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Khartoum Buckling Under a New Regime

Hundreds of pro-military Sudanese protesters have rallied for a second day in Khartoum, in an escalation of what the prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok, called the “worst and most dangerous crisis” of the country’s precarious transition. The protesters are demanding the dissolution of Sudan’s post-dictatorship interim government, saying it has failed them politically and economically. “The sit-in continues, we will not leave until the government is dismissed,” said Ali Askouri, one of the organisers. Sudanese politics is reeling from divisions among the factions steering the transition from three decades of iron-fisted rule by Omar al-Bashir. Bashir was ousted by the army in April 2019 in the face of mass protests driven by the Forces for Freedom and Change, a civilian alliance that became a key plank of the transition. The US removed Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism in December 2020, eliminating a major hurdle to much-needed aid and investment. But domestic support for the transitional government has waned in recent months amid a tough package of IMF-backed economic reforms including the slashing of fuel subsidies and a managed float of the Sudanese pound. On 21 September the government said it had thwarted a coup attempt that it blamed on military officers and civilians linked to Bashir’s regime.