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A year after the military coup in Sudan, the country is at an impasse

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He pretended “rectify the course of the revolution”. But a year after the October 25, 2021 coup that derailed the democratic transition that began in 2019 after the fall of Omar Al-Bashir’s dictatorship, General Abdel Fattah Al-Bourhane has failed to consolidate his power. Contested in the street, the soldiers, who attributed, in 2021, the responsibility for the deterioration of the situation to the government led by Abdallah Hamdok, must face a deep social crisis.

The tap of international aid dried up the day after the putsch. More than 4.6 billion dollars (4.7 billion euros), planned for projects in energy, agriculture or health as well as a support program for the poorest families, have been frozen. To finance themselves, the authorities have decided to drastically increase taxes. A rising cost of living compounded by soaring global food and energy prices caused by the war in Ukraine.

Read also: Sudan: in the marginalized neighborhoods of Khartoum, we do not revolt, we survive

After several days of harshly suppressed protests, General Al-Bourhane declared in July that the army was ready to return power to a “government of competent personalities”. A way of returning the ball to the camp of the civil forces, divided on the question of a possible agreement with the junta. Negotiations are being held behind the scenes with several representatives of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FLC) – the coalition of parties which signed the power-sharing agreement with the army in 2019 – under the auspices of the United States. , the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

subtle equation

Since the beginning of September, each party has been implying that a solution to the crisis is imminent. “International mediators are pushing for an agreement to be signed quickly. To believe that would be naïve. The equation is extremely subtle, and it would be a mistake to rush the signing of an agreement that has no chance of being applied.analyzes Kholood Khair, founder of the think tank Confluence Advisory.

A signed agreement with the civilians would offer the generals a way out, guarantees of amnesty or at least a privileged position within an armed forces council. But three major questions remain unresolved: transitional justice, the economic interests of the army and the reform of the security sector.

To obtain concessions, the FLC are counting on the continuation of a major popular mobilization. “They play the street card. But by sitting down at the negotiating table, they have already discredited themselves vis-à-vis a large part of the population who does not have confidence in the generals”analyzes Jihad Mashamoun, professor at the University of Exeter.

ally of egypt

Meanwhile, the security situation is deteriorating in the country, amid floods, crop failures and conflicts over land or resources. The latest violence in Blue Nile state has left more than two hundred dead in five days of clashes between communities. In one year, tens of thousands of people have been displaced and at least 15 million Sudanese, or a third of the population, are now affected by hunger.

In the surrounding chaos, the supporters of ousted President Omar Al-Bashir lie in ambush. In the wake of the putsch, many supporters of the Islamist regime were rehabilitated, released from prison or returned from exile. Many have returned to their positions in the administrations and are once again active on the political scene. Weighty allies for the head of the junta who is seeking to counterbalance the influence of his deputy, General Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, “Hemetti”, who is fueling a latent war with the Islamists.

Read also: “My hair is my freedom. That’s what they want to shear’: Sudan’s military junta cuts flyaways

In this undertaking, General Al-Bourhane benefits from a powerful ally in the region: Egypt. “With the blessing of Cairo, Bourhane tries to present himself as the only guarantor of stability. He claims to be a bulwark against the resurgence of Islamists., summarizes Suliman Baldo, founder of the Sudan Policy and Transparency Tracker. The general, who had met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi the day before his coup, made a new visit to Cairo in September. Several sources confirm that a team of Egyptian intelligence advisers has been sent to Khartoum to help the junta leader navigate the current crisis. For most opponents of the coup, any new power-sharing deal with the junta would be seen as a betrayal. As more than 118 protesters have been killed by law enforcement in a year, a new call to take to the streets has been issued.

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