Omar al-Bashir: Fears of the return of loyalists to the ousted president and the National Congress Party

Fears are growing in Sudan that former members of the National Congress Party, which ruled under President Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted by popular protests in 2019, back into the political arena. Observers believe that the ruling military council in Sudan is imposing former members of the National Congress Party on powerful positions in the state. A military coup led by General Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan prepared a fragile transitional government that was in partnership between military and other civilians who played a pivotal role in mass protests that toppled the authoritarian regime of Al-Bashir. Many believe that the leaders of the generals – who were themselves members of a security committee appointed by al-Bashir in his late days in power – prefer to seek help from members of the National Congress Party, which imposed a strict vision of Islamic law during his time in power. Hamza Balloul – a prominent member of the Forces of Freedom and Change movement that shared power with the generals before the coup – believes that the military council spoiled the democratic transition process by offering protection to members of the National Congress Party. Balloul believes that the leaders of the coup were and are “strongly cooperating with leaders from the former regime in order to gain a political base.” Sudan: What has the military authority accomplished of its promises, six months after the coup? Sudan: Lifting the state of emergency is the beginning of a breakthrough or a political maneuver? “The forces supporting the revolution must unite in order to defeat the coup,” Balloul told the BBC. More than a hundred people have died since the October coup during regular demonstrations calling for the return of civilian rule. Among the first decisions taken by General Al-Burhan, in the wake of the coup, was a decision to suspend the work of the committee formed to “dismantle” the former regime’s grip on power, and to cancel all its decisions. This committee – led by the human rights defender Wajdi Saleh, who was arrested after the coup – played a pivotal role in exposing the corruption that was rampant under Al-Bashir’s rule. The committee had accused officials and businessmen of corruption, dismissed officials from government positions, announced the confiscation of assets, and issued arrest warrants, as well as freezing bank assets. While the coup was being plotted, this committee was investigating deals between the leadership of the National Congress and the army generals. This committee was not without critics of its activities; Some accused it of lacking legal legitimacy, while others described it as a tool of injustice.

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