Sudan’s crisis escalates Updated for 2021

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Updated: March 1, 2021


Sudan is in crisis. For over 10 weeks now since mid-December, protesters have been demanding that long serving President Omar Hassan al-Bashir leaves office after more than 30 years in power.

But al-Bashir reacted by declaring a national state of emergency on Friday in an attempt to end the uprising.

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The embattled president of the northern African country said the emergency across the country would last for up to one year.

He dissolved the government after just over five months in office and sacked his long-time ally.

That ally, Gen Bakri Hasan Salih, who was vice-president, was the only remaining member of the original Revolutionary Command Council that carried out the coup which brought him to power in 1989.

BBC reported that al-Bashir then replaced Salih with another hardliner, former Defence Minister, “Gen Awad Ibn Awof, who has been under US sanctions since 2006 for his alleged role in Darfur, when he was the chief of military intelligence”.

President Bashir also dissolved all elected regional governments and replaced all state governors with senior military officials, Reuters said, adding that he also banned public protests on Monday, and announced further regulations on transporting foreign currency and gold, and a ban on hoarding or trading fuel products.

However, even with all those steps, the protests have gathered momentum since his declaration.

Several international media reported that the protests were intensifying even as he was speaking, as thousands of demonstrators in the capital Khartoum and Omdurman, its twin city across the River Nile, took to the streets.

The opposition Umma National party and the protest organisers, the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, have both rejected the new measures and called for more protests to force Mr Bashir to step down, according to several media reports.

The security forces have resumed firing live ammunition at protesters, BBC said, citing opposition sources who said at least three people were injured with gunshot wounds on Sunday.

“There had been speculation that President Bashir would say he not running for another term and also that he would step down as head of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP). However, he did neither,” BBC added.

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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