Almost a decade after events in Tunisia and Egypt led to the fall of long-time dictators, the Sudan eventually had its ‘Arab Spring’. In 2019, after six months of determined mass actions, the people of Sudan finally overthrew Omar al-Bashir. Since the fall of the dictator, representatives of the people have jostled with the military for power. This struggle has developed as the people, represented by the Freedom and Change (FFC) movement, have forced themselves into a transitional government with the military. This transitional government is reflective of the struggle of previous regimes’ efforts to hold on to power and popular forces’ efforts to dismantle the autocratic system that has dictated the fortunes of Sudan for decades. This struggle is as old as the Sudan and repeats prior transitions from dictatorship to democracy in 1964 and 1985. This time people are demanding more from their leaders in the hope of ending decades of fragmentation, uneven development and corruption responsible for civil wars and mass impoverishment. Whether they succeed or not will also depend on the role played by international actors. This brief commentary presents some of the complexities faced, evidence of the gains made, and some insight into the challenges that lie ahead.
- African and Arab politics
- transitional government