The President of Sudan – Omar al-Bashir has declared emergency in the country for a period of 1 year, dissolving the Federal Government and the State Governors, amid the country-wide demonstrations.
He has also ordered Sudan’s Parliament to put all the constitutional amendments on hold so that he can run another term in a Presidential election in 2020. Post this, he issued 2 Presidential Decrees, appointing Army and Security Officers to govern the country’s 18 Provinces.
Making the announcement on the national television, Omar al-Bashir said, “I announce imposing a state of emergency across the country for one year. I announce dissolving the government at the federal level and at the provincial levels.”
The opposition party in Sudan – Sudanese Congress Party (SCP) has said that security forces have also arrested the Communist Party Leader – Mokhtar al-Khatib, the Deputy Head of the Umma Party – Mariam Sadiq al-Mahdi and the party Secretary-General – Sara Nugdallah.
Protest across the Country
The decision comes in the wake of months long protest taking place across the country. The civilians are demanding Omar al-Bashir to step down, owing to the struggling economy and rising price of commodities. Omar al-Bashir has been holding the office for almost 3 decades. His current term will end in 2020.
Initially, the protest focussed on increasing price of bread and fuel in the North of Sudan, but soon it grew more intense with people demanding political freedom and end of Bashir’s rule.
On Friday, February 22, 2019, several protesters marched and shouted anti-government slogans after the Friday prayers at a major mosque near the Sudanese Capital, Khartoum. The security forces had then resorted to use tear gas to handle the situation.
Since the beginning on protest in December 2018, more than 1,000 people have been detained and over 40 killed.
Sudanese Professionals Association, which is spearheading the campaign, said, “We are calling on our people to continue with demonstrations until the main aim of this uprising, which is the stepping down of the regime chief, is achieved.”
The Constitution of Sudan
As per the constitution of Sudan, the state of emergency allows the police, security forces and the military to search people’s house without warrant and arrest anybody they consider threat to the national security and stability.
The genocide of Darfur and impact on Economy
Bashir is facing criminal charges in the International Criminal Court for masterminding genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. However, Bashir has always denied the charges.
In the year 2003, mass slaughter of Darfuri men and women was carried out. This has been referred as the first genocide on the 21st century. The genocide was carried out by a group of government-armed and funded Arab militias – Janjaweed.
Sudan has been listed as Sponsor of Terrorism as per a list by United States (U.S.). Although U.S. is not a member of the International Criminal Court, but it has been pressing to shun Bashir.
This listing has resulted in blocking of investment and financial aid to Sudan. To fight economic woes, Sudan started expanding its money supply to finance its budget deficit, causing spiralling inflation and a decline in its currency.