US, Europe warn Sudan’s military as democratic transition unravels

254 Views

 

With Sudan’s fragile transition to democracy derailed, the United States and Europe have issued a stark warning to the Sudanese military against appointing a new government “without the involvement of a broad range of civilian stakeholders.””Unilateral action to appoint a new Prime Minister and Cabinet would undermine those institutions’ credibility and risks plunging the nation into conflict,” Norway, the United Kingdom, the U.S. and the European Union said in a joint statement Tuesday. “In the absence of progress, we would look to accelerate efforts to hold those actors impeding the democratic process accountable.”

Sudanese demonstrators burn tires during a protest demanding civilian rule in the "Street 40" in Omdurman, Sudan, Jan. 4, 2022.© AFP via Getty Images Sudanese demonstrators burn tires during a protest demanding civilian rule in the “Street 40” in Omdurman, Sudan, Jan. 4, 2022.Sudan has been seen as a powerful example of democratic hope after a 2019 revolution forced the military’s overthrow of the Islamist regime of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, an alleged war criminal and former military officer who seized power of the North African nation in 1989. The popular uprising was marked by iconic images of protesters, especially women, going viral on social media and garnering support from celebrities around the world. After al-Bashir was ousted, Sudanese military and civilian leaders came together to form a transitional government and agreed on a 39-month process to return to democratic, civilian rule.

That progress came to a grinding halt on Oct. 25, 2021, when the military took power, dissolved the transitional government and expelled the civilian members. Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who was appointed by the transitional government in 2019, was placed under house arrest along with a number of other senior politicians. Mass protests as well as pressure from the international community, including the U.S. government withholding $700 million in economic aid, ushered in a deal that reinstated Hamdok as prime minister on Nov. 21, 2021.

But Hamdok resigned on Sunday, after the military refused to loosen its grip on power.

“I tried as much as I could to avoid our country slipping into a catastrophe, and now our country is going through a dangerous turning point that may threaten its entire survival if it is not remedied soon,” Hamdok said in a televised national address. “The major crisis today in the homeland is primarily a political crisis, but it is gradually changing to include all aspects of economic and social life and is on its way to becoming a comprehensive crisis.”

“The key word towards a solution to this dilemma that has persisted for more than six decades in the history of the country is to rely on dialogue at a round table in which all groups of Sudanese society and the state are represented to agree on a national charter and to draw a roadmap to complete the civil democratic transformation,” he added.

Thousands of pro-democracy protesters have taken to the streets of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, and other cities across the country to denounce the military takeover and demand civilian rule. Sudanese security forces have used violent means to disperse protesters, killing at least 57 of them and injuring hundreds of others since October, according to the Sudan Doctors Committee, which is part of the pro-democracy movement.

Meanwhile, the United Nations has expressed grave concern about reports of sexual violence and sexual harassment against women and girls by Sudanese security forces during protests in December.

Abdallah Hamdok speaks after being sworn in as Sudan's interim prime minister in Khartoum, Aug. 21, 2019.© Ebrahim Hamid/AFP via Getty Images, FILE Abdallah Hamdok speaks after being sworn in as Sudan’s interim prime minister in Khartoum, Aug. 21, 2019.The U.S. government has repeatedly called for accountability in the wake of the reported atrocities but has yet to penalize the Sudanese military. When asked why the Sudanese military hasn’t been sanctioned, U.S. Department of State spokesperson Ned Price told reporters Tuesday: “We don’t preview sanctions designations, but we are exploring all available options to support Sudan’s transition.”

However, some analysts argued that now is the time for action, not more warnings and threats.

Cameron Hudson, a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center, a think-tank in Washington, D.C., said the U.S. government “must move beyond tired bromides claiming to ‘stand with the people of Sudan’ and unabashedly throw its weight behind the country’s pro-democracy movement in tangible and meaningful ways that will begin to swing the balance of power more in the protesters’ favor.”

“Sudan’s formal transition to democracy is over, even though its revolution lives on in the hearts of millions of peaceful pro-democracy protesters,” Hudson wrote Monday in a post for the Atlantic Council’s blog. “Washington and its international partners have now lost the final pretense of what allowed them — for too long — to frame their engagement in terms of supporting a ‘civilian-led transitional government.'”

“With no political agreement or civilian leader left to undermine, Washington and its allies should now pursue a more hardline approach toward the military that holds it accountable for the October coup and the deadly response to peaceful protests since then,” he added before noting “that should mean sanctions.”

It remains unclear whether freezing the assets of Sudanese military leaders would have any impact, especially since allies like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates continue to back them and Sudan previously found a way to manage under nearly 20 years of U.S. sanctions.

Some analysts argued that regional allies have little to gain from an unstable Sudan. Camille Lons, a Bahrain-based research associate for the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a think-tank in London, said the “spill-over effects — such as economic repercussions, refugee flows, terrorism threats and arms smuggling — are perceived as highly problematic.”

“Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as well as Egypt, continue to favour the military in Sudan. But that does not mean that they view the coup positively,” Lons wrote in an analysis posted on Nov. 16. “Several Gulf and Egyptian diplomats and officials have privately expressed their surprise and concern over what they see as a reckless move.”

“But as the US shows growing signs of disengagement in the region,” she added, “Arab Gulf countries will increasingly have to take care of their own regional security and stability, albeit with more pragmatism.”

People chant slogans during a protest to denounce the October 2021 military coup, in Khartoum, Sudan, Jan. 4, 2022.© Marwan Ali/AP People chant slogans during a protest to denounce the October 2021 military coup, in Khartoum, Sudan, Jan. 4, 2022.In the absence of assertive pressure from the international community, the situation in Sudan is becoming dark and uncertain. In the war-torn Darfur region, where a genocide sparked global outrage, escalating violence has displaced thousands of people since November. There have also been “alarming reports” of villages being destroyed, sexual violence and livestock rustling, according to the United Nations.

Moreover, Sudan under al-Bashir had concerning ties to terrorism that include giving safe haven to al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden and being implicated in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, for which al-Qaida claimed responsibility. But Hudson said the Sudanese military “appears intent” to keep the country off the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. After being added in 1993 over its links to al-Qaida, Sudan was officially removed from the list in 2020.

“The military, for all its faults and abuses, has been a reasonably reliable ally in the fight against terrorism and has its own reasons to be concerned by jihadists taking up residence in Sudan,” Hudson told ABC News on Wednesday.

But diplomatic efforts by the U.S. and others to pressure Sudanese military leadership may be complicated by the departure of a senior U.S. diplomat.

Reuters, citing sources, reported Wednesday that the U.S. special envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, is leaving his post at the end of the month amid the growing chaos in Sudan and neighboring Ethiopia, and that he will be replaced by David Satterfield, the outgoing U.S. ambassador to Turkey. The U.S. Department of State declined ABC News’ request for comment.

Hudson told ABC News that Feltman’s departure would not be “particularly surprising, as he was only there as a stopgap to help the administration respond early on to the unfolding crises in Ethiopia and Sudan.”

“Most critical now is that the U.S. maintain a strong and consistent level of diplomatic engagement in the region at this critical moment,” he added, noting that an announcement of a replacement for Feltman would suggest that “this will be the case and should be welcomed.”

Continue reading

 

MORE FOR YOU

  • Vacation

    Best deals on hotels and holidays!

    Ad Booking.com

  • Shopping Bags

    Big discounts: Don’t miss out on great deals

    Ad AliExpress

  • Magzter

    Unlimited access to 5,000+ magazines and newspapers; flat 50% off

     

    Ad Magzter

China’s foreign minister visits Kenya amid unease over rising debt

Reuters Logo Reuters

Ethiopia ‘detained, abused Tigrayans’ deported from Saudi…

DW Logo DW

Exclusive-U.S. special envoy for Horn of Africa to leave post

Reuters Logo Reuters

Omicron ‘may have peaked’

CNBC Logo CNBC

  • Vacation

    Find a jaw-dropping destination for your next trip

    Ad Booking.com

  • Shopping

    Shop now and save more on everything you need

    Ad AliExpress

  • Pripyat, a once-buzzing city in northern Ukraine, was devastated by the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. A routine test led to the failure of the No. 4 reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Station – the reactor exploded and a raging fire ensued. Not only were there casualties and fatalities in the initial explosion, but radioactive chemicals contaminated the surrounding area, leading to more danger and deaths.

    Photos

    100 photos of the world’s amazing abandoned places

    Ad Love Exploring

  • Age difference: 17 years.

    Photos

    Age gap between these celebrity couples

    Ad StarsInsider

South African inquiry points to corruption during Zuma era

Reuters Logo Reuters

Can a solar-powered fridge get more people jabbed?

BBC News Logo BBC News

Mystery fuel shipment to cost Kenyans dearly

Oil marketers are outraged over what they termed illegal importation of 30,000 metric tonnes of petrol by a group of industry players. They said the cargo, which was allegedly shipped in during the festive season, may see other marketers run out of stock and lead to higher fuel prices once Sh100 million ($1 million) in additional charges incurred i…

Daily Nation Logo Daily Nation

Raila Odinga’s party in dilemma

Daily Nation Logo Daily Nation

Nigeria: 4 killed in aborted jailbreak

PM News Logo PM News

  • undefined

    Photos

    Beautiful portraits of women from around the world

    Photos Logo Photos

Vehicles above four years in Kenya set for mandatory inspections

Business Daily Logo Business Daily

Kenya court: Covid orders still in force

Business Daily Logo Business Daily

Sri Lanka ships first coco peat export to Kenya

Focusing on adding a new product basket to trade with Kenya, Sri Lanka secured the first ever export deal of coco peat from Sri Lanka to Kenya.The first consignment of coco peat destined to Kenya was symbolically flagged off by Minister Youth & Sports, Minister of Development Co-ordination and Monitoring and State Minister of Digital Technology…

Daily News Logo Daily News

Report: Nigeria’s crude oil earnings hit N12.4tn in 11 months

Nigeria produced a total of 440.774 million barrels of crude oil valued at about N12.4tn between January and November 2021, an analysis of the latest oil production data released by the Federal Government showed. A document on Crude Oil and Condensate Production for 2021, obtained from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission on Tuesda…

The Punch Logo The Punch

  • Actor Channing Tatum and Partner Jenna Dewan Tatum pose for photographers on arrival at the premiere of the film 'Kingsman The Golden Circle', in London, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. (Photo by Grant Pollard/Invision/AP)

    Photos

    Biggest celebrity break-ups ever

    Ad Photos

Kano to electrify 100 communities

The Punch Logo The Punch

‘Armed robberies linked to 2017 Zimbabwe coup’

NewsDay Logo NewsDay

Major shake-up in Nigerian Air Force

Daily Independent Logo Daily Independent

Kenya: Nairobi to Kisumu train has resumed operation

Africanews Logo Africanews

Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana, UAE join Security Council

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council got five new members Tuesday, as Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana and the United Arab Emirates formally took up the posts they won in an election in June. Ambassadors made brief remarks, installed their countries’ flags alongside those of other members outside the council chambers, and posed for a group photo — wearing face masks and standing apart, in an acknowledgment of the ongoing coronavirus…

Associated Press - Sports Logo Associated Press – Sports

Buhari: Nigeria sees strong recovery in 2021 amid pandemic

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (R) waves to the crowd during his swearing-in ceremony in Abuja, capital of Nigeria, May 29, 2019. (Xinhua/Olatunji Obasa) Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to leverage digital economy in the new year to create more jobs and ensure diversification of the economy creates more support for other sectors, so as to maintain sustainable growth. LAGOS, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) — Nigerian President Muhammadu…

N.C.N. Limited Logo N.C.N. Limited

Zimbabwe journalists mourn passing of editor Iden Wetherell

Associated Press - Sports Logo Associated Press – Sports

Suspect in South Africa’s Parliament fire appears in court

Associated Press - Sports Logo Associated Press – Sports

Anti-coup protests in Sudan amid turmoil after PM resigns

Associated Press - Sports Logo Associated Press – Sports

Mozambique president and wife test positive for COVID-19

Reuters Logo Reuters

SA parliament fire under control

Reuters Logo Reuters

Kenya starts livestock export to Oman after 16-year ban

The first batch of more than 40,000 heads of livestock worth more than Sh200 million left the Port of Mombasa on Monday afternoon to Oman as Kenya resumed direct exports of animals to the country after a 16 years ban. A ship carrying more than 14,000 goats and sheep from different livestock keeping zones left Mombasa for Salalah Port, Oman as the t…

Business Daily Logo Business Daily

Buhari, Tinubu hail Akinyemi at 80

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.); and a national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Monday congratulated a former Minister of External Affairs, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, on his 80th birthday. Buhari, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, joined the academia and th…

The Punch Logo The Punch

Kenya’s foreign wealth declines

Kenya’s net foreign assets dropped by Sh87.1 billion in the year to September, the biggest decline yet, indicating that local financial institutions liquidated some of their overseas portfolios.Net foreign assets (NFA) refer to total foreign assets held by banks and the Central Bank of Kenya minus foreign liabilities of the institutions.“ Net forei…

Business Daily Logo Business Daily

  • CFDA Fashion Icon Award recipient US singer Jennifer Lopez and fiance former baseball pro Alex Rodriguez arrive for the 2019 CFDA fashion awards at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City on June 3, 2019. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)

    Photos

    Sports stars who have dated celebs

    Ad Photos

Jonathan blamed for Igbo sufferings

The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has said that the Igbo spirit will be against former President Goodluck Jonathan if he fails to support the realisation of a president of Igbo extraction in 2023. Ohanaeze Ndigbo National Publicity Secretary, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, in an interview with one of our correspondents in Enugu, said…

The Punch Logo The Punch

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.