The president of Sudan, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, has sued for peace amid growing anti-government protests both at home and in the diaspora demanding his resignation.
Even though he did not announce any plans to quit power, after this weeks’ civil protest called by the Sudanese Professionals Association, SPA, he is said to have reached out to the opposition seeking dialogue.
After taking over power some 30 years ago in a military coup, al-Bashir today faces strong protest as the population demand that he quits power. Not even his declaration of a state of emergency which was followed by him appointing a new government could appease the population.
Africannews reported that Bashir is “facing the most sustained challenge to his rule since he took power in a military coup three decades ago, promised during a swearing-in ceremony for a new cabinet that he would engage in dialogue with the opposition.”
As his growing unpopularity continues to affect his leadership the Sudanese leader is criticized for his poor management of the country and his crackdown on civil protesters which has led to the death of many.
“securing peace and silencing the sound of the rifle is our most important priority for the country and we will communicate with the forces who reject dialogue for the sake of political stability,” a presidency issued statement on March 14 read.
The Washington Post wrote that Bashir “is facing unpalatable alternatives, including pending charges from the ICC that include crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes. If he cracks down violently against protesters, Sudan will be further isolated. An internal coup seems unlikely and, in any event, might result in unhelpful instability. The best alternative for Mr. Bashir is to relinquish power to a new government…”
Weighing in on the issue, the US Department of State in its 2018 Human Rights Report on Sudan observed that “Sudan is a republic with power concentrated in the hands of authoritarian President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his inner circle.”
Accusing the government of al-Bashir of not investigating human rights violations by the National Intelligence and Security Services, NISS or the military, the report says “impunity remains a problem in all branches of the security forces and government institutions.”
“Human rights issues included unlawful or arbitrary killings, forced disappearance, torture, and arbitrary detention, all by security forces; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; political prisoners; arrests and intimidation of journalists, censorship, newspaper seizures, and site blocking; substantial interference with the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, such as overly restrictive nongovernmental organization (NGO) laws; restrictions on religious liberty; restrictions on political participation…” the report adds.