Thursday, April 11, 2019

Arab Spring 2.0

So this is a big deal.

I have two big questions about where this goes from here. First, how the military junta currently leading Sudan will deal with the protesters who precipitated Bashir's ouster? The protesters are not buying the military's claim that they will have a two year transition to civilian rule, with a three month state of emergency. Will the military use the state of emergency to crack down on the demonstrators (even though the coup was responding to the protesters demands and the military is currently releasing protest leaders from prison), or will they make some nod to the protesters' demands agree to a quicker transition?

The second question is what will they do with Bashir. The WaPo article suggests that he may be allowed to get asylum in Egypt or Saudi Arabia. If this were the Obama era, I would wonder if Sudan's new rulers might turn him over to the ICC (Bashir is indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes in Darfur) to curry favor with the West and build international legitimacy for the new rulers. But these days, with the Americans openly hostile to the ICC, I'm pretty sure the soldiers now in charge won't think it is worth it. It's not like the Sudanese military establishment would want an international trial about the role of the Sudanese military in atrocities in Darfur. so I expect that they will let Bashir run to asylum.

Between Sudan and Algeria, stuff is happening in North Africa!