The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation is following with increasing concern the recent political developments in Sudan, where peaceful protests by Sudanese people have escalated into violence and a heavy security crackdown.
This has so far resulted in several arrests of political opposition figures and the unfortunate loss of too many lives already. The Foundation also notes tight censorship around news on the protests in Sudan, with authorities restricting access to social media and the internet.
The wave of demonstrations which began on 19 December 2018, on the eve of the country’s 63rd anniversary of independence, and almost 30 years now after President Omar al-Bashir came to power through a military coup, has been triggered by people’s worsening daily living conditions, including fuel shortages, the increasing price of bread and currency devaluation.
Indeed, the last Ibrahim Index of African Governance, published in October captures some deteriorating governance trends in Sudan, with worsening scores over the last five years in Political Participation, Democratic Elections, Capacity of Election Monitoring Agencies and Civil Society Participation, as well as in Freedom of Association & Assembly. Sudan features in the bottom half of the rankings (out of 54 African countries) in each of these indicators.
The Foundation urges the government to uphold the right of the Sudanese citizens to peacefully protest and express their legitimate grievances. We emphasise the need for calm and call on the authorities to halt the spread of violence and prevent further instability within the country, and to ensure the people of Sudan are given a voice and space to exercise their democratic right to protest peacefully in a safe environment.