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ICG: No clear path out of Sudan's deadlock but progress remains possible

August 14 - 2022 NAIROBI

In a Q&A published by non-governmental think tank International Crisis Group (ICG) on Friday, the Horn of Africa director said there is not yet ‘‘a clear path out’’ of Sudan’s political impasse but ‘‘progress remains possible.’’

According to ICG's Alan Boswell, the resilience of Sudan’s protest movement since October’s coup and the apparent willingness of Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, Commander-in-Chief of Sudan's army, to allow civilians to form a government, could facilitate progress.

‘‘At its heart, the stalemate concerning government formation puts Burhan and his allies in the security forces against the youth-led movement that mounted the protests ending in Bashir’s ouster,’’ Boswell said.

‘‘Young Sudanese activists in particular are furious with the army’s decades of meddling in the country’s politics and it’s control of large sectors of the economy,’’ he added.

Since October’s military coup Sudan has been stuck in political deadlock. Police and security forces frequently clash with ongoing pro-democracy demonstrations and have killed more than 100 protesters, report Sudanese medical groups.

In July, El Burhan said he would allow the formation of a civilian government. The move was rejected and denounced by pro-democracy groups.

For Boswell, fragmentation in both camps is another major issue of concern. He suggests that El Burhan’s loose hold over all of Sudan’s various armed groups could fall apart if he makes great concessions to the protesters. Likewise, the civilian opposition is united only in its aims to oust Bashir, lacking a united vision for the future of the country, Boswell argues.

The ICG director also stated that international actors still have a key role. ‘‘It is important that international partners coordinate pressure on Sudan’s military leadership to assent to a civilian-led transition, as they originally agreed to three years ago.’’ 

You can read the complete Q&A text here.


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