Despite a government-led national dialogue in 2016, violence in Sudan persists in Darfur and elsewhere. Peace talks between the government and the armed opposition are deadlocked, while hundreds of thousands of displaced people are blocked from getting humanitarian aid. For over 20 years, the U.S. Institute of Peace has worked to build an inclusive peace in Sudan through expert advice and training. The Institute currently hosts youth leaders who conduct research on peace in their communities. USIP also supports a regional database of laws on sexual and gender-based violence.
Three and a half years after Sudan’s military deposed the authoritarian ruler, Omar Bashir, in response to massive protests, the current military leadership and divisions among political factions are stalling a return to elected civilian government. This year has brought a deepening economic crisis and violent communal clashes — but also a new wave of nonviolent, grassroots campaigns for a return to democracy. As Sudanese democracy advocates and their international allies seek ways to press the military for that transition, all sides should note, and work to sustain, Sudan’s nonviolent civic action.
The surprise announcement by Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the leader of Sudan’s coup government, that the military is willing to hand power back to civilians presents an opportunity to get the democratic transition back on track.
From 2013 to 2018, Sudanese civil society actors carved out a variety of civic spaces that laid the foundation for Sudan’s 2018–2019 December Revolution. This report assesses the factors that gave rise to this remarkable mobilization—in particular how civil society development ultimately enabled the Sudanese opposition to sustain a decentralized, nationwide, and robust nonviolent campaign characterized by widespread mass participation, unity of leadership and purpose, and a commitment to nonviolent discipline—and what it will take to keep the country’s democratic transition on track.
Generation Change works with young leaders across the globe to foster collaboration, build resilience and strengthen capacity as they transform local communities.
The states on the western side of the Red Sea to the south of Egypt and the Arab states from the east of Egypt through the Arabian Gulf have long been considered distinct regions. This is increasingly a distinction without a difference, however, as these states now operate more as a common political, security, and economic zone.
Ahead of the Biden administration’s Summit for Democracy, the U.S. Institute of Peace is convening a multi-part conversation about the dynamics driving four of the seven coups and coup attempts since the onset of the pandemic.