Sudan risks deep polarization as pro-military protesters converge in Khartoum

2021-10-17 20:29:31
Sudan risks deep polarization as pro-military protesters converge in Khartoum

Thousands of pro-military protesters have filled the streets Sudan’s capital Khartoum, demanding the government to be dissolved as the political crisis in the country deepens.

On Sunday pro-military Sudanese protesters rallied for a second day in Khartoum, in an escalation of what the prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok, called the “worst and most dangerous crisis” of the country’s precarious transition.

The military and civilian groups have been sharing power in the east African country in an uneasy alliance since the toppling of long-standing President Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted by the army in April 2019 following weeks of mass protests.

Bashir was ousted by the army in April 2019 in the face of mass protests driven by the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), a civilian alliance that became a key plank of the transition.

The latest demonstrations, left undisturbed by security forces, have been organized by a splinter faction of the FFC. Critics allege that these protests are being driven by members of the military and security forces, and involve counter-revolutionary sympathizers with the former regime.

This weekend’s protests come after Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on Friday unveiled a road map to end what he described as the country's "worst and most dangerous" political crisis in its two-year transition.

Rival groups advocating for civilian rule have called for protests on Thursday 21 October in a move expected to polarize the country and deepen the crisis it faces.

Support for the transitional government has waned in recent months in the face of its tough economic reforms, which have included the slashing of fuel subsidies and a managed float of the Sudanese pound.

Inflation has skyrocketed, reaching 422 percent in July, before easing slightly in August and September.

Earlier this month, a United Nations source disclosed that Volker Perthes, special representative of the UN Secretary General for Sudan, has been in Khartoum to undertake a series of meetings with civil and military officials in the transitional government.

However, some Sudanese analysts have played down international involvement, saying the only way to protect the transition and democracy was through the people of Sudan who had made the revolution.

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