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Sudan President Al-Bashir Is Facing A New Storm

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Sudan President Al-Bashir Is Facing A New Storm Empty Sudan President Al-Bashir Is Facing A New Storm

Post by Mazy Mon 17 Feb 2014, 22:11

Sudan President Al-Bashir Is Facing A New Storm
Sunday, February 16th, 2014
Sudan: President al-Bashir is Facing a New Storm
Omar Abdullah Ismail and Jay Doggett
Modern Tokyo Times

The current crisis in Sudan appears to be an afterthought because great attention throughout the Middle East and North Africa is being focused on Egypt, Iran and Syria. It seems that death and terrorism in Iraq is deemed natural and no longer of major concern since allied forces left this nation. At the same time, the failed state in Libya is taken for granted. In other words, Colonel Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein have met their maker and now both nations can struggle to find their own way out of their respective crisis. Therefore, current events in Sudan seem to be passing the world by despite news reaching the general public.

In truth, it is difficult to find any real logic to the mass media and senior international politicians. After all, with approximately two thousand people being killed in Kosovo on both sides the international community intervened and took part in the de-Christianization of this land. However, when approximately 4 million mainly black African Animists and Christians were killed by the Islamist and Arabized policies of the Khartoum government during the Second Sudan Civil War of 1983-2005; then no outside intervention despite allegations of forced starvation policies by the Arab led government(s) of this period. Of course, regional nations and powerful Western nations involved themselves during many political initiatives in Sudan but the leadership in Khartoum didn’t worry about a “Kosovo style intervention.”

The above reality and the brutal war in Darfur and in other parts of modern Sudan is further evidence that political elites in Khartoum can sit tight. After all, when the going gets tough the “international reach” will not threaten the central leaders of this nation. The same applies to other parts of the world with a prime example being Myanmar (Burma) where many mainly Christian ethnic groups have been fighting central forces for decades. Of course, geopolitics is a clear factor in this reality but Sudan in the past was a gateway in the spread of militant Islamist forces to regional nations in this part of Africa.

Once more the leadership in Khartoum is being questioned by the Sudanese people but the military angle remains powerful. Yet despite the security apparatus being used against the people of this nation it is clear that many desire a fresh start. Also, the endless cycle of internal wars and open manipulation of politics and religion is zapping the energy out of this nation. On top of this, you have mass unemployment, which is estimated to be hovering around 30 per cent, added to rising prices over the last two years and a depreciating currency. Therefore, this reality is forcing some Sudanese people to take up desperate measures and openly challenge the state apparatus and the current leader of this nation.

The upshot of this desperation is that approximately two hundred demonstrators have been killed by security forces in the last week according to some sources – government figures are much lower. Despite this, only murmurs can be heard internationally despite the demonstrators in Sudan having genuine grievances. It therefore appears that currently major players internationally don’t have any international agenda towards this nation. In other words, while America and the European Union were collectively smarting in Egypt from their failed Muslim Brotherhood “love in;” the mass media in the West and Qatar had a free reign to picture events from a pro-Muslim Brotherhood perspective. However, when it comes to Sudan then the media circus which is openly manipulated by Gulf and Western powers is clearly in “mute mode” – despite reporting about the current crisis. This reality means that you don’t have any sensationalized headlines to whip up hatred towards the Khartoum government.

Reports coming out of Sudan state that the demonstrations are limited in size and scope compared with events in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. However, this reality highlights that the current government of Sudan will use force quickly against any perceived threat.

On the Deutsche Welle media website it is reported that “The latest protests broke out on Monday after a government decision to cut subsidies caused fuel prices in Sudan to virtually double overnight. The country has come under severe financial pressure since the secession of South Sudan two years ago, which saw Khartoum lose 75 percent of its crude-oil production capacity.”

“The demonstrations amount to the worst unrest Sudan has experienced since al-Bashir came to power in a 1989 coup. Al-Bashir has managed to cling to power over the past 24 years despite armed rebellions and US economic sanctions, as well as an indictment issued by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for alleged war crimes committed in Sudan’s western Darfur region.”

Khalid Tigani, the chief editor of the weekly newspaper Elaff, states that “The government faces, literally, bankruptcy due to the very difficult financial and economic crisis.” Equally alarming he continues by stating that “The economic situation will keep deteriorating.”

Tigani also makes it clear that while the government may not fall immediately. It is still clear that “the process of its dismantling has started.”

However, President al-Bashir in the past survived many difficult periods and he knows that losing power could lead to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. This reality means that he knows that the stake is extremely high for him personally. Therefore, it is very difficult to know if events will naturally peter out (1); if the political situation will spin out of control given the complex reality of modern Sudan in relation to many internal conflicts and the loss of income related to energy resources to South Sudan (2); if the demonstrations will grow in numbers thereby making his rule untenable (3); or if al-Bashir will implement reforms whereby other political movements partake more in the decisions of government albeit under the ruling party (4).

It appears that the majority of analysts believe that the number one option is currently the most likely outcome. This is based on the reality that the numbers of people demonstrating isn’t too sizeable at the moment. Also, the people of Sudan know that al-Bashir will use force quickly. Yet in the past energy resources could buffet difficult economic periods in the most built up areas of Sudan. However, this time Khartoum and other powerful areas also appear more vulnerable because of the loss of revenue to South Sudan after the division of this country. In other words, the economic factor is much greater than in the past within the power base of Khartoum. Therefore, while internal wars unleashed many pitfalls for al-Bashir and the people of Sudan, the central areas of power remained under firm control despite many periods of discontent. Given this reality, it is difficult to predict the current situation but it is clear that al-Bashir faces new threats to his grip on power.

Lee Jay Walker gave guidance to both main writers.
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