"As Minister of Defense, I announce the fall of the regime and the detention, in a safe place, of its leader! Nearly four months after the start of the protests, whose motto was the departure of Omar el Bashir, the televised statement by Awad Ahmed Ben Awf, Minister of Defense, sparked a jubilation throughout the country. country. "The diet has fallen, the diet has fallen! "Chanted, flags in hand, thousands of demonstrators who camp since Saturday in front of the headquarters of the army. "Bashir is gone! We succeeded ! Wrote in the wake of Twitter Alaa Salah, a student who has become the icon of the movement for a few days. According to an AFP journalist in Khartoum, tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands of protesters have flooded the streets of the Sudanese capital. "Youyou have rocked from all sides. Demonstrators and demonstrators intertwined, dancing, brandishing Sudanese flags while exchanging treats, "said the reporter, before a first cloud cooling the atmosphere.
The price of bread tripled in December
In the hubbub that followed the news, some probably had not heard the rest of the minister's speech: a military council has just been set up for a transition of two years. A council led by those who surround Omar el Bashir for decades. What appears to be a bad joke is immediately followed by an equally sinister joke. The chief of the armed forces proclaims without laughing that the state of emergency of six months, decreed by Omar el Bashir, is suspended and replaced by a state of emergency of three months, with a curfew of one month! A few minutes later, the new-old regime announces that borders and airspace will be closed until further notice. A military way to respond to the profound political changes to which the Sudanese, tired of a country in a state of perpetual civil war, yearn for independence since 1956.
At the end of the sketch, recalling somewhat the Algerian scenario, the curtain falls on a crowd certainly disappointed but not shot. Several protest movements immediately call for further demonstrations. "The regime has carried out a military coup by still presenting the same faces (…) against which our people have risen," denounced the Alliance for Freedom and Change. "We therefore call on our people to continue their sit-in in front of the army headquarters (in Khartoum) and across the country. In the end, besides the dismissal of Omar el Bashir, the only good news of the day will come from the dreadful Sudanese intelligence services (Niss). In the morning of Thursday, the spearhead of the repression of demonstrations (at least 20 dead since Saturday) reported the release of all political prisoners in the country. At the time when these lines are written, no evidence to this effect could be observed. As a reminder, the military-Islamic junta that came to power in 1989, and whose members today claim to be the "guarantors" of the post-Bashir transition, dissolved all political parties. In the first place, the Sudanese Communist Party (PCS), which, at the dawn of the 1990s, was the largest in Africa. At the same time, the long-banned unions have become a power transmission belt.
It will take almost twenty-five years, in September 2013, two years after the independence of South Sudan, depriving the north of its oil revenues and weakening more than 70% of its national budget, to see the Sudanese revolt a first time. The riots of hunger then ignite the whole country, following the rise in the price of oil and staple food: more than 200 dead, a thousand injured and some 3,000 arrests are to be deplored. Five years later, on December 19, 2018, the reply is violent. The spark of protest, this time, the tripling of the price of bread. But the demonstrations soon move in a radical movement demanding the departure of Omar el Bashir and his criminal regime. The word is not too strong. In 2009, the Sudanese president made history by becoming the first head of state in office under an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court. He is being prosecuted for war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide committed in Darfur, where the UN speaks of 300,000 deaths, and no doubt also in Kordofan. The inhabitants of these remote areas of the capital, poor and abandoned, rebelled in the early 2000s to denounce the endemic corruption of the regime. None of these areas, any more than the people of the South, will see oil money invested in infrastructure and other development programs.
The Constitution suspended by the Minister of Defense
For the time being, there is uncertainty in the land of the two Niles. By announcing that elections would not be organized for two years, the country's political agenda called for a vote in 2020 – the defense minister has already set the people at bay. "The Sudanese will not accept a simple replacement of al-Bashir, it's the whole system that the people want to change now," said a protester anonymously joined Thursday afternoon by telephone in Khartoum. "Women will not let it go. It's a tradition in our country, "a former professor at the Al Ahfad Women's University told Humanity. The latter points in passing an interesting loophole in the speech of the army. "Ben Awf has announced that the Constitution is suspended for the moment. Does this mean all the points of this Constitution? Questions the academic, referring to the Islamic law that largely governs Sudanese laws. In this revolutionary moment when the democratic desires roam the country, such a question will not fail to reach the ears of the military-Islamist junta, whose action seemed hardly Thursday late afternoon, worrying the international community.
At that time, the countries of the European Union had not yet reacted. No doubt it is difficult to criticize an inexpensive partner who for some years has managed, through the Janjawid militias converted into border guards, the migratory movements in the Horn of Africa. Two regional experts on peaceful transition and democracy, on the other hand, wanted to bring some of their wisdom. For example, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed the hope that Sudan would return to a "normal democratic process" despite the dismissal of his friend Omar al-Bashir. For his part, President Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, through his foreign minister, wanted to express on Thursday his "confidence in the ability of the people and the army in Sudan to manage the post-Omar el- Bashir ".