Omar al-Bashir: How Sudan's military strongmen stayed in power

Thursday’s coup in Sudan may have seen the overthrow of an unpopular president but those close to Omar al-Bashir are determined to stay in power, writes Sudan expert Alex de Waal.

For the first time in almost 30 years, Sudan is not ruled by President Omar al-Bashir.

But when Sudanese listened to Lt Gen Awad Ibn Ouf announcing a transitional military council, they would have heard his master’s voice.

Gen Ibn Auf is a career soldier, cut from the same cloth as Mr Bashir. He was head of military intelligence during the conflict and atrocities in Darfur, for which he was put on a US list for targeted financial sanctions.

Image caption There was no mention of the involvement of civilians in the two-year transition

He was defence minister and after President Bashir declared a state of emergency on 22 February, Gen Ibn Auf was also promoted to serve as vice-president, with the implication that he would step into the president’s shoes when the his constitutional term expired in April 2020.

The trigger for the removal of Mr Bashir was a five-day round-the-clock peaceful protest in which tens of thousands of people surrounded the army headquarters in…

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