Sudan’s peace and democracy at stake again

Flag of Sudan flying Flag of Sudan flying Mathias P.R. Reding on Pexels

25 October 2021

A military coup overthrew the Transitional Government of Sudan and caused strong international reactions

A coup d’état overthrew the Sudanese Transitional Government; the military caused the arrest of the Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and political and civilian leaders. Since the end of Omar Al’Bashir's power in 2019, the country was undergoing a transition process supported by the international community. 

The coup d’état led to immediate reactions, including from the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres, who called for an immediate release of Prime Minister Hamdok, urging the restoration of Sudan’s constitutional order and reinstating the transitional process.

Also the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet Jeria, condemned the military coup, declaring it a threat to peace, democracy and human rights and calling for dialogue and negotiations between military authorities and civilian leaders. Ms. Bachelet Jeira furthermore stated that the entire Sudanese communication system, i.e. the internet and other means of communication, was shut down; this constitutes a clear violation of international law, since it impedes citizens from accessing information deemed of particular importance in these circumstances. Finally, she invited the military to refrain from and avoid unnecessary and disproportionate use of force that could further endanger the civilian population.

In addition, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the country and Head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), Volker Perthes, expressed his concern about the ongoing coup, urging all parties to return to dialogue to restore the constitutional order.

The still ongoing military coup, bringing down the Transitional Government established in 2019 following popular demonstrations and protests against the former Sundanese government of Omar Al’Bashir, brought to an end a period of peace and democratic transition. This period commenced in 2019 with the adoption of the Constitutional Document, which established the Prime Minister Hamdok’s Transitional Government and was further reinforced by the signature of the Juba Peace Agreement signed between the Government of Sudan, the Sudan Revolutionary Front and the Sudan Liberation Movement/Minni Minawi. The fragile state of the country was apparent, with threats of a military coup looming for quite some time, and became manifest by the failed attempt on 21 September 2021. 


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Author: Pietro Mattioli

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