In 2019, Sudan’s former leader, Omar al-Bashir, was removed from power after mass protests calling for democratic structure, since al-Bashir had been in power for 30 years. As well as, al-Bashir had been wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for 10 years for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity while in power. Following the removal of al-Bashir from office, military and pro-democracy protest leaders reached an agreement and signed a peace deal to host a democratic election and enact a new constitution for Sudan in 2023.
On October 25th, 2021, Sudan’s leader of the armed forces, Lt. General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, led a military coup by arresting Sudan’s Prime Minister, Abdalla Hamdok and pro-democratic protest leaders. They also removed any government ambassadors from office that resisted the military coup. The announcement of the coup incited protests in Khartoum and major cities across Sudan. However, the size of the resistance and length of the protests are uncertain, since the Sudanese military disconnected internet services and took over the state television and radio services as well. The UN Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) declared at least 170 civilians injured and at least seven deaths during the protests on the 25th. The death toll has only risen since then to over 60 civilians. Abdalla Hamok officially resigned in the first week of January 2022, leaving the military coup as the only remaining leadership in the nation.
The pro-democracy protest leaders already encouraged distrust of the Sudanese military in the past and since the coup, this has swayed much more civilian involvement in the protests that have continued throughout major cities in Sudan. Moreover, Sudan has been facing a serious economic crisis from political tension. It has caused increasing inflation rates and severe shortages in food, petroleum, and medical supplies. Despite cutting internet and phone lines, the military has failed to prevent the reformation of local resistance committees that once helped oust Omar al-Bashir. These groups are organizing protests across the country and continue to mutual aid work within their communities.
How can the United Nations Security Council help to resolve economic and political instability in Sudan? How can the UNSC reduce the impact of the coup?