Islam is state religion in Sudan, but in principle freedom of religion should prevail. However, after the country’s division in 2011, a very large majority of the population is Muslim, usually Sunnis.
Traditional Sudanese Islam has elements of pre-Islamic religions. Sufi religious societies (Islamic mystics) play an important role. The founders and historical leaders of the order are sometimes worshiped as saints, something that pure-minded Muslims can see as idolatry. Several orders form the basis for traditional political parties.
Christianity came to northern Sudan already during Roman times, but the Christian kingdoms that were then founded collapsed in the 13th century when the area was conquered by Egypt. The Christian missionaries who worked in the country in modern times mainly focused on southern Sudan (now South Sudan) where Christianity spread alongside traditional religions with elements of religious belief and ancestral worship. In present-day Sudan, there is only a small minority of Christians.
Islamic law, sharia, was introduced throughout the country in 1983, which led the South Sudanese to revolt against the central government. The introduction of Sharia also aroused protests from secularized Muslims and non-Muslims in the north. In the second half of the 1980s the application of Sharia was softened, but when hardline Islamists took power in a military coup in 1989, the situation changed again. In 1991, the government issued a decree requiring the courts to re-apply Sharia. However, the provinces in the south were excluded.
The resistance to Islamization in the 1980s was an engine of the long civil war between northern and southern Sudan that preceded the partition of the country in 2011 (see Modern History). But even in the current Sudan there is an opposition to the application of Islamic law.
- Countryaah: Population statistics for 2020 and next 30 years in Sudan, covering demographics, population graphs, and official data for growth rates, population density, and death rates.
About 30 security agents are sentenced to death
Twenty-eight officers in the country’s security service are sentenced to death for torturing a regime-critical demonstrator to death in February 2019. This is the first time members of the security services have been sentenced to death for the murder of one of the protesters. The brutal murder helped to ignite the spark that triggered the wave of demonstrations against President al-Bashir and his regime. At least 177 people were killed during the demonstrations, according to Amnesty International, while a medical group closely linked to the protesters states that the death toll exceeds 250. Many were killed on June 3 in a massacre outside the army headquarters in Khartoum.
Roadmap for Darfur
The transitional government and Sudan’s revolutionary front, which brings together nine armed groups fighting against the overthrown al-Bashir regime, conclude an agreement on a roadmap for peace in Darfur. According to the agreement, the deepest causes of the conflict will be analyzed, refugees will be assisted in returning home, a system for sharing power in the region will be elaborated and rebel forces will be integrated with the government army. The Khartoum government is also required to deal with land issues, such as how property destroyed during the conflict should be replaced.
Irrigation systems should be refurbished
In a round of negotiations between the transitional government and about 10 rebel groups that fought against the old regime, the parties agree that an important irrigation system in central Sudan should be refurbished and used again. The Gezira Scheme is one of the world’s largest irrigation systems for agriculture, but it has been a long time coming due to the struggles that have been going on in the country and the neglect of the overthrowing regime. The peace agreement, which is the idea of the negotiations, failed to conclude the parties.
Criminal investigation into Darfur begins
Sudan’s state prosecutor launches a preliminary investigation into crimes committed in Darfur since 2003 by the overthrow of President al-Bashir and some 50 members of his old regime. It is the result of negotiations between the transitional government and the Sudanese revolutionary front, which brings together nine armed groups that fought against the al-Bashir regime.
Sudan is no longer blacklisted for religious crimes
The US removes Sudan from its list of countries in the world that violate citizens’ religious freedom, but Sudan remains on the US list of countries that fund terrorism.
Two years’ house arrest for al-Bashir
President Omar al-Bashir is sentenced to two years’ house arrest for bribery. The overthrown dictator should serve the sentence at some sort of correctional facility. The law states that convicted persons who have passed the age of 70 should not be put in ordinary prison, and al-Bashir is 75 years when the sentence falls. The president is also charged with being ultimately responsible for students being killed by militia during the demonstrations that led to al-Bashir’s fall (see April 2019). In that trial, they have not yet fallen.
Sudan’s troops in Yemen are reduced
Sudan reduces its military strength in the Saudi-led alliance in Yemen to 5,000 men, from 15,000 men when it was the largest. This is announced by Prime Minister Hamdok, who is also calling for a “political solution” to the Yemeni conflict.
Diplomatic relations with the United States are restored
Sudan and the United States agree to restore full diplomatic relations with each other. For the first time in 23 years, they will appoint ambassadors in each other’s countries. The decision is made in connection with Prime Minister Hamdok’s first visit to Washingon since 1985 as Sudanese leader. However, the US does not remove Sudan from its list of countries that sponsor terrorism; they justify the decision that this requires a legal process that takes about six months. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praises the Sudanese transitional government for launching “comprehensive reforms” and “breaking with the old regime’s policies and methods”.
The old power party NCP is banned
The transitional council and the government decide that President al-Bashir’s old power party NCP should be dissolved and the state seize the party’s assets. A ban on NCP has been a requirement that protesters have long advocated. The decision also means that symbols for the NCP and al-Bashir’s regime must not be used in political contexts for the next ten years. The NCP ruled Sudan from the 1989 coup to al-Bashir’s fall in April 2019.
Abolition of women’s law is abolished
The government abolishes the Public Order Act, which provides for penalties for “indecent and immoral acts”. With the support of the now repealed law, women in particular have been harassed. They have been whipped, fined and imprisoned, for example, for wearing trousers or for attending private parties.
New loan from the Arab Monetary Fund
Sudan will borrow $ 305 million from the Arab Monetary Fund, based in Abu Dhabi. The fund also promises trading benefits worth about $ 70 million. The aid will help Sudan to cope with the economic crisis, with a serious shortage of foreign currency. The money will be disbursed on three occasions in 2019 and 2020. The loan is the second to Sudan from the Arab Monetary Fund since the fall of al-Bashir in the spring of 2019. At the same time, the African Development Bank pledges nearly $ 33 million in loans to improve drinking water and sanitation in North Kurdufan and South Kurdufan. Sudan’s finance ministry estimates that the country needs about $ 3 billion to get out of the worst crisis.
The leaders of the 1989 coup are prosecuted
Deputy President Omar al-Bashir is charged with a number of top names in the old regime for organizing the military coup in 1989. The coup brought them to power by deposing the elected prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi and his government. Al-Bashir is already in custody, charged with corruption. This is a new legal process being initiated against him. Among the defendants are both civilians and military.
Rehabilitation for the economy
The transitional government agrees with the IMF, the World Bank and the African Development Bank on a so-called rehabilitation plan starting in 2020. The plan includes a program for debt relief.
Progress in peace talks
The government and the two rebel groups SPLM-Nord and SRF (Sudan’s revolutionary front) sign a political declaration that they will start peace talks. The government promises to allow humanitarian aid to reach conflict-affected areas such as Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile. Armistice is advertised.
Peace talks get off to a shaky start
Peace talks start in Juba in South Sudan between the Sudanese Transitional Government and two rebel groups in the Blue Nile, South Kurdufan and Darfur: SPLM-North and SRF (Sudan’s revolutionary front). The talks are being held under mediation by South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, backed by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. The talks stand and weigh when SPLM-Nord leaves the negotiating table after two days and demands that the government withdraw forces from the Nuba Mountains, where rebel forces are reported to be bombed despite the ongoing ceasefire. When the transitional government announces a “permanent ceasefire” in the three conflict zones, SPLM-Nord returns to the talks on 18 October.
Woman becomes Chief Judge of the Supreme Court
The Interim Government appoints Nimat Abdullah as Chief Judge of the Supreme Court. She thus becomes the first woman to hold that office.
Police: 85 dead in strike against protesters
Police records show that 85 people were killed and 239 injured in the strike against the protesters’ camp in Khartoum between June 3 and 12 (see June 2019). This is what the Sudan Human Rights Commission says. The police death toll is significantly lower than that of at least 127 dead, as demonstrated by the protesters’ umbrella organization Strengths for Freedom and Change.
Sentenced rebels are released
In an effort to pave the way for new peace talks with resistance groups within the country, the Transitional Council releases eight death-row rebels from the SLA-Abdel Wahid group in Darfur. Eighteen imprisoned Darfur rebels are released at the same time. The government describes it all as a “confidence building measure”. It is unclear what the released rebels were sentenced for.
Peace Agreement in Port Sudan
A peace agreement is signed between representatives of the Nuba and Beni Amer groups in the state of the Red Sea in the east. This is followed by strong pressure from General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, a member of the Transitional Council and head of the notorious paramilitary militia RSF. The clan battles in Port Sudan have since the signing of the transition regime demanded some 20 casualties. They have also risked disrupting Sudan’s important oil exports going through the port city.
Omar al-Bashir receives support in court
According to two witnesses, the allegedly corrupt president Omar al-Bashir has donated more than $ 5.6 million to the paramilitary group RSF and a number of millions to a university. The testimony supports al-Bashir’s case in the trial, where he is accused of illegally getting over, and spending, millions of dollars in cash found during a house search with the president. According to al-Bashir, the cash was the remains of a $ 25 million gift from Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Al-Bashir has said that the money was not used privately, but to strengthen Saudi-Sudanese interests.
Sudan again welcomed in AU
AU announces that Sudan is no longer excluded from the organization. The decision to foreclose was made in connection with the military’s strike against the protesters when 127 people were killed (see June 2019). The exclusion ceases as a result of the entry of the civil-dominated transitional regime.
The transitional government in place
Prime Minister Hamdok presents his transitional government. It has 18 members, four of whom are women. Asmaa Abdallah becomes the country’s first female foreign minister, while Ibrahim el-Badawi is appointed finance minister. According to the agreement on transitional rule, the military appoints the Minister of Defense and the Minister of the Interior; it will be General Jamal al-Din Omar and police officer Idriss al-Traifi respectively.
Debt settlement negotiations
The newly appointed Prime Minister Hamdok begins negotiations with the World Bank and IMF on debt restructuring of the Sudanese Treasury. He also said that Sudan needs $ 8 billion in financial aid over the next two years to rebuild the country’s economy.
The transition board takes office
21th of August
The new transitional council will take over and replace the military council that has ruled Sudan since President al-Bashir’s overthrow in April 2019. The transitional council consists of six civilian representatives and five generals. It will be led by General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman al-Burhan during the first 21 months of the transition period. The head of the paramilitary RSF, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, is also part of the transitional council. Of the six civilian council members, two are women, one of whom is a Christian minority in the country. Later that day, Abdalla Hamdok is appointed prime minister for a transitional government.
The corruption trial against al-Bashir begins
The corruption trial against the ousted President Omar al-Bashir begins. The defendant sits in a metal cage dressed in traditional white clothes. The security requirement is large. On the first day of the trial, al-Bashir is accused of personally receiving $ 90 million in cash from members of the Saudi royal family. It is unclear what the money has been used for.
Final agreement on transition to civilian government
The final agreement on a 39-month transition to civilian rule is signed in Khartoum by the military council and the protest movement’s umbrella organization the Alliance for Freedom and Change. Thousands of people from different parts of the country gather on the streets of the capital and cheer. The agreement provides for a council of six civilians and five military commanders to govern the country for a transitional period of three years. The Council will in turn appoint a prime minister and a civilian transitional government. The prime minister will be nominated by the opposition, while the defense and home ministers will be appointed by the military. During the first 21 months, the council will be led by a military, then for 18 months by a civilian. The RSF paramilitary sort under the military and the intelligence service should be controlled by the Governing Council and the new government together.
UN diplomat proposed to become prime minister
Representatives of the protest movement within the Alliance for Freedom and Change nominate economist Abdalla Hamdok to the post of prime minister of the planned transitional government. Hamdok has previously held high positions within the UN system.
The former spy chief is accused of torture by the United States
The US is accusing the intelligence service’s (formerly Niss, now renamed Gis) former chief Salah Ghosh of torture and issuing entry bans for him, his wife and their daughter. Ghosh resigned as chief of Niss in April 2019, two days after the then President Omar al-Bashir was overthrown by the military.
The intelligence service is renamed
Niss, Sudan’s notoriously infamous and feared intelligence service, is renamed the General Intelligence Service (GIS). Niss was used by President Omar al-Bashir and his regime to quell political resistance, independent media and dissent. Niss has also played a major role in the regime’s strike against the democracy movement in recent months. The change of name comes on the initiative of the Military Council, which adds that the entire security apparatus is being modernized and adapted to the political changes in the country.
Four schoolchildren are shot to death
Four schoolchildren aged 15 to 17 are shot dead by snipers during a peaceful demonstration against the lack of bread and fuel in the city of Al-Obeid in North Kurdufan. Two more people are killed and 60 are injured. The Military Council says the snipers belong to the paramilitary RSF and later four RSF soldiers are arrested for the act. In the evening, thousands of protesters march in protest of the shooting deaths, including in Khartoum and Omdurman. In Omdurman another four protesters are killed.
Investigation releases the military from responsibility
An investigation, made by prosecutors and the ruling military council, points out the paramilitary RSF (Rapid Support Forces) as guilty of the attack on the protesters’ camp outside the army headquarters in Khartoum (see June 2019) and free the military from responsibility. According to the investigators, other security forces should also have been involved. The investigators identify eight officers, including three of the RSF, who are involved in the incident. The military must have ordered the RSF and the security forces to clean up in an adjacent area, Colombia, where drug trafficking and violent crime are widespread problems. At the same time, an RSF commander must have given orders to strike at the protesters. RSF’s leader, General Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, denies the allegations. The protesters object to the investigation, which they believe is biased and requires an independent review. They mainly object to the military being released from responsibility, but also to the investigators’ information on the number of casualties. According to the investigation, 17 people were killed on June 3 and another 70 were killed in the following week.
Military: coup attempt averted
Representatives of the armed forces announce that a general and several other high-ranking military commanders as well as commands within the Niss intelligence service have been arrested in connection with a coup attempt. The coup makers are said to have wanted to restore power to President Omar al-Bashir’s party NCP. Several leaders within NCP have also been arrested. Among those arrested are General Bakri Hassan Saleh, former vice-president of al-Bashir and a central figure during the 1989 coup, when al-Bashir took power. Former Foreign Minister Ali Karty and former Finance Minister Zubair Ahmed Hassan are also reported to have been arrested.
Agreement on transition board
The military junta and the leader of the protest movement sign an agreement on a transition regime until the next election. Under the agreement, power is to rotate between military and civilian representatives for three years. A transitional council will be formed with six civilian members of the protesters’ umbrella organization the Alliance for Freedom and Change, and five representatives of the military. During the first 21 months, the council will be headed by a general, then a civil representative will take over for 18 months. A fully civilian government will be appointed after the general elections in 2022. The agreement is described as the first part of a major agreement, and the talks between the two parties will continue.
New mass protests on coup day
Several people are shot dead and over 180 injured in new mass protests against the military regime, on the anniversary of the ousted President Omar al-Bashir’s takeover of power 30 years earlier. Tens of thousands of people take part in the biggest demonstration since the unrest on June 3 when tens died. According to the governing military council, snipers want to sabotage the process behind the firing, while others claim that it is the military council’s militia that shoots.
The peace force in Darfur stops in the fall
The UN Security Council extends the UNAMID peacekeeping mission in Darfur to October 31. Russia and China are initially opposed to an extension, as both countries share the Sudanese regime’s view that the conflict in Darfur is annexed. However, the political crisis in Sudan means that the Council can agree on a four-month extension of the mandate. Unamid now consists of around 7,200 police officers and soldiers from both the UN and the AU.
President al-Bashir is charged with corruption
Deputy President Omar al-Bashir is charged with corruption. The Governing Military Council admits for the first time that it gave the military orders to disperse protesters’ camps at the Army headquarters in Khartoum. The Council regrets that “mistakes were made” during the strike. Both the US and AU and Ethiopia are stepping up efforts to find a solution to Sudan’s political crisis. The protesters’ leadership agrees to participate in indirect talks via the foreign mediators and inflates the campaign for civil disobedience.
The UN condemns the violence against civilians
The UN Security Council unanimously supports a resolution that strongly condemns violence against civilians in Sudan and calls for a halt to this. The Security Council calls on the military council and the protest movement to work to resolve the crisis and stresses the importance of respecting human rights.
The death toll is rising
Several protesters are killed when the police and militia make new strikes against the protesters, whose leadership continues to call for civil disobedience until civilian rule is introduced. The demonstration side states that the death toll has risen to 118.
Sudan is excluded from the AU
The AU bans Sudan until a civilian government takes office. For security reasons, the UN is moving certain staff from the capital to other locations in the country. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed travels to Khartoum and talks with both parties, calling for a swift transition to democracy. After the meeting with Abiy, several demonstration leaders are taken into police questioning.
Powerful condemnations from the outside world
The demonstration leadership rejects the military’s plans for re-election and calls for new demonstrations against the military council. The United States, the United Kingdom and Norway also oppose the recent election and call on the Council to make an orderly transition to civilian rule. China and Russia veto a proposed UN resolutionin which the killing of civilians in Sudan would have been condemned by the Security Council. The motion for a resolution was tabled by Germany and the United Kingdom. Since the resolution was halted, Belgium, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, the Netherlands and Sweden make a joint statement condemning the military action and supporting the Sudanese people’s demand for an orderly transition to civilian rule. The UN and the AU demand an independent investigation into “the excessive violence against the protesters” and the US calls the assault “brutal”.
New elections are announced
The military breaks the deal with the demonstration leadership on the transitional regime, cancels negotiations and announces elections within nine months. It informs the military council’s leader al-Burhan and adds that the election will take place under “regional and international supervision”.
“Over 100 dead in strike against protesters”
Dozens of civilians are killed when the military, police and government-run militia strike at protesters’ camps outside the army headquarters in Khartoum. Authorities admit that 61 people have been killed in violence around the country, including 49 in the strike against the protesters in Khartoum. However, according to the medical organization Central Committee for Sudanese doctors, which has close ties to the protesters’ leadership, the death toll is 108, of which 40 bodies have been thrown in the Nile. The group says that most of the violence is carried out by a government-run militia called Rapid Support Forces, which is the same labor militia as during the Darfur crisis in 2003 and 2004 called the Janja wides. Around 500 people are injured in the strike. The demonstration leadership calls the campaign a “bloody massacre” and calls on all Sudanese to engage in “total civil disobedience” to overthrow the military council. The demonstration leadership announces that it is breaking all contact with the military council. According to the medical organization, the militia must have opened fire inside a hospital in search of protesters and also raped people in connection with the strike.
New unrest at the demonstration site
15th of May
At least eight people were shot in new riots near the Khartoum sitting demonstration. As a result, the Military Council postpones the negotiations on the transitional regime for three days.
Three-year transition board
15th of May
The Military Council and the protesters’ representatives announce that they have agreed on how the country should be governed during a three-year transition to civilian rule. Three bodies are to be set up: a supreme governing council, a civil transitional government and a legislative assembly. The Legislative Assembly shall consist of 300 members, two thirds of whom shall be elected from the protesters’ umbrella organization the Alliance for Freedom and Change. Others must represent other political groups. The transitional government should carry out the day-to-day government work, while the Council must have a comprehensive, governing role. The council will replace the current military council, but the parties disagree on what powers it should have. In addition, the protesters’ leadership wants armed rebel groups fought against the al-Bashir regime to take part in the transitional regime, something the military does not agree with.
al-Bashir is being prosecuted for the shooting
The Prosecutor General announces that the ousted President Omar al-Bashir and a number of other persons have been charged with stamping and participating in the killing of protesters in connection with the protests against al-Bashir’s regime. According to authorities, 65 people have been killed in violence related to the demonstrations since they broke out in December 2018. Other sources indicate higher death rates. Later that day, five protesters and one army major were shot to death by unknown perpetrators at the sit-in demonstration outside the army headquarters in Khartoum.
AU extends deadline
The AU gives the military council another 60 days to hand over power to a civilian government. Otherwise, Sudan is excluded from the cooperative organization. The Military Council missed the AU’s first deadline in 15 days (see April 2019).
Disagreement over the planned Council
Demonstrators gather again for mass protests after talks with the military council have stalled. The demonstration leadership explains that the military is not serious about handing over power to civilian government. The disagreement concerns the composition of the planned civil-military council. The current military council wants seven out of ten council members to be military and three civilians. It also wants General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan to continue to be the Council’s highest leader. The leadership of the protesters wants a council of 15 members, including eight civilians and seven military.
Arab support to the military council
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are taking steps to support Sudan’s central government. In total, they promise three billion dollars. 500 million will be deposited with the Central Bank of Sudan to support the country’s currency, while 2.5 billion will secure food, medicines and oil products. Lack of currency – dollars – was one of the factors behind the wave of protests against the regime. The Gulf states have expressed support for the military council.
Civil-military council should be formed
The leaders of the protesters agree with the military council to form a joint civil-military council, which in turn will appoint a civilian transitional government. The Council will then have overall responsibility for the country’s government, while the government will manage the day-to-day operations.
Three generals resign
The Military Council invites the leaders of the demonstrators to talks. The Council then announces that three generals in the ten-strong Council are retiring.
Ultimatum from AU
The AU calls on the military council to surrender power to a civilian government within 15 days. Otherwise, Sudan is excluded from cooperation within the regional organization.
“Opposition to appoint civilian government”
The Military Council announces that the opposition and the protesters’ representatives should be appointed a new “independent” head of government and a new civilian government. The Military Council also says that several members of the deposed government have been arrested. In addition, the country will have a new army chief, a new national police chief and a new head of the security service (Niss). Committees shall be formed for the purpose of combating corruption and the NCP shall be investigated. All media restrictions and all censorship should be abolished. Policemen and security people who were detained for choosing the protesters’ side should be released.
The military council is forced to change leaders
The continued pressure from the protesters, the opposition and the outside world forces Awad Ibn Auf, who is closely allied with al-Bashir and strongly associated with the deposed leader, to resign as leader of the military council after a day. He is replaced by another general, Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan, who has kept a lower profile under al-Bashir. Burhan promises respect for human rights, an end to the nightly curfew, a release of political prisoners, disbanded provincial governments, prosecution of all who killed protesters, and a fierce fight against corruption. This is not enough for the leaders of the protesters in the important SPA (Sudan Professionals Association). The SPA calls for an immediate transition to civilian rule and for all al-Bashir regime militias to be dissolved. The head of the Niss security service, General Salah Gosh, departs. It is Niss who has driven and been responsible for the regime’s attack on the protesters. The military council said at a press conference that al-Bashir should not be handed overICC, without being tried in Sudan. The old power party NCP calls the coup constitutional and requires that arrested NCP members be released. During the seating manifestation, at least 35 people were killed in clashes with the security service. According to police, 16 people have been shot dead in Khartoum by security services snipers over the past two days, and 20 have been injured.
The protesters defy the army
When the protesters stay out on the streets of the city in front of the army a nightly curfew. This is defied by protesters who believe it is the old regime that remains, even though al-Bashir has been ousted. They demand civilian rule. There are many reactions from the outside world. The United States calls on the military junta to shorten the two-year transition period and insert civilian politicians into the transition regime. The EU calls for a swift transition to civilian rule. The UN calls for a democratic transition. Amnesty International says that al-Bashir must be handed over to the ICC. The AU says that a military coup is not the right way to meet all the country’s challenges. Egypt expresses its support for “the Sudanese people and its army”. The notorious Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) promises to release all political prisoners in Sudan. Protesters storm and rob Niss’s premises in the cities of Kasala and Port Sudan in the east when no prisoners are released.
al-Bashir is deposed in a military coup
Sudanese Defense Minister Awad Ibn Ouf announces in a televised speech that the military has seized power in the country. President al-Bashir has been overthrown and is in custody “in a safe place”. Prime Minister Ayala and his government have been ousted. A military council, led by the Minister of Defense and First Vice President Awad Ibn Auf, is set up to lead the country for two years. Thereafter, general elections will be held, the Minister of Defense announces. He adds that a three-month state of emergency is introduced, that the constitution is repealed, and that the border crossings and the country’s airspace are temporarily closed. The protesters are urged by their leaders to remain in the streets to ensure the establishment of a civilian government.
Three countries support a plan for peaceful change of power
The United States, the United Kingdom and Norway support the protesters’ demand for a plan for a peaceful change of power. The police order their forces not to intervene against the protesters. In the past, the military has done the same. This indicates that the armed forces are divided in their perception of how to handle the situation. The national intelligence and security services appear to support al-Bashir and make two unsuccessful attempts to disperse the protesters with the help of riot police and tear gas. According to eyewitnesses, government soldiers open the gates to the army headquarters and give protesters protection there.
“About 20 dead in dawn”
Sadiq al-Mahdi, leader of the opposition Umma Party and one of the organizers of the mass protests, says that 20 regime critics have been killed by masked, armed men in dawn since the sit-down strike at the Khartoum headquarters in Khartoum on April 6. The Interior Ministry states that seven protesters have been killed.
Mass protests at army headquarters
Tens of thousands of protesters gather outside the army headquarters in Khartoum, where the president’s residence is also located. A sitting strike begins which lasts for several days. Kravall police and security services are trying to break up the manifestation, which however continues. Authorities say several people were killed in unrest in some places, including Omdurman and Darfur. According to information from a medical association, army soldiers must for the first time have interfered with the situation, to protect the protesters from police violence. The protesters demand al-Bashir’s departure. The authorities state for media that since the start of the protests in 2018, the death toll is now 46.
New permanent government in place
the 13th of March
Prime Minister Ayala presents his new permanent government. Among 20 ministers, among other things, the Minister of Defense and the Foreign Minister may remain. New Finance Minister Magdi Hassan Yasin will lead the effort to get the country’s weak economy on its feet. For the past two years, President al-Bashir has dismissed two governments that he deemed incapable of rescuing Sudan from the economic crisis.
The state of emergency is shortened
11th of March
Parliament approves President al-Bashir’s decree to impose an emergency permit, but shortens it from one year to six months.
New nationwide protest
On International Women’s Day, regime critics are conducting for the second time since the state of emergency was introduced nationwide demonstrations. Many people are arrested. President al-Bashir commands the security service to release all women detained in connection with the demonstration. Authorities have not said how many women there are among the hundreds of people arrested since the protests erupted on December 19, 2018. The opposition says that around 150 women are in detention.
The state of emergency is defied
A mass demonstration is conducted despite the state of emergency. Eight regime-critical street protesters in Khartoum and Omdurman are sentenced to prison for breaking the demonstration ban.
Transitional government takes office
President al-Bashir presents a new transitional government. The Minister of Defense, General Awad Ibn Auf, retains his post and is also appointed Vice President. Thus, al-Bashir dismisses his close ally Bakri Hassan Saleh from the important post. Prime Minister Mohamed Tahir Ayala, former governor of the state of Jazira. New Finance Minister, responsible for getting the country’s economy on its feet, becomes Mustafa Youssef. Regime opposition has come together in the Alliance for Freedom and Change. It now includes everything from farmers and workers who demonstrate high prices and poor living conditions to intellectual groups such as the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which brings together a large number of highly educated people, including university teachers, and who coordinates many of the protests. More recently, political opposition parties and three guerrilla groups have joined political groups. Information on the number of deaths in the violence ranges from around 30 to over 50.
State of emergency throughout the country
President al-Bashir faces a nationwide state of emergency that will last for one year. He thus gathers power around himself and the military leadership. al-Bashir dismisses all but five government ministers. Among those who are allowed to remain are the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Defense and Justice. The president also dissolves all 18 state governments and appoints 18 new governors, 16 of whom are military commanders and two are from the intelligence service. The state of emergency is introduced as a result of the protests that have been going on since 19 December now spread to the whole country and to all social groups. The protesters continue their struggle despite the state of emergency. The Niss intelligence service carries out an offensive to quell the uprising. Hundreds of people have been detained.
Teacher dies in police custody
Sudanese authorities report that a 36-year-old teacher in the city of Khashm el-Girba in Kassala in the east has died in police custody as a result of injuries he sustained in the arrest. The man was arrested a week earlier by one of the country’s intelligence services and accused of being one of the organizers of demonstrations against the government. The teacher’s death in the police repository has led to several protest actions.
Nearly 200 arrested protesters are released
30th of January
Authorities release 186 people arrested and detained in connection with the protests that erupted on December 19, 2018. According to the Ministry of Information, the head of the national security service has ordered all arrested protesters to be released. Local media, however, state that the order does not apply to opposition leaders and political activists.
The death toll is rising
Authorities state for media that around 30 people, including two police officers, have been killed in the protests that began on December 19, 2018. The protests began as protests against rising living costs but have evolved into regime-critical actions around the country. The protests are said to be organized by a group called the SPA (Sudanese Professionals Association) made up of a large number of highly educated people, including university teachers. The government says that “liars” and “conspirators” are behind the protests but name no one. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the death toll is at least 40.
Tear gas towards mourners
Several protest actions erupt in Khartoum after police fired tear gas at mourners in connection with the funeral of a dead protester. In another incident, Amnesty International reports on how security forces enter a hospital looking for gunshot injuries among patients.
The Minister of Health is dismissed
President al-Bashir dismisses his health minister because of increased drug prices. Protests against price increases for bread and fuel, among others, continue, sometimes with demands for the resignation of the government or the president.