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Sudan: Power of Peoples will

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GLOBAL attention currently focuses on Sudan once again, threading a dreadful path . This time, the tight fisty grip on power by the long serving dictator Omar al-Bashir, in the country,  has been crushed,  paving way for his deposition and subsequent arrest by the Sudanese top military authourities who are now incharge of government, pending the conduct of a general election.

That al- Bashir himself came into power through coup d’etat in 1989 is not news and that he ruled Sudan for 30 uninterrupted years, which finally ended on Thursday, April 11, 2019, follows the familiar stories that assail the country’s crises-ridded history.

Much as his entrance into the helm of affairs gave hopes to a people struggling to rise from ruins of deep ethnic war, the final scenes of his fiery episode tell of a country’s wasted years and provides solid ground for introspective analysis for changing the fate and face of Africa for the better. Sudanese citizens should be given credit for bracing up to collectively confront fears and bring back hopes to a people crushed by dictatorial tendencies that spanned decades into their anals. This is clearly manifested by their defiance in continued occupation of an area infront of their military headquarters in protest for days, despite crackdown on them by the military. The announcement made by the vice president that Omar al-Bashir has been toppled and arrested sent no convincing message to the ordinary Sudanese.  “We all reject what has been mentioned in the coup statement issued by the regime. We call on our people to continue their sit-in in front of army headquarters and across all regions and in the streets.” The champions of the protest, Alliance for Freedom and Change spokesman has echoed vehemently.

Adding to their rejection statement, “the regime has conducted a military coup by bringing back the same faces and the same institutions which our people rose against.”

In the end, their voice seems to be counting with the fall of al-Bashir’s reign but not good enough for the wishes of the greater Sudanese and the acquiescence of the blood of those killed in the course of the protest. Ordinarily, one would have thought that the battle for the soul of Sudan is close to being won, with the citizens holding the aces; but development points to the contrary. Prevailing views in Sudan and beyond believe, that the seeming coup is a farce contrived to hand over power to al-Bashir’s proxies – thereby extending his hold on power- a situation that has triggered more defiance than originally conceived at the early stage of  protest for the end al-Bashir’s regime and their new demand for fresh hands in governance of their country.

With the forgoing, the announcement of General Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf as the country’s interim head of government, to lead a process that will usher in an elected government within two years, seems not to catch the people’s fancy in any way and speculations of further hostilities are heightening each passing day.

The handwriting on the wall does not suggest, Sudanese citizens would back down on their demand, while the body language of people currently holding the reins of power does not indicate submission without struggle; the stage is gradually setting for the collision of two worlds.

The global society is apprehensive of probables in the whole situation and their concerns are already being communicated. The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, minced no words in advising the Sudanese army to let the people determine their own government as he urges for an inclusive transition that will meet the “democratic aspirations” of the Sudanese people.

In a message to the interim head of government in Sudan,  through its Human Rights High Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, UN has cautioned Sudanese  military government to desist from using force against protesters. ” UN is closely monitoring developments in the country and there is every need for the military authority to refrain from using force against peaceful protestors.”

In EU’s view, the collective wishes of the Sudanese should not be toyed with by any group or interest. The need for the army to as a matter of urgency hand over power to a civilian government is non negotiable.

According to EU Diplomatic Chief, Federica Mogherini,  “Only a credible and inclusive political process can meet the aspirations of the Sudanese people and lead to the political and economic reforms the country needs. That can only be achieved through a swift handover to a civilian transitional government.”

Similar call has come from Germany through her Deputy Spokesman, German Foreign Ministry, Christoffer Burger,  “we are calling on all sides to exercise restraint, as we need a peaceful solution to the crisis, which fulfils the expectation of the Sudanese people for a political change.”

The United States of America has thrown her weight behind a Sudanese government chosen by the people and not one imposed on them. This, they say, could be achieved in less than two years against the proposition of the military rule currently in place in the country.

US Spokesman for the Department of State, Robert Palladino in his reaction to the development says, “the Sudanese people have been clear that they have been demanding a civilian-led transition. They should be allowed to do so sooner than two years from now.”

Those within the government circles should know that further efforts to emasculate the people’s will may only end in fast tracking the doomsday. Historical facts from Tunisia, Lybia, Sudan neighborhoods of Eritrea, Congo, Daffeur, Rwanda are good lessons to work with, in averting crises that are fast becoming Africa’s trademark.

These countries have really had good embrace with the people’s fury in times past and today’s Sudan could not have forgotten her conflict with South Sudan to allow anything drive them again into strife. Then, how can one explain the temptation of phantom palace coup executed purposely to hoodwink the populace and continue a cycle the people are  bent on overturning?

Sudan is arguably not the only country in Africa with her government running at parallel course with the citizens. In Algeria,  citizens have expressed severe disaffection with the government of Abdutrikalif. Protests have continued to greet his government on all fronts but the regime would rather exterminate all oppositions than submit to the people’s clamour.

Consciously or unconsciously, the development in both Sudan and Algeria points to the fact that the people’s will supersedes the bully of power. When the people truly resolve to make their collective will count, not even the rolling of the armoured tanks can repel their push.

For Africa, the moment people’s will begins to threaten the survival of existing government, the hope for liberation of the continent from unaccountable government will be born. The people of Sudan have shown how high their determination can carry them and those who use government as a personal tool meant to serve the interests of selected few should ponder the essence of governance machinery, when there are no masses to drive it.

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