over territory.
Unlike Algeria and Libya however, Sudan is less homogeneous and has faced even more violent ethnic and religious conflict in its recent history, with South Sudan seceding to form a new country in 2011 after decades of war. It faces an ongoing conflict in Darfur on its West coast and a looming insurgency on its southern border.
Nevertheless, Sudan faces many challenges moving forward and these ethnic strifes could anchor its woes. The new regime has refused to extradite Bashir who faces allegations of war crimes.
There were also signs of friction among Bashir’s former inner circle. On Friday, the commander of Sudan’s feared Rapid Support Force, a paramilitary unit, expressed support for the protesters, saying the forces will not “accept any solutions rejected by the Sudanese people” and called for dialogue so Sudan would “avoid slipping into chaos.”
Speaking at a news conference aired live on state TV, flanked by uniformed personnel, Zein Abedeen contended that the army has no intention of holding the reins of dictatorship when the storm calms.
“This was not a coup,” but a “tool of change,” he said. “We came … to guide the country forward.”