The Sudan Coup Threatens Hard-Won Democracy


(Artwork/Ava Fong’23)

Adya Jha, Online Staff Writer

Late last month, the Sudanese military usurped the country’s transitional government in a coup d’état (an unlawful seizure of power), threatening the foundations of democracy in the previously war-torn nation. The military reacted to ensuing demonstrations by using scare tactics and incarcerating prominent figures in Sudanese politics and journalists who attempted to document events. The current situation in Sudan has the potential to undermine the fragile bedrock of peace built after so many lives were lost in civil wars and demonstrations throughout the nation following the end of a years-long regime.

The October Sudan coup was preceded by years of tension fraught by the ever-present danger of further conflict. Sudan’s dictator, Omar al-Bashir, was overthrown amidst civil disturbance in 2019, following several years of his heavy-handed and tyrannical rule. When al-Bashir was ousted two years ago, the provisional government planned on having a transitional period of one year, followed by the eventual adoption of a civilian-controlled democracy. Political leaders scheduled elections to begin next year, but the military’s coup on October 25 has wholly transformed Sudan’s already unstable political environment.

In the wake of hundreds of thousands taking to the streets to condemn the takeover, the military cut off access to the internet, preventing Sudanese citizens from understanding the full scope of the coup and connecting on social media. Furthermore, security forces began jailing journalists, pro-democracy advocates, and politicians belonging to parties involved in the attempt to institute democracy. Junior co-head of the Foreign Affairs Club, Jai Kasera, opines: “I think the situation in Sudan demonstrates the need for foreign nations to step in and provide help to democracies facing violent opposition from dictatorial military regimes.” However, as of right now, foreign aid seems to be out-of-reach for Sudan, with most countries withdrawing assistance in light of political developments. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the situation, the future of Sudan and its citizens remains unclear through the raging storm of violence.