Sudan’s Fragile Power-Sharing Deal: An Uneasy Marriage

Since the onset of the Sudanese revolution that ousted the veteran autocrat, Omar Al-Bashir, the military and civilian representatives have been in control of the country under a power-sharing deal. Despite this veneer, both camps have been at loggerheads since the failed coup that was orchestrated by the “remnants” of Bashir’s regime.

Pleading for unity last week, Abdallah Hamdok, Sudan’s civilian Prime Minister said the attempted coup had “opened the door for discord and for all the hidden disputes and accusations from all sides”. In this way, he added, “we are throwing the future of our country and people and revolution to the wind.”

The ongoing tensions will further exacerbate the precarious climate in the region, though experts are unsurprised. Stressing the toxic legacy of the three decades under Bashir’s autocratic rule, Professor Natasha Lindstaedt said”: “If anything, it is remarkable that Sudan’s uneasy transition has made it this far.”   

Given the weak institutions and sluggish economy that Al-Bashir’s regime had left behind, the revolutionaries were not able to move forward. The civilian camp, particularly has lost its credibility, given the divergent agendas they have.  

Yet despite this bleak outlook, it’s naïve to argue that the military will be able to rule alone. They are well aware that the absence of a civilian camp would trigger widespread anger from democracy advocates, not to mention the international community.

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