Sudan Witnessing New Coup Could Hamper Its Socio-Economic Development

There have been reports of a coup attempt in Sudan, which appeared to be hazy despite reports of sporadic firing at a facility in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman, which is connected to the capital by a bridge.

The government officials have however said the coup involving military officers and citizens associated with the overthrown regime had failed. This was coming after Sudan’s delicate political transition had been thrown into disarray following the purported coup attempt.

Reasons for the attempted coup remain unclear, and reasons for attributing the plot to followers of longstanding ruler Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who was deposed by a military coup in 2019 following widespread popular uprisings are still being fished out.

On Tuesday, Sudanese officials revealed that they stopped an attempted coup by supporters of deposed dictator Omar Hassan al-Bashir as Sudan’s army announced in a statement that 21 officers and soldiers were arrested in connection with a coup attempt on Tuesday morning and that a search for other suspects was underway.

“We will not allow a coup to take place,” the strong paramilitary commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, also known as Hemeti, declared in a speech to troops on Tuesday. “We want real democratic transition through free and fair elections, not like in the past.”

Why this at this time?

Sudan’s coup attempt has given insight into why coups tend to be reoccurring in Africa. In the Sudan case, it was reported that the alleged coup attempt comes amid rising tensions over Sudan’s long-delayed political transition following the end of Bashir’s three-decade tenure in April 2019, which was marked by huge public protests.

For the fact that Sudan is still crawling from the last saga, this is why soldiers were stationed on critical routes and main bridges linking Khartoum to the neighboring cities of Omdurman and Bahri on Tuesday to counter the attempt.

If the coup had been successfully carried out, it would no doubt tend to undo key economic reforms, particularly in the financial sector, while also increasing indebtedness and weakening net external financial position, as well as increasing the likelihood of catastrophic economic crises in Sudan.

For most of the coups carried out in Africa, its results and analyses have shown that there is always a shift in economic priorities away from the masses and the inclination toward political and economic elites would always be in a somersault.

What is now on ground?

Although everything is now under control, people are left in a mirage as authorities are yet to provide further details. The coup plotters, according to Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, included military and civilians, and the attempt was intended at sabotaging the country’s political transition.

Bunnaj gathered that undefined personnel from the armored corps were behind the attempt, as made known by a military official, and they had attempted to take over multiple government institutions but were thwarted. More than three dozen troops, including high-ranking officers, were arrested in connection with the attempted coup, according to an official.

Sudan has been afflicted by insecurity since gaining independence in 1956, and the country has been controlled by a hybrid military-civilian ruling council since August 2019. However, conflicts between the civilian and military wings, as well as tensions within distinct military factions, have remained.

It thus saddens that the country’s political transition has stalled, hampered by a worsening economic situation and long-standing tensions between the country’s center and its periphery, despite a peace agreement signed in October 2020 with several Sudanese armed and unarmed opposition groups, including those from Darfur, South Kordofan, and the Blue Nile states.

No wonder the attempted coup has been described as a “foolish and bad choice” by Mohammed Hassan al-Taishi, a member of the sovereign council, hammering on why the option of military coups has left the country only a failed and weak one while reiterating that “the path towards democratic transition and securing the country’s political future and unity remains one option.”

Educator, writer and legal researcher at Alafarika for Studies and Consultancy.

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