Sudan’s army general Abdul Fattah Burhan on Thursday named a new Sovereign Council to govern the country until the supposed holding of an election in July 2023. The new council sees him retain his position as the head, with the notorious Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo remaining deputy. Abu-Qassem Bortoum, a parliamentarian and supporter of Sudanese normalisation with Israel, was also named on the body, alluding to Khartoum’s intentions to call on Israel to lobby for it in relations with the US and West, as occurred following the 2013 Egyptian coup.
Significantly, Malik Agar, Alhadi Idris and Altaher Haga, three of the leaders of rebel factions, which concluded a peace agreement with Khartoum in 2020, maintained their positions, indicating the success of the regime in severing rebel leaders and elite from the civilians, especially the Sudanese Forces for Change (FFC).
Meanwhile, the FFC on Wednesday reiterated its support for former Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok, arguing that his reinstatement was the only way of ensuring a continued transition. The FFC significantly disagreed with Hamdok, arguing that a return to ‘normalcy’ was not only what it sought, but that Burhan could not remain the head of the Sovereign Council after instituting the coup.
Sudan has been in turmoil since October, when the military overthrew and arrested members of the joint civilian-military coalition. Opposition to the coup has been wide-scale, with international condemnation largely unanimous. A recent statement advocating a return to civilian rule was even endorsed by the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which are strong supporters of the military, while the US has suspended around $700 million in aid to the country, and vowed to reassess the normalisation agreement with Israel.
The military has however largely continued on its path, with internet services blocked despite court orders. Further, it scuppered attempts at oversight and reappointed a former al Bashir loyalist to oversee the transfer of funds between the government and military controlled companies.
Protests have been wide-scale, with large protests organised for the weekend. These have been met with force from the military, with over 30 being killed since the coup 3 weeks ago.