The Current

Joy in Sudan becomes anger over 'recycled regime', says protester who vows to keep fighting

A military coup ended the 30-year rule of Omar Al-Bashir in Sudan this week, after months of protests on the streets of Khartoum. But the situation is far from settled. Demonstrators have rejected the decision to set up a transitional military council to run the country for two years, and vowed to continue protests until a civilian government is established. We speak to people on the ground about what happens next.

Defence Minister Ibn Auf sworn in as head of council that will run the country for 2 years

Sudanese protesters rally in front of the military headquarters in the capital Khartoum. (AFP/Getty Images)
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Elation turned to anger when Sudanese civilians learned who was replacing ousted president Omar al-Bashiraccording to one protester.

"People, at first, celebrated when they heard the news that al-Bashir had resigned," said Fadia, who is a social worker and activist in Sudan. The Current is withholding Fadia's full name to protect her security.

"But who came after him? The defence minister. And he's a criminal as well," she told The Current's guest host Gillian Findlay.

Defence Minister Awad Mohammed Ibn Auf has been sworn in as head of a new military council that will run the country for two years, Sudan's state-run broadcaster reported. Ibn Auf was Bashir's vice president and defence minister. He is among a handful of Sudanese commanders put on a sanction list — which freezes his assets — by the U.S. Treasury, for his role during the atrocities committed in the Darfur conflict.

Sudan's Defence Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf is sworn in as a head of Military Transitional Council in Sudan in this still image taken from video on April 11, 2019.   (Sudan TV/ReutersTV)

"You cannot repeat the same faces again; the same members of the same regime. They are actually recycling the regime, and that's that's why I wasn't happy," Fadia explained.

When people realized who was taking over "they got angry," she said.

Bashir led the country for 30 years, but faced months of street demonstrations before he was ousted by Sudan's military on Thursday. Rejecting military control, thousands of protesters defied a curfew and gathered outside the defence ministry in Khartoum to push for a civilian government.

The head of the transitional military council said it "will not force anything on the people" and wants to create peaceful dialogue with the protesters.

The streets of Khartoum, Sudan may be far from Canada, but events there are being felt here and around the world in the Sudanese diaspora, including Rania El Mugammar. She's an equity consultant in Toronto, Ont., who's been keeping close tabs on the developments out of Khartoum. 0:43

"I broke the curfew and I'm proud," Fadia said. "I do it in the name of all the women who are not capable to do this."

To discuss the uprising in Sudan and what it could mean for its citizens, The Current's guest host Gillian Findlay spoke to:

  • Fadia, who is participating in the protests in Khartoum, Sudan. Last name withheld over safety concerns.
  • Rania El Mugammar, an artist and equity consultant.
  • Elamin Abdelmahmoud, a social media editor at Buzzfeed.
  • Iman Abbaro, a multi-disciplinary artist and Ryerson University student.

Click 'listen' near the top of this page to hear the full conversation.


Written by Émilie Quesnel, with files from Thomson Reuters and CBC News. Produced by Sarah-Joyce Battersby, Jessica Linzey and Danielle Carr.

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