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The Main Reason for Sudan’s Political and Economic Trouble Is its Second Coup

Sudan’s economy, already in a tailspin, tipped into recession last year. Although this may have brought inflation down a bit, it remains in triple digits, among the highest rates in the world. Roughly one-third of Sudanese (some 15m of a population of 44m) need emergency aid such as clean water, shelter or food, according to the UN. Almost 12m people are going hungry. Eastern Sudan, in theory the country’s breadbasket, should be faring relatively better. But the long-standing neglect of the region by successive rulers in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, left deep wounds. The latest crisis threatens to reopen them. In October 2021 they staged a second coup. Protesters have been on the streets almost every week since. The putsch hastened the economy’s collapse. Western donors and multilateral banks held back tens of billions of dollars they had pledged to rescue Sudan’s economy and support its transition to democracy. The government responded by increasing taxes and slashing public spending, which prompted waves of strikes and protests.