On December 17 and 18, a new wave of demonstrations against the government and especially the military has been organized in the capital of Sudan, Khartoum, and some of the main cities of the country.
The Movement for Freedom and Change called on the Sudanese people to demonstrate against the military authorities of the Sovereign Transitional Council and against Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, accused of having compromised with the leaders of the Armed Forces after the coup d’état that deposed him last October 25.
There was a large participation in the protest, in which leading figures of the deposed government took part, including in particular the former minister Khalid Omar Youssef, whose popularity has increased enormously in recent weeks, as a result of the accusations against the military leadership and especially the Rapid Support Forces, led by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemetti, considered to be the main culprits of the October coup.
Some units of the Armed Forces have tried to disperse the demonstrations with smoke sticks, but no particular episodes of violence have been reported, showing a change in the government’s approach to public order compared to previous weeks, when there were dozens of victims during the continuous demonstrations.
The forces of the political opposition accuse both the military leadership of the Sovereign Council of Transition and the Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, perceived as guilty for having given in to compromise with the military and having accepted his own reinstatement to the detriment of the reform process demanded by the Sudanese people. Hamdok said during a television interview that Sudan’s revolutionary process “has suffered a setback as a result of the intransigence of all political forces”, thus arousing new criticism and providing protesters with new elements on which to build their claims against the military and the Prime Minister.
In terms of national politics, however, no progress has been made in the dialogue for the definition of the National Charter that should ideally facilitate the birth of the new Legislative Council, the transitional Parliament in charge of leading the country to general elections and the subsequent transfer of legislative and executive power to a civilian government.
In the meantime, the violence in the Darfur region does not seem to be diminishing, where clashes between ethnic Arab and African tribes have resumed, causing dozens of victims over the last week. The sending of a new, modest contingent by the government in Khartoum has had no effect, and the international community is questioning the advisability of the United Nations ending the mandate of the joint peacekeeping mission with the African Union (UNAMID) last December.
Since January 2021, in fact, especially in West Darfur, violence against the civilian population has increased, following the resumption of clashes between militias that share control of the territory in the atavistic clash between farmers and their sedentary interests and herders and their nomadic interests, for the control of fertile areas and water sources.
Violence was strongly encouraged in the past at the time of the regime of Omar al-Bashir, with the creation of militias that today the political forces are trying to bring within a complex and difficult dialogue of national reconciliation, hindered by the action of some components of the military apparatus.