Assistant News Editor
Sudan — The world counts one less democracy as the nation of Sudan has had its civilian government overthrown by a military coup. Sudanese military forces have fired on protestors in efforts to crack down on any opposition. Demonstrations have continued to take place throughout the nation and its capital, Khartoum.
Sudan has a long history of coups. Since its independence from Britain in 1956, the nation has not seen a very strong foundation for democracy. One of its longest reigning leaders, former President Omar al-Bashri, launched his own coup in 1989. Al-Bashri served in that capacity until 2019, when he in turn was overthrown by a combination of popular protests and military leaders.
This partnership between stratocrats and democrats ended on Oct. 25 when the Prime Minister of that nation, Abdalla Hamdok, was arrested by military officers and their soldiers. Military officers declared their intentions to institute a technocratic government, honor international agreements and announced a state of emergency throughout the nation.
During the same time protests emerged as a result of the coup, there were also protests calling for military intervention before the coup took place. The civilian government’s response to the significant economic and political issues facing Sudan has left many Sudanese disappointed.
The U.S. State Department has subsequently cut off $700 million from the new government. This was accompanied by the World Bank halting all business in Sudan. The reduction in aid from foreign bodies and governments puts even more pressure on an already embattled government to restore civilian leaders. African nations have also turned their backs on the renegade government by dismissing Sudan from the ranks of the African Union. Sudan had only recently emerged from its former status as an international rogue state.
The former Prime Minister has been released as of Oct. 27. Western officials confirmed the safety of Mr. Hamdok and his wife on a visit to his home. Even though the military claims it will stick with planned elections in 2023, there is hesitancy on the part of the Sudanese populace to accept this.
The demise of democratic governments around the globe has left American leaders concerned. President Biden decried this trend in a speech given to university students. He stated, “We have fewer democracies in the world today than we did fifteen years ago…fewer, not more, fewer!”