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Sudanese pro-democracy supporters celebrate a final power-sharing agreement with the ruling military council in August. Sudanese pro-democracy supporters celebrate a final power-sharing agreement with the ruling military council, Khartoum, Aug. 17, 2019 (AP photo by Mahmoud Hjaj).

Sudan’s Revolutionaries Confront the Challenges of Governing a Divided Nation

Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019

The civilians who helped end the repressive regime of Sudan’s longtime president, Omar al-Bashir, are discovering that exercising power is often more difficult than attaining it. Barely three months after forming an uneasy transitional government with military and paramilitary leaders who tried to seize control for themselves, these revolutionaries have begun the task of undoing three decades of misrule. It is a race against time: Within three years, the transitional authorities face the challenge of instituting accountable, inclusive governance for the first time in Sudan’s history, while organizing elections and completing a democratic transfer of power.

These challenges are compounded by the structure of Sudan’s new government, which is the product of a compromise between the civilians whose unceasing protests crippled Bashir and the generals who finally toppled him in April. The civilian and military factions share power in an 11-person Sovereign Council, with leadership alternating between the two during the 39 month-long transition. Not only do both camps have radically different visions for the future of Sudan, they are sharply divided among themselves. ...

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