Omar Hassan al-Bashir was toppled after 30 years in power, following four months of demonstration that started in December last year, when the price of bread and fuel were sharply increased due to suppression of subsidies by his regime.
While many expected bloodshed with thousands of innocent lives butchered on the streets of Sudan, instead it was general al-Bashir that was forced out of power by his own generals.
As expected, many protestors were killed, hundreds imprisoned; there are reports that advance figures of up to 60 people shot dead by the neocolonial state since protests began on December 19, 2018.
Africans around the world still welcome his downfall in the fight for basic national democratic rights and freedom.
Bashir’s pleas to be allowed to stay in power until the end of his presidential mandate in 2020 were rejected by protestors. They wanted him to quit power.
On April 6, which is the anniversary of mass mobilization that overthrew previous general dictator Jafaar Nimeri in 1985, the protestors decided to hold permanent sit-ins in Khartoum, at the Sudanese Army headquarters until Bashir resigns.
On April 11, the army council of generals decided to withdraw their loyalty toward Bashir and replaced him with Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf, the Minister of Defence, to be in charge for two years.
But in the face of stiff protest against this, Bashir’s ally could only last for one day and was replaced by another general, Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan.
This later officer is an ally of the Saudi and UAE regimes.
He is in charge of the Sudanese troops fighting a colonial proxy war in Yemen for the Saudi’s regime.
On May 14, the demand for a civilian government being dropped in favor of a three year transition to civilian rule will keep the military in power.
We must remind our readers that, following the successful mass mobilizations that overthrew military regimes in October 1964 and April 1985, military rule was re-established in 1969 and in 1989.
Why Bashir conceded to step down?
With an economy in a free fall, in an outdated regime, many generals and middle ranks officers may be more concerned with securing a future for themselves rather than saving Omar al-Bashir’s rule.
At this stage we still do not know the level of involvement of foreign powers in Sudan’s mass mobilisations, which cannot yet be ruled out.
In any case, the economic factors were key in sparking these protests:
1. In face of the economic dip of resources caused by the split of Sudan with the creation of South Sudan in July 2011, most of the oil that used to fill up the coffers of al-Bashir’s government is located in the newly created neocolonial country of South Soudan.
2. The role of the Sudanese army not just in Sudan, but in Yemen, where according to middleeastmonitor.com: “In truth, pulling the Sudanese generals and regular infantry out, reported to be paid up to 50,000 Sudanese pounds ($2,778) per month, is a financial benefit that regular soldiers in Khartoum hope to avoid losing when the six-month rotation of duty is assigned. The reality is the Yemen conflict provides a stable source of income for Sudan Army Forces and Rapid Support Unit fighters. The army wants to keep this income coming.”
3. The country has suffered many years of U.S sanctions, which were eased in 2017 by Trump’s regime in a possible participation of Sudanese troops in war against Yemen and the opening up of Sudan to possible foreign extraction of African resources.
4. The on-going mass mobilizations that have brought down the regime of Bouteflika also weighed in the decisions of the Sudanese Generals to sacrifice al-Bashir.
Bashir has been at crosshair of U.S. imperialism for regime change
The imperialists never missed an opportunity to remind neocolonial African presidents of their obligations to arrest and hand him over to The Hague’s International Criminal Court (ICC) [D1] Head Quarters.
Bashir, who fought in the Egyptian army in the 1973 Israel-Egypt colonial war, came to power in a coup in June 1989.
His alliance with the Islamists made him offer a refuge to Osama Bin Laden between 1991-1996.
In 1998, Clinton ordered the destruction of the only pharmacy manufacturing plant in the whole of Sudan under the pretext that it was manufacturing chemical weapons.
The consequences were deadly for the impoverished people of Sudan: “Without the lifesaving medicine it produced, Sudan’s death toll from the bombing has continued, quietly, to rise . . . this factory provided affordable medicine for humans and all the locally available veterinary medicine in Sudan.
“It produced 90 percent of Sudan’s major pharmaceutical products. Sanctions against Sudan make it impossible to import adequate amounts of medicines required to cover the serious gap left by the plant’s destruction.
Thus, tens of thousands of people — many of them children — have suffered and died from malaria, tuberculosis, and other treatable diseases.” (Nathan Robinson, jacobinmag.com)
Murderous Bashir was the first African president to be indicted by the white imperialist ICC in 2009.
This was not to seek justice for African people killed by Bashir in Darfur, but a process to weaken Sudan for the purpose of Balkanizing it.
The U.S.-led white power has never been and is not a friend of African people anywhere.
The struggle against military rule and for national democratic rights and liberties is led by the African petty bourgeoisie
An umbrella group of professional trade unions, civil society organisations and political parties in opposition signed the freedom and change charter.
The African petty bourgeois class character of the leadership of this mass movement is clear: they want a civilian regime and they do want a return of military like in Egypt in a context of neocolonialism, which is no challenge to imperialism at all.
They wrongly assume that democracy is possible in Africa without the revolutionary overthrow of the African neocolonial State and its replacement by a workers-led revolutionary State.
His middle class leadership made of lawyers; doctors, teachers, engineers etc. are seeking reforms for better petty bourgeois life against al-Bashir and his bunch of generals who are armed representatives of the whole African petty bourgeoisie.
Bashir has been arrested, but the neocolonial State is intact and the bureaucrats and compradors as a social group remain in power.
General Yasser al-Atta has announced that an agreement has been reached for three years.
He also added “during the transition period, the Parliament would be composed of 300 members, of which 67 percent would be from the Alliance for Freedom and Change and the rest would be from other political groups.”
African middle class women demand more rights
African middle class women like architects, teachers, pharmacists, doctors, lawyers etc. are likely to benefit from the fall of Bashir’s regime.
They have been at the forefront of the four months’ mass mobilisation. They organised, voiced and articulated the demands of this movement, despite the fact that the majority of demonstrators were, as usual, impoverished African workers.
According to an article by Hamza Mohamed in Al Jazeera, “Women’s participation in the transitional government is very essential.
“They have played a vital role in the revolution. They should have more than 40 percent representation. That is only fair.” said Salah Aldoma, a political science professor at the Islamic University of Omdurman, told Al Jazeera.
What is missing is the revolutionary organization to defend the immediate and long-term interests of the African working class and poor peasants.
The creation of the African People’s Socialist Party to transform this mass mobilization and struggle to a revolutionary, National Democratic program is the only immediate minimum program—as part of one struggle for One Africa and One Nation.
Join the African People’s Socialist Party!
Izwe Lethu, i Afrika
I Arika, Izwe Lethu!