Displaying items by tag: Omar alBashir
Sudan's ruling military council and civilian opposition alliance have signed a landmark power-sharing deal and Khartoum civilians have celebrated in the streets, dancing and waving their national flag. Omar al-Bashir, the former president of Sudan, will now face a long jail term if his high profile corruption trial finds him guilty of possessing foreign currency, corruption, receiving gifts illegally, and systematic human rights abuses.
Omar al-Bashir is no longer Sudan’s president, but those who served him want to hold on to power through a military council. Meanwhile, protesters are still staging a sit-in outside Khartoum’s military headquarters and demanding that power be handed over to civilians. Islamist regime insiders who were close to al-Bashir remain in the shadows, and, unfortunately for the Christian minority of 3%, they are determined to maintain their grip on power. These Islamists are what is being described in media reports as a ‘deep state’ of shadowy authority figures that could eventually seize power in a counter-coup. Islamist influence is strong in the upper echelons of the armed forces and political parties are weakened by decades of authoritarian rule. It will be difficult for independent individuals with experience and strength to deal with these dangers.
The fall of President Bashir has intensified a competition for influence in Sudan, one of Africa’s biggest countries. Talks between the new military rulers, who have now arrested two of his brothers, and protesters demanding a civilian government continue, as thousands remain camped outside Khartoum army headquarters. Omar al-Bashir is under tight guard in a maximum-security prison. Uganda said it would consider offering asylum if he applied, despite an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The generals now running Sudan said Bashir will not be transferred to the ICC but will be tried in Sudan. Meanwhile demonstrators have vowed to stay on the streets, pressing for women's rights and the handover of power to the people. Hundreds of doctors marched in Khartoum on 18 April to get rid of the regime.
‘The regime has fallen, we won!’ was the cry outside the defence ministry as the three-decade reign of President al-Bashir came to an end on 11 April. President Omar al-Bashir has stepped down, and consultations are under way to set up a transitional military council to run Sudan. Bashir is under heavy guard at the presidential residence. Tens of thousands of Sudanese took to the streets in the centre of Khartoum in jubilation, dancing and chanting anti-Bashir slogans. Since 19 December 2018, Sudan has experienced persistent violent demonstrations sparked by the government’s attempt to raise the price of bread, and an economic crisis that has led to fuel and cash shortages.
President Bashir released all females detained for anti-government demonstrations on International Women's Day. The next day nine Sudanese women protesters were arrested and sentenced to twenty lashes plus a month in prison. In February Bashir declared a state of emergency and other measures including emergency courts across the country. The women were arrested for participating in a ‘banned demonstration’ in the capital's eastern district of Burri, a site of regular protests, and tried in one of the ‘emergency courts’. They are now in a women's prison in Omdurman. An appeal against the verdict was filed on 10 March. Protests against Bashir have happened almost daily across Sudan since 19 December. Pray for government leaders to rule with integrity and justice, and for peace and stability between tribal groups and military commanders who continue to vie for power.
A parliamentary committee tasked with amending Sudan’s constitution to allow President Omar al-Bashir to run for another term said it would indefinitely postpone a meeting to draft these changes. The president, a former army officer who came to power after a military coup, is facing unprecedented opposition to his rule, with street protests involving hundreds of people almost daily since mid-December over food prices, cash shortages and his 30-year rule. 75-year-old Bashir blamed protests on foreign ‘agents’ and challenged his opponents to seek power through the ballot box. Elections are expected in 2020. Sudan’s authoritarian government is ruled as an Islamic state with limited rights for religious minorities, freedom of speech restrictions, press restraints and multiple church building demolitions. Human Rights Watch reported over 51 deaths in nationwide rallies being subdued by riot police.