On June 16, students at the University of Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, began protesting against austerity measures enacted by the government of President Omar al-Bashir. Now staging near-daily protests, the students, along with their fellow demonstrators, are calling for the fall of Bashir, who took power in a 1989 coup, and his National Congress Party (NCP). Sudanese security forces have responded forcefully to the protests, drawing international concern. Observers inside and outside Sudan, meanwhile, wonder whether the protests might force Bashir to step down. Whether or not Bashir endures these protests, their intensity demonstrates the unsustainability of the political and economic status quo in Sudan.
Sudan’s economic woes, a major driver of the protests, stem largely from the loss of South Sudan, which gained independence in July 2011. South Sudan produces approximately 75 percent of the oil once controlled by Sudan, but the pipeline and port infrastructure connecting the oil fields to the international market remains in Khartoum’s hands. Negotiations between the two states have failed to resolve their differences over the transit fees that Sudan wants to charge South Sudan for using its pipeline. In January, after Sudan began seizing some of South Sudan’s oil as payment, South Sudan halted its oil production. Lacking the transit fees it had expected to collect, the government in Khartoum faces a budgetary deficit of $2.4 billion. ...
To read the rest, sign up to try World Politics Review
Sign up for two weeks of free access with your credit card. Cancel any time during the free trial and you will be charged nothing.
Request a free trial for your office or school. Everyone at a given site can get access through our institutional subscriptions.
- Conflict Fears Fade in Mozambique, but Renamo’s Demands Do Not
- Ethiopia’s Suspenseless Elections Obscure Ruling Party Rivalries
- World Citizen: BRICS Still Have a Long Way to Go From Grouping to Alliance
- Morsi Sentence Latest Sign of Politicized Justice in Egypt
- World Citizen: In Troubled West Africa, Ghana Leads the Way on Democracy, Rule of Law