On February 2, the US Undersecretary of State for African Affairs, Molly Phee, stated during a hearing before the Senate Committee on International Relations that the US government is ready to increase economic pressure on Sudan if the violence against protesters should continue.
According to Undersecretary Phee, Washington is no longer willing to tolerate the violence perpetrated against the civilian population by the security forces, and if the military authorities of the Sovereign Transitional Council do not initiate a concrete process of political transition in favor of a civilian government, the United States will be forced to opt for drastic measures to reduce international financial aid to the country, along with the adoption of targeted sanctions against the economic apparatus placed under the direct control of the military.
The coordination committee of the Sudanese protest, meanwhile, has announced that it has organized four public demonstrations for the month of February, with the intention of demonstrating to the military junta their intransigence towards any government option that does not include the transfer of power to a civilian government.
The demonstrations, scheduled for the days of 7, 14, 21 and 28 February, will take place in Khartoum and in the main cities of the country, and the coordination committee has invited the population to a massive participation.
At the same time, the main group within the opposition forces, the Association of Sudanese Professionals, has taken a position of total intransigence with the UN special representative, Volker Perthes, accusing him of not having condemned the coup d’état of last October 25 and seeking a solution that provides for the continuity of the role of the armed forces, which on the contrary is categorically excluded by the popular protest forces.
At the same time, the UN special representative Volker Perthes seems to insist on the path of compromise, which, however, does not seem to enjoy particular support even within the increasingly polarized structure of the armed forces.
On February 4, finally, the president of the Sovereign Council of Transition, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, ordered the various armed groups present in the Darfur region to abandon the cities, to be replaced by a new hybrid defense force composed of units of the regular army and militias of the groups that have joined the peace agreement of 2020.
The government’s objective is to isolate the armed groups that have not adhered to the peace agreements and engage them militarily to expel them from the Darfur region, although this strategy again risks exponentially increasing the level of violence.