The 2019 Sudanese uprising – fueled by years of authoritarian rule, a worsening economy, and systemic marginalization and violence – has led to a transitional government with a civil and military component. An eventual transition to full civilian rule will depend on the civil component’s ability to establish its legitimacy and carry out much-needed reform, particularly with regards to the economy. This provides an opening for donors and the wider international community, which in the past struggled to encourage the former regime towards democracy, and in some cases enabled authoritarian practices.
In 2020, through political economy mapping, European policy makers should invest and support the more liberal sections of the Sudanese economy, and provide opportunities for the civil component to secure tangible, quick project results. It is impossible to identify entirely ‘clean’ sections of the current political settlement to work with, but if nothing happens and the economy continues to stagnate, the legitimacy of the civil side may expire due to a lack of tangible improvements in citizens’ lives.
The talks scheduled for Sunday between Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the opposition Freedom and Change Alliance were postponed again, official SUNA news agency reported.
Political strife is not uncommon in Sudan, but the intensity and endurance of recent protests may well portend the end of the Bashir regime in the African country.
Azeem Ibrahim is Senior Fellow at the Centre for Global Policy and Adj Research Professor at the Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College. He completed his PhD from the University of Cambridge and served as an International Security Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and a World Fellow at Yale. Over the years he has met and advised numerous world leaders on policy development and was ranked as a Top 100 Global Thinker by the European Social Think Tank in 2010 and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He tweets @AzeemIbrahim.
Sudanese officials deny Amnesty report alleging suspected use of chemical weapons by Sudan’s government forces.