14 June 2019
Former Sudan President Omar al-Bashir has been charged with corruption involving illicit wealth and emergency orders. The public prosecutors did not provide any more details. He was ousted by the military in April following months of protests against him. He is also under indictment by the International Court of Justice over alleged war crimes in the country’s western Darfur region. While under al-Bashir’s rule Sudan was placed by United States in its list of “sponsors of terrorism”.
al-Bashir (in photo) was overthrown and arrested in a coup by the military on April 11 after months of mass protests against his 30-year autocratic rule. Civilian protesters were happy when he was overthrown. But instead of the peace which protesters wanted, months of chaos and bloodshed followed. The protesters wanted the country return to democracy after the fall of al-Bashir regime.
Representatives of the protesters began discussions with the military over who would take over when al-Bashir was ousted. When these talks broke down, soldiers and paramilitary groups on 3 June opened fire on a pro-democracy sit-in in Khartoum. The crackdown left at least 61 people dead, according to officials, or 118, according to doctors aligned with the pro-democracy protesters.
The very same army leaders who propped up the al-Bashir regime over the past three decades are now in power. The army ousted al-Bashir in order to deflect the exposure of its own corruption. Now the army wants hold on to power with a permanent junta instead of allowing the country to return to civilian rule.
After al-Bashir was overthrown, Saudi Arabia and the UAE offered a three-billion-dollar aid package to Sudan, including a $500m cash injection into the central bank to help support the Sudanese pound which has plunged since last year against the US dollar.
Most African countries and those in the West have sided with the protesters, the BBC reports. The African Union, comprised of 55 member states, has voted to suspend Sudan until a civilian-led transitional authority is put in place. Al Jazeera reported.