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Sudan: Political consensus elusive as tensions rise

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Marwan Ali/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Political crisis

As the crisis in Sudan's troubled transition from authoritarian rule deepens, huge crowds of people marched in several parts of Khartoum, the Sudanese capital and other cities on Thursday. The protesters were this time demonstrating against the prospect of military rule,

Since the removal of President Omar al-Bashir in 2019 in a popular uprising after three decades of rule, the military has shared power with civilian parties in a transitional authority.

A coalition of rebel groups and political parties have aligned themselves with the military. Civilian leaders say that this would amount to a coup and that the military aims to install a government it can control.

Journalist and Political Analyst Mohammed Fazari inthis report, gives some context to the latest developments.

"Yes, for sure, the differences between the military and the civilians are so serious. The Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has earlier mentioned that Sudan faces the most dangerous crisis in its history.

That's why he said that the differences between the military and civilians have come near the end of the military’s tenure at the helm of Sovereign Council. As you know in 2019, when the constitutional document was signed, it divided the leadership of the council between the civilians and the military. So the transitional period started with the military in charge and is supposed to end with civilians at the top".

_"According to me and many observers, the Sudanese people have been divided more than ever before. Some are pro and against the military, others are pro and against the civilian government. So you can see armed movements, some tribal leaders and other Sudanese people at the grassroots level supporting the military.
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But people in general and the elite and the youth of the revolution, women and all the intellectuals support a civilian-led government".

Mohammed shared insight to what extent of responsibility the civilian component of the sovereign council has in the current crisis.

"The civilian function of the government, and the FCC [Forces for Freedom and Change], they believe that there are huge challenges facing the Sudanese government and the transitional period. That's why they failed to satisfy and to fulfill all the obligations of the transitional period.

Among these challenges is that they failed to form the Executive Council but also the Constitutional Court besides the statutory commissions such as the Elections body, the anti-Corruption commission and others.

All this makes people at the grassroots level blame FCC for failure to satisfy their needs. Besides, the failure to resolve the worsening economic situation which has led to fuel shortages and price hikes".

Sudan's longtime leader Omar Al-Bashir was toppled by the military in April 2019 after weeks of mass protests. But as the events of the recent weeks of protests have demonstrated, there was little consensus on how to move forward after that.