MILITARY COUP

Exclude army from Sudan government

In Summary

• The Sudan army seized power on Monday, arresting civilian ministers and crushing protests

• Gen Burhan said the coup was necessary to prevent 'civil war' between rival political factions and the army

Sudanese protesters march in 60th Street in the capital Khartoum, to denounce overnight detentions by the army of members of Sudan’s government, on October 25.
Sudanese protesters march in 60th Street in the capital Khartoum, to denounce overnight detentions by the army of members of Sudan’s government, on October 25.
Image: AFP

Sudan's military leader Gen Abdel-Fattah Burhan has said that the military seized power on Monday to prevent 'civil war' with civilians in the government.

This was a bit rich considering the army has been in power since 1989 when Gen Bashir seized power. They were forced into a power-sharing government after mass demonstrations in 2019. Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok is now under house arrest.

However the army remained reluctant to take orders from politicians in the transitional government.

Burhan obviously hoped that the international community would turn a blind eye to the coup, as they did with the Burmese generals in February. But, unlike Myanmar, Sudan still needs support from the World Bank, IMF and foreign donors.

The army also cannot govern without popular cooperation and now doctors, oil workers, and other essential service providers are threatening to go on strike.

Sooner or later, Burhan is likely to back down and restore civilian rule. But this time the army should be completely excluded from government. Its actions show that they do not understand that governing requires coalitions and compromise and that there are no quick fixes to the problems of the Sudan.

Quote of the day: "We have enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another."

Jonathan Swift
The Irish author published Gulliver's Travels on October 28, 1726