Elijah Magnier: The Economic Crisis in Sudan Has Reached an Unprecedented Level

In the past 12 months we have seen the intensity of the tension inside Syria subside – largely due to Russia’s deployment of the S-400 system – and the tension in other strategically/geographically key regions/countries intensify. For example, the USA (plus vassals) has intensified the pressure it is putting on Venezuela, OPEC, Lebanon, Iran, etc, while in other areas (Iraq, Libya, Belarus, EU, Turkey, etc) the level of American influence has seemingly been overpowered by the momentum of Eurasian projects. One such “hot spot” is Sudan, where a sudden and forceful transition of power is seemingly underway.

The Chairman of Russia’s Federation Council Committee on International Affairs Konstantin Kosachev frankly referred to the situation in Sudan as an “unconstitutional” military coup:

There was a military coup in Sudan. I do not presume to judge who is right and who is not there. Let me remind you of our principled position of rejecting in principle scenarios where there is an unconstitutional change of power – whether it’s in Ukraine, Turkey, Syria, or somewhere else

He added that the organisers of coups should understand that at this moment a constitution that is violated thus ceases to operate, “including the supremacy of the constitutional principle of the country’s territorial integrity”, “when ethnic groups inhabiting the country that do not support the coup get the legal right to self-determination”.

“I’m not talking about Sudan now. I’m talking about Ukraine and Crimea in 2014,” said the senator.

Meanwhile, America has refrained from making any official statements supporting this or that side (although CNN, for example, seems to support the uprising).

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I asked the journalist and expert on all things pertaining to the Middle East and Africa Elijah Magnier (his personal twitter and blog) to comment on the current situation in Sudan, which seems to be very fluid and volatile.

In your opinion, just how organic is the ongoing uprising in this country?

“The communiqué of the Vice President and Defence Minister is clear: a military officer Ibn Auf has replaced another military officer Omar al-Bashir, giving himself 2 years of a transitional period to govern with a strong fist. Political parties are rejecting a military council as a transitional power even for a few months due to previous experiences (Swar al-Dhahab) and the one of Bashir. All access to Khartoum will be closed for 24 hours and a curfew is announced for many months that can be expanded by the military coup leader. This is how Bashir started his ruling 30 years ago. There is a clear request of a civilian ruling and that may not be a final stage because the population may respond.

Omar al-Bashir policy was full of contradiction: he gave support to Usama Bin Laden and then asked him to leave. He hosted Carlos and then delivered him to the French authorities. he was pro-Iran and turned against Iran. he is pro-Muslim Brotherhood but joined Saudi Arabia in Yemen and provided thousands of troops. he has supported Mohamad Morsi and then supported his removal. There was no consistency in Bashir’s ruling for the last 30 years. Therefore his alliances have never been clear cut. The population is still gathered around the Ministry of Defence because the opposition leaders feel frustrated since the communique was read out by one of the old regime leaders.”

We have also seen protests in Algeria against the long-time leader Bouteflika, which seem to have been triggered by the unrest in France (Yellow Vests-Macron standoff). There is also the news that Hafter in Libya is putting a lot of pressure on the UN-backed government in Tripoli. Is there some connection between these events and the unrest in Sudan?

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“Bashir has supported the fall of Gaddafi and facilitated the flow of weapons in Libya. But the economic crisis in the country has reached an unprecedented level. The serious uprising started last December, asking Bashir to step down and reform. He faced the demonstrators and killed around 20 of them in the last weeks. I think it is a kind of contamination hitting this part of the world rather than a foreign manipulation because the opposition was caught by surprise with the fall of Bashir in the last hours and have no means, unlike the fall of Hosni Mubarak and the Egyptian uprising and the full logistic and organisational teams behind it offering electronic support, food beverage and more. Today, the main opposition group was asking wealthy companies to provide water to thousands of people at the main square in Khartoum. Nevertheless, US diplomats in the area was also reported, creating a kind of concern.”

How do you imagine what the African continent will look like in, for example, 10 years from now, taking into account the fact that major events that will define the global economic system are either in motion or will take effect in the next 5 years (example)? Can we expect to see more and more African countries enjoying greater sovereignty (consigning the legacy of Sykes Picot to the past), or will the trend of proxy wars in the name of raw materials persist due to the continuation and/or intensification of the Russia/China vs America (Iran vs Israel also) arms race?

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“The US is worried about its hegemony of the world, thus it is trying to consolidate its presence and make sure only allies are ruling to stop Russia and China, the main two threat to the US hegemony of the world. In Africa, there are not many African leaders who are not responsive to the US willpower. Therefore, it is unlikely to see in other parts what we are observing in Sudan.”

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