Three military generals in Sudan have agreed to resign from their positions, conceding to protesters, as part of what has been an ongoing crisis since December 2018. In what started as a protest against deteriorating living standards, a large-scale crisis since erupted and calls for the president, Omar al-Bashir, to resign were made by the people. The response to this was brutal suppression by the military, involving many arrests, beatings, with some casualties being recorded by rights groups. In February, al-Bashir declared a national state of emergency and removed government and state officials, but this was not enough to prevent the protests from continuing.
The president has since been removed and has been accused of organising war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court, referring to the situation in Darfur since 2003. The protests have therefore evolved into an appeal for accountability, as millions have gathered in Khartoum, the capital, to support the cause. ‘Blood for blood, we will not accept blood money’ is among the chants that have spread among the protesters, showing that there is no potential for a compromise to be reached.
While all sections of society have turned out for the protests, the dominant demographic have been women. Accounting for up to 70 percent of the protesters, they are also vocalising their hatred of the sexist attitudes in Sudan, which are a result of the continued practice of Sharia law.
The stepping down of the generals was the result of talks between protest leaders and the Transnational Military Council, as demands for civilian rule continue. Underlying the desire for retribution for al-Bashir’s actions is the push for democratic reform, with the hope that the establishment of democracy will, in turn, boost living standards given the new influence that the people should have. The protests, however, are still continuing with no signs of slowing down despite the governmental changes that have already been made.