UPDATED_By Andualem Sisay Gessesse _ This week the military has overthrown one of the long standing President of Sudan, Al Bashir. President Al Bashir who also came through peaceful military coup has navigated Sudan through economic and political hardship for the past 30 years. From allowing the separation of the southern part of the country, to become an independent nation, South Sudan, President Al Bashir has been under pressure from both the international community and his people.
He somehow managed to resist the pressure from the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the economic sanction imposed by the United States accusing him of sponsoring terrorism. In fact, in recent months the United States has begun softening its pressure on Al Bashir signaling gradual removal of the sanctions, which crippled the economy of Sudan.
Meanwhile, Al Bashir couldn’t have resisted the pressure of his people who have been suffering from the economic sanctions for many years. In the past few weeks, Al Bashir’s army tried to stop the nationwide street protests that calls for his resignation. But those attempts didn’t work even though they fired at the demonstrators killing dozens.
Before things get worse the army overthrow peacefully Al Bashir on Thursday this week putting him under house arrest. The timely interference of the army has saved Sudan from becoming Libya or Egypt for that matter, which survived huge loss after President Mubarak is overthrown.
Syria is also a perfect living example how a nation can be ruined just because leaders refuse to change their course or stepdown on time by accepting antigovernment protests. That is why I am saying the timely intervention of Sudanese military has not only rescued Sudan but also the east Africa from chaos.
We don’t have to forget that wherever there is a quest for change through reform like we see in Ethiopia or révolution like the one in Venezuela, foreign powers are at the doorsteps to jump in either to maintain or change the statuesque for their advantage their interest.
In my opinion, for the east Africa region, which has already been entertaining foreign powers visible hands in the past several years, Al Bashir’s timely removal from power at least gives the Sudanese people the chance to decide on their country’s fate.
Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan, who replaced General Awad Mohammed Ahmed Ibn Auf with in 72 hours of the removal of Al Bashir, is now in charge of Sudan’s interim military council. I hope he will bring Sudanese intellectuals aboard and craft the roadmap that benefits the people of Sudan.
In my view the roadmap should prioritize the revival of the Sudanese economy in a short time to medium term with little intervention of foreign powers and without compromising the sovereignty of Sudan as an independent nation.
I hope the people of Sudan will also be wise enough and patient to give the military and their intellectuals to craft the future direction of the country. After all this is the time for the people of Sudan to unite taking into consideration the geopolitics of the area and the global powers interest.
After all this is the time for all Sudanese people to unite and save their country by ignoring their differences. Internal division at such a time is an opportunity for the foreign powers to turn a nation into hell.
I believe it is also time for all immediate neighbors of Sudan to get closer to General Awad Mohammed Ahmed Ibn Auf and find out how they can help their neighbor navigate through this hardship smoothly.
This is not only about showing their solidarity to the Sudanese people but also to protect themselves from the influence of foreign powers such as, the United States, Russia, China, Turkey, Qatar, Iran, etc, that might convert Sudan into a proxy war.
Now that Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan, announced the restructuring of state institutions, the end of a night curfew and the release of political prisoners. Meanwhile the protest continues in Sudan calling for civilian leadership.
On the foreign power side, China issued a statement indicating that it is following the situation closely, while the United States said it has halted its plan of relaxing sanctions and ongoing discussion with Sudanese government. This clearly shows the possibility of yet another proxy war of foreign powers in the east African country.
But I don’t dare to assume in this globalized era that one can avoid a certain level of foreign power influence, let alone Sudan that needs support even from a devil at this moment. The question is, how will the military balance that influence and smartly navigate through the transition.
I don’t want to think that Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan will push aside Sudanese intellectuals and pursue a military dictatorship during and after the transition period like his predecessor.