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Sudan’s 62 years of coups and wars

Ahmed Al-Jarallah Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

THE Republic of Sudan is described as the food basket of the Arab world and the mine for minerals which make it qualified to be a wealthy country, yet its people are starving due to the absence of proper administration as a result of a series of coups – 11 in a span of 62 years.

This is the history of such a major Arab country and its tensions which led to division. South Sudan separated from the North when the rebellion movement emerged in the region of Darfur demanding for independence.

Throughout the past six decades, Sudan has not enjoyed political independence due to internal conflict over power; leading to the deterioration of its economy, and eventually, a pile of problems which are difficult to solve due to strong desire for power among various factions.

General Ibrahim Aboud came to power after overthrowing a civilian rule which ended through the revolution slogans adopted by the then Egyptian President Jamal Abdul-Nasser who sparked the start of instability in the Arab world. Khartoum entered the tunnel of crises since then.

This country lost a historic opportunity to transform into an Arab economic power due to the fact that the overthrowing military officers were forced by conflict among themselves to take certain positions. Amid this atmosphere, Al-Numeiri toppled his colleague Abdou. From there, other coups followed and then turned into civil wars.

In the 1980s, the Arab leaders agreed during one of the Arab League summits to support Sudan by granting it $4 billion in order to improve its infrastructure and execute major agricultural projects which would enable the country to be self-sufficient in terms of food and to cater for the needs of the Arab world.

This project died even before it was born due to the populist uprising which led to the toppling of the regime at the time, ushering in the military rule under Field Marshal Abdel Rahman Suwar Al-Dahab.

In addition, Sudan was living on a hot plate of international and regional interference which transformed it into a tension epicenter. This is due to the acts of dirty hands that strived to preoccupy the entire Arab world with internal tensions by taking advantage of the bad living standards on one hand, and political contradictions on the other hand.

These hands managed to sneak in and grab power. Shamelessly, Sudan became their headquarters; exactly the same as how Sudan became the base of the late Osama bin Laden a quarter of a decade ago, from which he launched his terrorism scheme.

Throughout this history, Sudan has been repelling investors even among its own people; thereby, intensifying the economic crisis it has been suffering from for the last six decades.

Anyone who has been observing the Sudanese condition will realize how difficult the last three decades have been, especially with the fight in the South and the international position in the North. Despite all that, its leadership attempted to exit from the bottleneck with minimum loss with a glimpse of the new economic era.

However, everything was blown by the wind due to the new crisis fueled by regional and international interference with the objective of pushing this country into the furnace of bloody conflict.

This situation contributes to the fierce conflict over major partisan diversity based on tribalism on one hand, and regional partisan affiliations on the other hand.

In case the current uprising succeeds, any faction that takes power will find itself in an armed confrontation with the remaining factions because the lust for power is far greater than the nation’s stability.

This might lead to a new civil war between various political groups over who should lead the protests and use them to serve personal interests.

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

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