What you need to know:
- A deadly crackdown since the military takeover has already claimed 40 lives.
- The situation has deteriorated since Gen Burhan declared a state of emergency after ousting the government.
The news that a deal has been reached to end the Sudanese crisis is quite encouraging. Strongman General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok have agreed to the restoration of their joint military-civilian transition government. The civilian leaders, who had been detained since the army kicked them out of the joint administration, have been released.
While this is a laudable step that should help to restore peace and tranquility in the Sudan, it comes at a heavy and grim cost to the country. A deadly crackdown since the military takeover has already claimed 40 lives. However, the anti-coup groups are still unperturbed and have been calling for more demonstrations against military rule.
The situation has deteriorated since Gen Burhan declared a state of emergency after ousting the government, detaining the civilian leadership, and upending a two-year transition to civilian rule. Naturally, this has drawn international condemnation with warnings of punitive measures that would confirm Sudan’s place as a pariah state.
This is largely a homegrown initiative in which Sudanese mediators, including academics, journalists and politicians, played a key role. It also follows American Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to the region, during which he called for an end to violence in Sudan and the release of detainees. Khartoum had earlier snubbed efforts by US diplomats, leading to threats to impose sanctions on the military leaders.
African Union Commission chairperson Mousa Faki also strongly denounced the killings, calling for the restoration of constitutional order and democratic transition in line with an agreement signed on October 3 last year.
The raging turmoil in Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia is a cause for concern in the Horn of Africa region, with fears of spillovers into the neighbouring countries. The Sudanese leaders should seize this opportunity to secure their own country and complete the transition to full civilian rule.