Why Mere Street Protests Cannot force Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir to Resign

By Chris Zumani Zimba

bashir.jpgFor the last one month, a wave of anti-government protests have been sweeping Khartoum with armed police clashing demonstrators who sometimes block roads with burning tyres. Cuts to government bread and fuel subsidies sparked the demonstrations against President Omar al-Bashir’s government which has responded with a heavy-handed security operation that has led to dozens of deaths, and the protesters are now calling for Mr Bashir to resign. But Sudan’s President, Omar al-Bashir is now in Qatar on his first trip abroad since a wave of anti-government protests began last month and looks calm, happy and unworried. Sudanese officials say Mr Bashir will discuss the peace process in the restive western region of Darfur, but analysts say he is also seeking assistance for Sudan’s battered economy.

Why is President Omar al-Bashir unshaken and threatened by street protests to resign?

President Omar comes from a military background and took over power as a dictator. He came to power in 1989 when, as a brigadier in the Sudanese Army, he led a group of officers in a military coup that ousted the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi after it began negotiations with rebels in the south. Such a man cannot easily be moved by civilian protects. And following many accusations of corruption, human rights violations, etc, Bashir may want to die in power or only hand over to his own.

He is an international political criminal who, for the past 10 years, has dodged and mocked the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the entire West. In July 2008, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno Ocampo, accused al-Bashir of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Darfur.  In March 2009, al-Bashir became the first sitting president to be indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), for allegedly directing a campaign of mass killing, rape, and pillage against civilians in Darfur. The court issued an arrest warrant for al-Bashir on 4 March 2009 on counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, but ruled that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him for genocide.

The AU, Americans and many Western states are not the idea of his fall following the experiences of Libya and Somalia. The sadden fall of Omar al-Bashir may open the hell doors of radical Islamic groups to double and multiply around East Africa and the ramifications may still hit entire Africa, the Americans and the West very hard.  For this reason, Bashir is still the better evil for now as he helps to hold or prevent that sub region from falling apart and reigning brutal terrorist networks.

Chris Zumani Zimba is a prolific Political Scientist, Analyst, Author, Blogger, PhD Scholar, Researcher and Consultant. Besides being the CEO and Managing Consultant at Chrizzima Democracy University (CDU) in Zambia, he analyses African politics weekly on Voice of the Cape Radio, South Africa every Wednesday at 16:20hours CAT. So far, he has authored more than 10 political and academic books as well as published over 100 well researched articles. Sometimes, he lecture Political Science-Part Time with University of Zambia (UNZA) and University of Lusaka (UNILUS) outside his daily commitments.

 

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