What led to the military takeover in Sudan

Protesters march on 60th Street in Khartoum, Sudan, on October 25, to denounce detentions by the military of members of Sudan’s government. (AFP/Getty Images)

Sudan’s military dissolved its power-sharing government and announced a state of emergency on Monday, after soldiers arrested Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, his wife and other senior civilian officials, throwing the country into the biggest crisis of its two-year-old democratic transition.

The military takeover comes after weeks of deepening political chaos in the country, where military and civilian groups have been sharing power in an uneasy alliance, dubbed the Sovereign Council, since the ouster of former president Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

The triumphant mood that swept the nation after Bashir’s removal — ending his brutal three-decade-long rule — has soured, with tensions over power-sharing boiling over into protests and contributing to instability.

Tensions ratcheted up as politicians, including Hamdok, pushed for a full transition to civilian rule by November 17.

A failed coup attempt in late September, attributed to forces loyal to Bashir, further strained the already shaky coalition.

In the weeks since, military leaders have been demanding reforms to the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition and the replacement of the cabinet. Civilian leaders accused them of a power grab.

Throngs of Sudanese protesters took to the streets last Thursday to demand that the transition agreed after the 2019 pro-democracy movement be honored and an elected government be delivered to the people.


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