I found this analysis useful – in particular in understanding the direction of travel. Predicting the future is impossible, but this blog makes a good stab at it.

I have highlighted the final paragraphs, but the full blog is below these.

Martin


The National Congress and General Bashir have been in power for 30 years depending on the strength of their security services and their military militias to stay in power and suppress the opposition movement. They did not hesitate to arm and supply them and to create more diverse militias dedicated to protecting their power.

They directed the budgets of health, education and other social services to be spent on what is generally called the sovereign and security sectors. Absurd expenses that consume more than two thirds of the public budget. This reluctance to direct public fund to social service sectors has made the economic crisis even worse on the poorest groups, which now face their fate in a legendary battle with no social
protection net or any services from the public sector. Those people are the ones who are taking the streets now, driven by their will to live. They will not lose anything because the National Congress Party has left them nothing to lose, but everything to gain … their freedom, security and decent living.

The regime still not recognizing this, and continue to depend on its security measures to address the crisis. The death toll of protesters reached several tens in three days of protesting. Live ammunitions are being used heavily in the different cities of the country. The scenario of September 2013 protests, when the security forces killed over 200 protesters in the streets who were demonstrating for similar reasons is likely. The NCP masters who seem to learn nothing from it celebrated this massacre as a success in putting out demonstrations. Security solutions won’t work and never did.

However, with the national wide political fatigue another terrifying scenario emerges:
an internal coup within the NCP. The chief of NISS; Salah Quosh, who returned to his position in the beginning of this year after the humiliating expulsion in 2012 and even his detention and accusation of planning a coup, publicly blamed the cabinet on the economic crisis and how it dealt with the protests. Quosh ambition to succeed Bashir
is not a secret and was the reason for his expulsion in 2011.

However, he is not the only one with such ambitions. Old-guard Islamists are also looking forward for the throne. The Islamists hardliner group headed by the previous presidential aide Nafie Ali Nafie, who disagreed on Bashir’s will to rerun for 2020 elections as NCP candidate for presidency, are prepared for a battle. Unrest within the army also creates potentials for a Sisi’s style coup d’etat.

What is terrifying in all these scenarios is that it will not provide any solutions, and keep the same kelptocracy in power with some superficial changes on hierarchy. Hence, people suffering will continue with the replacement of an old fatigued dictator with a fresh euthanistic one. Let alone, the most terrifying possibilities of blood bath in Khartoum resulting from the clash between the numerous militias of the NCP; the Rapid Support Forces, the Security Forces and Army, whose allegiances are scattered among the different wings of Islamists and will have to pick a side in such scenario.  People and normal citizens will also be part of such clash. Those who are
sacrificing their life in the streets now will not accept being a silent watcher.

The only peaceful way to end this would be for the NCP to understand and see that its game is over.


Understanding the Travail of Change in Sudan

Amgad Fareid Eltayeb
Saturday, 22 December 2018

Sudan revolts. Many people have read this short sentence many times in
the past few years, but the fact is Sudan never stopped revolting
since the coup of June 1989 that brought the ruling National Islamic
Front party (later the National Congress Party; NCP) and the current
president Omar El Bashir to power. The political struggle against the
dictatorship of Bashir’s Islamic regime has never stopped for a day.
The regime continued to use its tyrannical security apparatus to fight
it, resulting in fuelling the civil war in the south further to end
with separation of South Sudan as an only solution, yielding another
war in the new South of the northern Sudanese country, and generating
a new civil war in the western region of Darfur. These civil wars
witnessed the worst types of violence against civilians, that
included; the widest use of sexual violence in Darfur, burning and
indiscriminate bombing of civilian villages, displacement of millions
of Sudanese citizens and a very long list of war crimes that led
Bashir to have the honour of infamously being the first sitting
president to be wanted by the International Criminal Court.

In addition to these war crimes, the urban areas of Sudan saw wide
range of human rights violations. The Gestapo-like National
Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) of the ruling National
Congress Party  (NCP) became a terrifying political tool of terror
that is used Bashir’s regime to abduct, indefinitely detain, torture
and kill political opponents with huge authorities and complete
impunity for its agents. Expectedly, this was accompanied with an
unprecedented spread of corruption in Sudan in light of the complete
absence of the rule of law.

Fast forward to 2018, the demonstrators who stormed the streets of
different Sudanese cities had a clear sight of the scene. The protests
started in Atbra, a city well known for its labour movement history,
on December 19. Other cities witnessed protests in the same day
including; Qadaref, Nuhod, and Portsudan that was supposed to receive
a presidential visit from Bashir in the same day. Protests extended to
other cities in the following day; Dongla, Barbar, Sennar, Elobaid,
and the capital Khartoum. The third day saw the spread of protests to
almost everywhere in Sudan. Protesters were very focused on what and
who is the reason behind their suffering. In most of the protesting
cities, citizens marched collectively to burn the premises of the
ruling National Congress Party. The ruling party’s center were not
only symbols of tyranny and dictatorship, but also a kleptocratic
symbol of the grand corruption encircling Sudan.

The protesters took up the streets, driven by the difficult living
conditions and the economic crisis, where the inflation reached 160%
with the full collapse of the value of local currency and a sharp rise
in the prices of essential necessities exacerbated by the lack of
liquidity in banks and market. However, this was merely a symptom of a
political crisis of the first order.

The corruption in the corridors of the state relates directly and
organically to the heads of the state and its extent and size are
directly proportionate with the height in the hierarchy of power.  The
giant cases of grand corruption that significantly influence the
Sudanese economy are linked to high-ranking officials who are above
the questioning of the law in the lawless state of Sudan.

Despite the structural deformity of the Sudanese economy that is
inherited since the independence, which is seen in its dependence on
exportation rather than production, which exacerbated by the Dutch
Disease: “Increasing dependence on the export of one natural resource
with neglecting the rest of economic sectors” during the years of oil
exportation between 1998 to 2011, and the great shock that hit the
Sudanese economy after the independence of the oil-rich South Sudan,
but the current economic crisis is different. These economic
uncertainties have created money-hungry nacropaths of those have
limitless power and authority in Sudan, seeking to collect as much
assets and money as possible to protect and maintain their privileges.

The current lack of liquidity that was exacerbated significantly by
speculations on foreign exchange rates and the storage of currency by
the influentials, which was something the Sudanese Prime Minister
Moataz Mousa, complained of publicly. It was becoming obvious that the
crisis is political in nature.

The corruption in the banking sector, fake credit and investment loans
that are granted to senior members of the ruling party without
adequate guarantees and without productive returns … and other
corrupt practices have led to the loss of confidence in the banking
system by the citizens. The loss of confidence in the banking system
was aggravated by the shortsighted decisions taken by the government
to address the problem of liquidity by placing a very small daily
withdrawal ceiling from personal bank accounts. Amounts that are not
enough to meet the obligations of daily life in light of the rapid
rise of prices, provoking people to store money in their homes instead
of Banks, aggravating the impact of the liquidity scarcity and the
corrupt practices of currency speculation. Untouchable influentials
including members of the presidential family (which includes the prime
minister himself who is the cousin of the president), senior members
of the ruling party and high-ranking government officials use these
practicesto promote their social status and protect themselves in the
case of any change in a very fluid political situation. Ignoring the
fact that they are worsening their situation and rising the
possibilities of change by aggravating the suffering of the people. A
typical nacropathic behaviour. The anti-corruption tools and slogans
have become part of the battle of settling personal accounts among the
regime’s masters, and have not reflected in any positive way on the
Sudanese economy. This made statements by the new prime minister and
his tweets (and Muataz Moussa is fond of the social media platform;
Twitter in a Donald-Trumpian style), to a ridiculous farce, trying to
suggest the possession of economic solutions to a problem that
everyone knows it is political in nature.
On another note, the regime does not help himself by any mean by its
refractoriness in dealing with the other aspects of the political
crisis in Sudan. The ruling National Congress Party continues to
manipulate and obstruct all opportunities for political solutions to
end the civil war in its three volatile regions of Sudan (Darfur,
South Kordofan and Blue Nile) and allow for a minimum openness that
help reducing the political polarization in the country. Succeeding in
that with the help of its new status with the international mediators
who needs the regime to serve their different interests in the region.
As well as the weakness of the opposition political forces that, the
regime invested in their destruction over the years of his rule. Never
the less, the NCP is digging its own grave with this attitude. These
civil wars, political polarization and lack of democratic space keep
it a permanent hostage to the bullying of foreign powers who uses it
to perform the tasks they want, but only support it by the extent that
keeps it hostage. Tyrants read from one book that does not teach them
a simple lesson; the only guarantor of any ruler is his people, not
foreign powers, whatever the degree of his service to them.

The National Congress and General Bashir have been in power for 30
years depending on the strength of their security services and their
military militias to stay in power and suppress the opposition
movement. They did not hesitate to arm and supply them and to create
more diverse militias dedicated to protecting their power. They
directed the budgets of health, education and other social services to
be spent on what is generally called the sovereign and security
sectors. Absurd expenses that consume more than two thirds of the
public budget. This reluctance to direct public fund to social service
sectors has made the economic crisis even worse on the poorest groups,
which now face their fate in a legendary battle with no social
protection net or any services from the public sector. Those people
are the ones who are taking the streets now, driven by their will to
live. They will not lose anything because the National Congress Party
has left them nothing to lose, but everything to gain … their
freedom, security and decent living.

The regime still not recognizing this, and continue to depend on its
security measures to address the crisis. The death toll of protesters
reached several tens in three days of protesting. Live ammunitions are
being used heavily in the different cities of the country. The
scenario of September 2013 protests, when the security forces killed
over 200 protesters in the streets who were demonstrating for similar
reasons is likely. The NCP masters who seem to learn nothing from it
celebrated this massacre as a success in putting out demonstrations.
Security solutions won’t work and never did. However, with the
national wide political fatigue another terrifying scenario emerges:
an internal coup within the NCP. The chief of NISS; Salah Quosh, who
returned to his position in the beginning of this year after the
humiliating expulsion in 2012 and even his detention and accusation of
planning a coup, publicly blamed the cabinet on the economic crisis
and how it dealt with the protests. Quosh ambition to succeed Bashir
is not a secret and was the reason for his expulsion in 2011. However,
he is not the only one with such ambitions. Old-guard Islamists are
also looking forward for the throne. The Islamists hardliner group
headed by the previous presidential aide Nafie Ali Nafie, who
disagreed on Bashir’s will to rerun for 2020 elections as NCP
candidate for presidency, are prepared for a battle. Unrest within the
army also creates potentials for a Sisi’s style coup d’etat. What is
terrifying in all these scenarios is that it will not provide any
solutions, and keep the same kelptocracy in power with some
superficial changes on hierarchy. Hence, people suffering will
continue with the replacement of an old fatigued dictator with a fresh
euthanistic one. Let alone, the most terrifying possibilities of blood
bath in Khartoum resulting from the clash between the numerous
militias of the NCP; the Rapid Support Forces, the Security Forces and
Army, whose allegiances are scattered among the different wings of
Islamists and will have to pick a side in such scenario.  People and
normal citizens will also be part of such clash. Those who are
sacrificing their life in the streets now will not accept being a
silent watcher.

The only peaceful way to end this would be for the NCP to understand
and see that its game is over. It is time to hand over power to a
broad national political alliance and face the consequences of 30
years of corruption and mismanagement instead of taking the country in
such dangerous pathways. What is happening now in Sudan is the labor
of a complete comprehensive change … a genuine revolution born of
the suffering of a patient people. The only objective of any sane
politician should be to end this suffering.