Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir’s three-decade rule ends, new challenges begin

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir

Amidst the widespread protests that had been taking place in Sudan since 2018, the country’s military suspended the government of President Omar al-Bashir, on Thursday. The end to Bashir’s long lasting rule also calls for stern emergency measures to overcome the existing and new challenges in the country.

Omar al-Bashir, who served as the seventh President of Sudan and ruled the country for 30 years, was summoned by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges related to atrocities committed in Darfur region.

Other reasons for mass protests that soared on April 6 were also an outcome of rising food prices and an economic crisis, which led to fuel and cash shortages. Police used force to disperse the demonstrators in front of Sudan’s army headquarters, in order to resolve the aggravated situation in the country.

During the protests, it came into notice that social-media platforms and phone signals around the military headquarters were jammed. On April 9, the UK, the US and Norway released a joint statement, reacting to the mass unrest in Sudan, which demanded a political change. On these grounds, Bashir was taken into custody on Thursday. Consequently, his government was dissolved and the constitution was suspended.

The end of Omar al-Bashir’s power was a big victory for the people. A young protester exclaimed, “We can’t wait to build the new Sudan with freedom, justice, and peace.”

However, their celebration quickly gave way to anger, when the country’s Defense Minister Ahmed Awad Ibn announced that the transitional military council would supervise a two-year transitional period until the elections. The protestors rejected the move calling it to be a “regime coup”.

Hassan Hajji Ali, a professor of political science at the University of Khartoum, said that the situation in northern Africa remained tense, as some demanded a civilian government whilst others were resilient with the military move.

The end to Bashir’s government was considered “historic for Sudan”. There is a need for a proper government that would resolve the public issues peacefully. In the wake of the current situation, Amnesty International Secretary General Kumi Naidoo commented, “Today’s events should also serve as a wake-up call to leaders around the world who think they can get away with denying people their basic rights. But while many Sudanese people will be delighted by the end of Bashir’s deeply repressive 30-year rule, we are alarmed by the raft of emergency measures announced today.”

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