GP Insights # 75, 15 June 2019
On 6 June 2019, African Union’s Peace and Security Council has suspended Sudan’s membership until it witnesses the political transition to civilians from the military, which had triggered the tensions in the capital that has seen masses killed. It also warned to impose disciplinary measures on individuals hindering the establishment of a civil-led transitional authority.
What is the background?
The revolt against the government in Sudan can be dated back to December 2018 when President Omar Bashir imposed strict measures to prevent the country from economic collapse. Abrupt hike in the bread and fuel prices triggered demonstrations in the east and rages spread across Khartoum, which led to demand from the pro-democracy protestors for the removal of Bashir and his government who had been ruling for several decades, who eventually was expelled by the army a few days later. But the protestors continued to stage their anger and demanded civilian rule. On June 3 security forces barged into the protest killing more than hundreds of people which further escalated the crisis leading to a nationwide campaign of civil disobedience.
What does it mean?
In an era where multilateral organizations fail to consider human rights and uphold their policy, AU’s response to the mass killings is a welcome change. This crisis also projects Africa as a continent which takes responsibility for its actions and fulfills the democratic aspirations of the people, while UN security council fails to censure the violence as China backed by Russia blocked the move which is a calculated approach as it doesn’t want itself to interfere, which it considers an internal dispute. It will lead to havoc if the military gets a stronghold of Sudan’s soil while negotiations act as the only sensible option to establish a civilian rule. Even though the African union’s decision is welcomed in the international arena, will it succeed in curbing the African problems?