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Yearbook 2019

Sudan. According to CountryAAH, Sudan underwent a political earthquake in 2019. Popular protests against increased prices of bread and fuel that shook the country at the end of 2018 continued unabated at the beginning of the year. The security forces failed to quell the protests and were accused of being overwhelmed when, among other things, hospitals were attacked. At the end of January, human rights groups stated that at least 40 people had been killed, while 2,000 were arrested. President Omar al-Bashir announced a state of emergency on February 22, dissolved the government and replaced provincial governors with army commanders. He resigned on 28 February as leader of the National Congress Party (NCP). Despite the demonstration ban, the protests continued with demands that al-Bashir resign. A large sitting strike outside the Army headquarters was held in early April.

2019 Sudan

On April 11, the army announced that al-Bashir, who had led the country since he took power in 1989, was deposed. A military council would rule for two years until elections are held. al-Bashir, 75, was arrested. On the following day, Defense Minister Awad Ibn Ouf resigned. The leader of the junta was General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

At a April house search at al-Bashir, cash worth tens of millions of dollars was seized. He was indicted in June for corruption and sentenced in December against his refusal to serve two years in prison at a special facility. Property and cars were seized. Juntan declined to be extradited to the International Criminal Court (ICC), which in 2009 indicted him for genocide in Darfur province.

A power-sharing agreement was signed on August 17 and al-Burhan was sworn in as leader of the governing council to replace the junta. The Council includes five generals and six civilians. The parties agreed in July on a three-year transition period: A general leads for the first 21 months, after which a civilian leader reigns for 18 months. The settlement was preceded by continued popular protests and clear contradictions between the protest movement, the Alliance for Freedom and Change and the junta. Several violent clashes occurred. At least 128 people were killed on June 3 when security forces and militia attacked a protest camp in the capital. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the African Union mediated.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who previously worked for the UN, heads the transitional government. Asma Mohamed Abdalla became the country's first female foreign minister.

Hamdok stressed that military spending must be reduced and that Sudan should be removed from a list of countries that the United States believes are devoted to state-sponsored terrorism. This is required for Sudan to be able to raise international loans, even though Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates provided loans. The economy is in serious crisis. The International Monetary Fund estimated that GDP shrank by 2.6% in 2019 while inflation was 50%.

In November, the Governing Council banned al-Bashir's party NCP and seized its assets. The Council also abolished a notorious law against "immoral" behavior. It had been used to punish women for "crimes" such as dressing in pants and limiting their opportunities to participate in social life. Women, who formed an important group in the protest movement, welcomed the decision. The transitional government and rebel groups in the provinces of Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kurdufan started peace talks in October in neighboring South Sudan.

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