The Sudanese revolution may be just a part of a grand chess game for the regional supremacy - Bruno Surdel explains the revolution | Eurasia Diary -

19 August, Monday

The Sudanese revolution may be just a part of a grand chess game for the regional supremacy - Bruno Surdel explains the revolution

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World politics was shaken by the Sudanese revolution. There were so few information and news has come from this African country before the uprising. In the result of the revolution, the dictatorship was replaced with military junta. Ongoing processes took the attention of the world agenda.

Eurasia Diary took an exclusive interview by Bruno Surdel, Expert of Warsaw's Centre for International Relations.

- How do you evaluate the revolution of Sudan?

- The ongoing turmoil in Sudan is as much a popular uprising as a power struggle within the military and security apparatus, deeply embedded in the very structures of the Sudanese state and economy. The latest evidence of the tensions and infighting between the military factions is the dismissal of the intelligence and security head Salah Gosh. On the other hand, the situation where the Military Council’s head General ibn Auf was replaced by General Burhan was just an attempt to replace a person largely associated with the atrocities of the past with a figure who might be more acceptable for the general public.

Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan


It was done to legitimize somehow the transitional Military Council which for sure is planning to run the country fore the years to come – as is the case in Egypt. It’s really hard to trust the assurances that there will be any real transition to a civilian government. Rather the military establishment may try to lure some popular opposition figures, including from the Professionals Association and include them to a future government but only to stay in power. The generals are also playing with time and hope that the protesting masses will gradually abandon the cause of the revolution. This is why they promise dialogue and they reach out to the protesters. This is their game. So the Sudanese people should stay in the streets and keep protesting. Otherwise, the revolution and hope of freedom and democracy will eventually die – sooner than later.


- Why people need a revolution?

- Thirty years of humiliation, oppression, partition into two states, and devastating the country’s economy gave the people enough reasons for a revolution. The real problem however is, that even if a truly civilian government is formed – which I do not believe will happen – it’s not going to change much.

The country’s problem are structures and institutions of the state established by President Omar al-Bashir. They need to be totally rebuild for the state to be changed in a constructive and positive direction. And I’m not that optimistic about that. The military regime may try to trick the opposition to take care just of the economy and social issues in the future government. Everybody knows that in the current state of affairs the economy needs tremendous reforms, and the opposition may be made to pay for them with their popularity among the protesting masses. Why? Any serious economic reforms would probably fail as the people are not ready to accept them.


- Do you expect Africa Spring in the region?

- No, I do not. To be more precise, the Libyan, Egyptian or Syrian examples are rather discouraging. And still nobody know what will be the fate of the Algerian revolution. To build a well functioning economy,  institutions of the state or democracy you need the capacity. I do not see that capacity in the region. I mean if you want to change the system you need to offer something real and constructive instead. What’s on offer in the region? I’m not sure, I know the answer. But I hope I’m wrong.


- Is there any superpower behind this region?

- Well, I would say – not a superpower but powers: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Emirates and Turkey. They can play a role there. On the other hand, the USA after the „adventures” in Egypt, Libya and Syria prefer to wait and hope for preserving at least a piece of stability in that unstable region. I think stability is what matters for the West now. Of course, we do not really know what is happening behind the scenes. And it remains to be seen what part may be played by Russia in Sudan.

Any revolution is always an opportunity to change the status quo in the region. Obviously, there will be winners and losers in that geopolitical game around Sudan. Who knows, the Sudanese revolution may be just a part of a grand chess game for the regional supremacy. And we are probably naive waiting again and again for the people there to be allowed to create a true democracy.


Interviewed by Ulvi Ahmedli

Eurasia Diary

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