Home Views & Opinions Sudan military coup: Lesson for civilian govt in Pakistan

Sudan military coup: Lesson for civilian govt in Pakistan


General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan leading Sudanese Military has taken over the government in a military coup on 25th October 2021. Military leadership has dissolved the transitional government and imposed a state of emergency. Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok is under house arrest along with his wife and been moved to an unrevealed location. A majority of the Hamdok Cabinet members are detained as well as a large number of officials and political leaders and pro-government supporters are arrested to crush the resistance and protests across the country. The apparent coup took place after weeks of tension between the civilian government and military.
On April 2019 President Omar al-Bashir, who had presided over the country for nearly three decades was ousted after a popular uprising. Sudan was gradually switching towards a transitional democracy. According to a power sharing formula under August 2019 agreement, a ruling body was set up to share power between the military and civilians known as the Sovereign Council, meant to lead the country to elections by the end of 2023, has also been dissolved.
Mounting political tension is one of the cause of military coup in Sudan. Tensions peaked between the civilian and military sides, after a September 21 “foiled” coup.
The military was refraining participation during joint meetings as al-Burhan was embarked upon security sector reform which triggered severe resentment and backlash from the military circle which also delayed civilian ministers’ decision to handover Omar al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan justified military action by claiming that in order to avoid civil war, army was left with no other choice except of sidelining politicians who were inciting and misleading Sudanese masses against the armed forces. Gen. al-Burhan promised to hold elections in July 2023 and hand over the government to an elected civilian government. General Fattah has dissolved both the cabinet of ministers and the sovereign council.
Some analysts believe that military had just taken over to solidify its control over Sudan’s Sovereign Council as the deadline for transfer to civilian rule was approaching closer.
Countrywide protests, violence and riots erupted against the military coup in Sudan which is backed by Sudan Armed Forces and a paramilitary group known as the Rapid Support Forces under General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo. Seven protesters were killed by gunshots. About 190 were wounded and hurt. Protestors in Khartoum were met with live ammunition. Sudanese authorities have restricted internet access and blocked social media platforms to broad cast nationwide anti-coup demonstrations which could persist for longer.
The United Nations as well as world community has denounced the military coup in Sudan. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for the “immediate” release of Sudan’s detained leaders following an apparent military coup.
“There must be full respect for the constitutional charter to protect the hard-won political transition,” Guterres wrote on Twitter, referencing the landmark power-sharing agreement that Sudan’s military and civilian leaders signed in 2019 after months of deadly protests.
The African Union has termed the military takeover in Sudan “unconstitutional” and suspended its membership within the continent wide bloc. White House has rejected the actions by the military and called for the immediate release of the prime minister and others who have been placed under house arrest. United States has strongly vowed support to the Sudanese people’s demand for a democratic transition. The Arab League and Egypt stressed upon immediate resumption of consultations between civilians and military to save the country and its democratic transition. European Union condemned the detention of Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other cabinet members and demanded the security forces to immediately release those they have unlawfully detained. Amnesty International Secretary General Agnes Callamard reminded and posed the question to the world community that the people of Sudan are back in the street, to protect their democratic transition. “Will the world stand shoulder to shoulder with them?” .
The Biden administration has suspended $700 million in aid as the U.S. State Department asked the military to release Hamdok and restore the civilian government. The U.S. government had invested hundreds of millions of dollars in aid and economic support to Sudan to help its transition to democracy and to strengthen its influence in the strategically important region and it seems that all US investment so far in Sudan has doomed miserably. Sudan’s recent coup may rise influence of Russian and Gulf State actors in the country. Many analysts apprehends that with military take over Sudan may once again become the hub of human trafficking and weapon smuggling.
The politics of Sudan is very complicated. Military remain deeply enmeshed in the country’s economic and political life and could have taken over the power at any stage without facing any significant masses armed resistance.
Sudan transitional government under Abdalla Hamdok was facing many economic challenges and crisis. Financial reforms raised inflation in the country. There were shortage of essential goods due to the blockade by local tribes of Sudan’s most important port in the east. Transitional government was also struggling challenges to buy peace with rebel groups around the country, fatalities from political violence had actually increased over the past 12 months. The rural leadership who were part of ex- ruler al-Bashir’s system of “mercenary patronage” considered pro-democratic demonstrations as an assault on their constituencies.
Military under such circumstances were under tremendous pressures from all the sides within the country. The message that the army wanted to convey to the public is that recent Sudan emergency is actually not a military coup but rather a correction or guidance to Sudan’s transition to democracy. Sudan Military focus is on replacing certain civilian politician’s part from cabinet and government who were endangering the country’s sovereignty and fomenting dissent within the disciplined military organization which in the long run may have damaged the integrity of the country.
The Sudan Military is very much concerned and well aware about the heinous games being played by the international actors to penetrate into their region for their vested interests thus the masses should rest assure that their Army will resist all kind of conspiracies to destabilize their country. They are sensible and experienced enough to identify their responsibilities and they by no mean hoodwinking both the national and international community rather safeguarding their core national interests.
Interestingly, in Pakistan the incumbent government of Prime Minister Imran Khan is also playing the same heinous game against Army and damaged and maligned state institutions more than the 100 enemy countries cannot do together. PM Imran Khan had made the mockery of the country’s armed forces in the entire world just for hi personal ambitions and gains. He maliciously tried to create rift among the state institutes to ruin their exemplary discipline.
PM Imran Khan Government is also a cause of rising inflation and unemployment in the country. PM Imran Khan Incompetency in every field has miserably brought country’s economy to negative -0.26%. Corruption has broken its records and Tehrik-e- Labaik Pakistan (TLP) once again on streets and roads over the mishandling of them by the government.
Pakistan recent situation is not different than the Sudan but Pakistan Military showing immense restraint and sensibility to handle all the crisis created by incapable government of PM Imran Khan. Thus, over ambitious Imran Khan Regime in Pakistan should avoid adventures detrimental for the sovereignty and integrity of the country.