Last week’s events in Sudan appear to be yet another example of foreign governments manipulating real dissent against an authoritarian government in order to install yet another authoritarian government more friendly to their interests but to the detriment of the people.
'KHARTOUM, SUDAN — Last Thursday, the decades-long rule of Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir came to an end, as the country’s long-time leader was ousted in a military coup that followed months of protests against his rule, which began in 1989. Bashir’s overthrow was widely hailed in the U.S. as a “revolution” brought on by a people-powered movement, in which women played a prominent role. Indeed, the symbol of this recent “revolution” has become 22-year-old student Alaa Salah, after a picture of her speaking to a crowd went viral last Tuesday, with some in international media dubbing her “Sudan’s statue of liberty.”
Given the intense news cycle that occurred last week — from Israel’s elections, to the Trump administration’s troubling declaration aimed at Iran’s military, to the recent arrest of Julian Assange in Ecuador’s London embassy — little international attention was paid to last week’s military coup in Sudan. For many, last week’s events seem simply the logical conclusion of months of protests aimed first at rising food prices and subsequently at Bashir’s nearly thirty-year rule. Yet, the reality of what has recently transpired in Sudan could not be further from that assumption.
While Bashir’s lengthy rule over Sudan has been filled with many despotic, authoritarian actions and state-sponsored violence over the years, and while many Sudanese citizens were likely all-too-eager for a change in government, powerful forces — the United States among them — had long sought Bashir’s ouster for other reasons, much of their motive linked to the country’s oil reserves.
After South Sudan’s creation in 2011, Sudan lost control of most of its former oil reserves and then, in order to stall a burgeoning economic crisis and prevent the further destabilization of its economy and its government in the years that followed, forged closer ties with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States. Though the Saudi-Sudanese alliance worked for a time, it ultimately soured, largely thanks to the war in Yemen.'
Read more: Saudi Arabia, Israel, US All Sought Bashir’s Ouster: So How Real Was the Sudan Revolution?