Timeline: Sudan unrest since post-Bashir coup

AFP , Sunday 16 Apr 2023

Intense fighting gripped Sudan's capital on Saturday, 18 months after a military coup that derailed a democratic transition and brought further upheaval to the east African country.

Politics in Sudan
Sudan s Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (C) and paramilitary commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (2nd L) lift documents alongside civilian leaders following the signature of an initial deal aimed at ending a deep crisis caused by last year s military coup, in the capital Khartoum on December 5, 2022. AFP


Army and paramilitary leaders have been at loggerheads over integrating forces, part of a drawn-out process to install civilian-led rule following the 2019 ouster of long-ruling autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

AFP looks at key developments since the October 2021 coup:

Oct. 25, 2021: Coup

On October 25, 2021, the army arrests civilian members of a power-sharing transitional council installed after the military's ouster of Bashir in April 2019 following a popular uprising.

Those arrested include Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

A state of emergency is declared and security forces kill seven protesters and wound dozens in the violence.

The United States and the World Bank suspend vital aid to Sudan.

Nov. 11: New ruling council

The African Union suspends Sudan.

The United Nations and the United States call on Sudan's military rulers to restore a civilian-led government.

On November 11, Sudan's de facto leader since Bashir's overthrow, army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, forms a new ruling council.

Burhan leads the council. The main bloc demanding a transfer to civilian rule is excluded.

Nov. 21: PM returns

On November 21, Burhan agrees to restore the transition to civilian rule, with elections slated for July 2023.

Hamdok is reinstated as premier. Several civilian leaders are released.

Protests continue and are harshly repressed.

Jan. 2, 2022: PM quits

As the death toll from the protests mounts, Hamdok resigns on January 2, 2022.

UN-brokered negotiations, boycotted by the main civilian groups, start in early June but are quickly broken off.

July 4: Military to step aside

On July 4, Burhan says the army will quit the talks in order to allow civilian groups form a government.

The main civilian bloc says it suspects a ruse.

The World Bank earmarks $100 million in aid for Sudan.

Dec. 5: Preliminary deal

Sudan's military, paramilitary and most civilian leaders sign an interim deal on December 5 aimed at restoring the civilian transition within two years.

Protesters take to the streets, complaining the accord ignores demands for justice for the more than 120 pro-democracy demonstrators killed since Burhan's coup.

Jan. 2023: Negotiations

Military and civilian leaders meet in early January 2023 to discuss key contentious issues such as transitional justice, accountability and security reforms, including the integration of the feared paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) into the regular army.

Apr. 13: 'Dangerous' tensions

Tensions emerge between the army and RSF over the proposed integration.

Burhan's deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the RSF, says the 2021 coup was a "mistake" that has invigorated remnants of Bashir's regime, remarks seen as referring to Burhan.

The planned signing of a final deal on democratic transition is twice postponed.

On April 13, the army warns Sudan is at a "dangerous... turning point".

Apr. 15: Fighting in Khartoum

On April 15, explosions and gunfire rock the capital Khartoum, with the paramilitaries and army exchanging accusations of attacking each other's bases.

The RSF says it controls Khartoum airport and the presidential palace, claims denied by the army. Sudan's air force targets RSF bases.

Civilian leaders call for an immediate ceasefire, as well as the African Union, United Nations and others.

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