THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 08 JUNE 2019 (Sudan on the brink (The Hindu))

Sudan on the brink (The Hindu)

Mains Paper 2: International Relations
Prelims level: Sudan
Mains level: Power transition crisis in Sudan


  • The power transition crisis in Sudan has led to a violent crackdown on pro-democracy protests.

The ongoing crisis in Sudan

  • Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir was toppled in April, 2019 after a months-long popular uprising.
  • Military intervention ejected Bashir from power, and in turn, a Transitional Military Council (TMC) took power.
  • Currently, the protesters are demanding a transfer of power to a transitional civilian government, followed by free and fair elections.
  • But the military generals used the crisis to concentrate more powers in their own hands.
  • Angry protesters continued a sit-in in front of the Defence Ministry in Khartoum, Sudanese capital.
  • The talks between pro-democracy activists and the military rulers collapsed. So paramilitary groups unleashed deadly violence to break the sit-in, killing at least 100 people and injuring hundreds.
  • The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) threw the dead into the River Nile and reportedly, 40 bodies have been pulled from the river in Khartoum.
  • The RSF are the paramilitary troops notorious for atrocities committed in the impoverished western province of Darfur in the early 2000s.

How does the future look?

  • After the crackdown, Lt. General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the military ruler, has offered to hold elections in 9 months, upturning an earlier plan of a 2-year transition.
  • But there is no immediate plan to transfer power to a civilian transitional government, a key demand of the protesters.
  • So unsurprisingly, protesters have rejected the military’s offer.
  • At present, Sudan’s generals enjoy regional and international support too. The UN Security Council could not even condemn the violence as China, backed by Russia, blocked the move.
  • Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which offered financial aid to the people as soon as Mr. Bashir was removed from power, also support the generals now.
  • This gives the military rulers a sense of impunity even when they unleash murderous paramilitaries on peaceful protesters.
  • So it is evident that the military will not easily give up power any time soon.

Way forward

  • If the military wants to keep its grip on power, there could be more bloodshed as the protesters are defiant.
  • It will have to necessarily build a more oppressive regime, as in Egypt after the 2013 coup.
  • So the other, wiser option is to compromise, resume talks with the protesters and facilitate a quick and orderly transition to civilian rule.
  • Arab countries as well as the UN should put meaningful pressure on the military council to pay heed to popular demands.
  • They should also hold those responsible for the recent massacre accountable.

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 Prelims Questions:

Q.1) With reference to Operation Greens‘, which of the following statements is/are correct?
(1) It has been launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers‘ Welfare.
(2) It aims to stabilize the supply of Tomato, Onion and Potato (TOP) crops and to ensure round the
year availability of TOP crops throughout the country.
(3) It also aims to increase food processing capacities and value addition in TOP value chain.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: C
Mains Questions:

Q.1) What is the ongoing crisis in Sudan? How does the future look?

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