SUDAN PROTESTORS CALL FOR CIVILIAN GOVERNMENT
16, Apr 2019
Prelims level : International Mains level : GS-II Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations
Why in News:
- Protesters in Sudan have overcome army attempts to disperse their sit-in and resumed their calls for civilian rule.
Months of protests:
- Protests first erupted in the town of Atbara on December 19 last year against a government decision to triple the price of bread.
- They quickly escalated into demonstrations against Bashir’s iron-fisted rule as protesters called on him to step down.
- Officials say 31 people have died in protest-related violence since then, while Human Rights Watch has put the death toll at 51.
- The 75-year-old leader has remained defiant but has launched top-level changes in his administration. Sudan’s financial woes have worsened amid a lack of foreign currency since South Sudan became independent in 2011, taking with it the bulk of oil earnings.
- The resulting shortages in basic goods have fuelled spiralling inflation that has devastated the purchasing power and living standards of ordinary Sudanese, from agricultural labourers to middle-class professionals.
African Union gives Army 15 days
- The African Union on Monday gave Sudan’s military 15 days to hand over power to a civilian government. Should the army fail to achieve this, Sudan’s membership in the bloc would be automatically suspended until a return to constitutional order, the AU’s Peace and Security Council said.
- The AU said Sudan must hold “free, fair and transparent elections” as soon as possible.
Angela Merkel calls for civilian government
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for “a rapid transfer of power to a civilian transitional government,” in a phone call with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.
- This must be followed by a credible, inclusive political process that meets the expectations of the Sudanese people with regard to economic and political reforms,” her office said in a statement. Sissi repeated Egypt’s support for “the brotherly Sudanese people’s will” and said Cairo would “not interfere in its internal affairs”, according to a presidential statement.