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Sudanese Activists Worried About Continued Instability

FILE - Sudanese protesters take to the streets in the southern area of the capital Khartoum on July 1, 2022, a day after a mass demonstration joined by tens of thousands was met with the deadliest violence so far this year.

Many Sudanese rights activists worry about who will lead their country after the architect of last year's coup Abdul Fattah Al Burhan announced the military will step back and allow civilian leaders and other groups to form a new, transitional government.

Some Sudanese civil society activists worry their country’s political future is still in jeopardy despite coup leadere General Abdul Fattah Al Burhan's announcement that civilian leaders and other revolutionary groups will form a transitional government.

Activists say the churning in the nation's leadership has worsened Sudan's social and economic conditions - and that things could get worse if no political consensus is reached.

On Tuesday, Burhan fired the last five civilian members of his ruling body in a move toward transitioning to a new government.

Economic gains Sudan made since longtime president Omar Al Bashir was ousted in 2019 were halted when Burhan led the military coup in coup in October 2021, said youth rights activist Mohamad Shukur.

“We believe [our] revolution has been stolen, and they are [protesting] again to actually overthrow Al Burhan and the military regime that has taken over the government because by now it is supposed to be a civilian government,” Shukur told South Sudan in Focus.

He asserted that citizens neither trust the military or political parties since leaders of both sides squabble over positions and focus on protecting their own interests.

“Sudanese people don’t believe in political parties, they believe in independence and technocrats, so if tomorrow they give the [people] the government, you expect political parties will be involved and the people will choose the independent professionals and technocrats who are not [part] of any party,” Shukur told VOA.

Rights activist Hassan Mubarak considers Burhan’s announcement nothing more than a tactical move as the military chief tries to hold on to power after violating the constitution by using force to take over the government.

“We need a pure civilian rule in this country and that means, all the affairs of defense, security and all the political decisions related to them should be the role of the civilian government,” Mubarak told South Sudan in Focus.

All political forces must sit down and talk to determine Sudan’s future, said another activist, Mohammed Khalifa.

“What is needed at the moment is the good will from all the parties to begin a genuine dialogue. Most of those who are rejecting talks at the moment wanted to buy time and gain more interests from other parties,” Khalifa told VOA.

The Forces For Freedom and Change Coalition, which helped galvanize the pro-democracy movement, rejected Burhan’s announcement and called on protesters to continue with their demonstrations until Burhan and his allies step down.