Desirée Winns

In a sudden eruption similar to recent events in Guinea, the Prime Minister of Sudan, Abdullah Hamdok, and several other ministers of the government were detained in the house of a general leading a coup. During the first few days of the coup in Sudan, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan kept the Prime Minister in his own house, and assured that “[the Prime Minister] was not kidnapped. He was not assaulted or tortured.”1 Although the Prime Minister and his wife were released to their own residence on Tuesday, October 26, there still remains an uncertainty about the new military regime controlling Sudan.2 The coup was strongly condemned by global actors such as the European Union and the United States, and the welfare of Sudan, which acts as an influential political actor in the Horn of Africa, is a rising concern for many surrounding countries. As of December 2021, Hamdok was reinstated after a surge of international pressure; however, the military still maintains a strong hold on the government. An agreement with Al-Burhan stated 14 points of cooperation that could eventually lead to a civilian-led democracy, yet uncertainty remains as protests continue. 3

Civil war in Sudan has persisted for years, as consistent class between military and civilian forces have contributed to continuous cycles of violence. General al-Burhan’s actions dismantled the Sovereign Council, a transitional military-civilian government installed after the removal of President Omar al-Bashir in 2019. The Sovereign Council was meant to act as a transition into democracy, supported by pro-democracy groups in Sudan with an election coming in 2023. The pro-democracy movement in Sudan removed al-Bashir and replaced him with Hamdok. Factionalism in Sudan has created as many as eighty political parties, and Bashir loyalists were often blamed by Hamdok for the dysfunction between military and civilian leaders.4 Prime Minister Hamdok also came under fire recently for worsening conditions in Sudan, as the economy of the country began to suffer and cost-of-living expenses continued to rise. With his ousting, critics of the coup have been arrested, protests swell in the streets, and civilians face continuous violence. Other concerns include simultaneous droughts and flooding currently plaguing the country, as the environment itself struggles to maintain a stable consistency.  General al-Burhan has announced that he and his forces will remain in power until the country’s next elections in July 2023.5


Posted December 8, 2021