Prelims level : International Mains level : GS-II Governance, Social Justice and IR
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Why in News:

  • Sudan is in the midst of a political crisis after security forces opened fire on pro-democracy protesters in the capital, Khartoum.

Background: / More in News:

  • When  Sudanese  dictator  Omar  al-Bashir  was  toppled  on  April  11  after  a  months-long popular uprising, the generals had two options before them
  • One was the Tunisian model in which the army allowed a smooth transition of power to a civilian government after Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was removed from power in 2011.
  • The other was the Egyptian model in which the army, after losing power to a civilian ruler following  Hosni  Mubarak’s  ouster  as  President  in  2011,  staged  a  coup  in  2013  and reinstalled  itself  at  the  helm.  Sudanese  generals  chose  the  Egyptian  Model,  setting  the stage for a  prolonged  showdown.  The  protesters had demanded a  transfer of  power to a transitional civilian government, followed by free and fair elections. But the generals used the   crisis   to   concentrate   more   powers   in   their   own   hands.   Later   military   generals established   a   military   council   which   took   over   governance,   while   angry   protesters continued a sit-in in front of the Defence Ministry in Khartoum.
  • As  talks  between  pro-democracy  activists  and  the  military  rulers  collapsed,  paramilitary groups unleashed deadly violence this week to break the sit-in, killing at least 100 people and injuring hundreds.

Global Response:

  • The US condemned what it called a “brutal attack” and the UK said the military council bore “full responsibility”. The African Union (AU) has suspended Sudan from its membership until a civilian led transitional authority is established.
  • However, The UN Security Council couldn’t even condemn the violence as China, backed by Russia, blocked the move. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which offered financial aid to the junta as soon as Mr. Bashir was removed from power, also support the generals.

Impact of Crackdown:

  • After the crackdown, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the military ruler, has offered to hold elections in nine months, upturning an earlier plan of a two-year transition. But there is no immediate plan to transfer power to a civilian transitional government, a key demand of the protesters.


  • Military must resume talks with the protesters and facilitate a quick and orderly transition to civilian rule. The choice the generals make will determine the future of Sudan.
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