By: Dr. Stephen Zunes
Date of Publication: April 2021
The Sudanese revolution began in December 2018 with a series of strikes, protests, and other acts of civil resistance taking place throughout the country. In February 2019, dictatorial president Omar al-Bashir declared a state of emergency and dissolved the national and regional governments, strengthening direct rule by military and intelligence officers. Massive protests resumed in early April and the military staged a coup, removing al-Bashir from power after a 30-year rule and assuming power as the Transitional Military Council. Pro-democracy activists demanded they turn over power to a civilian-led interim government with protests, along with negotiations, continued. On June 3, security forces massacred 128 people and detained and abused hundreds of detainees. Pro-democracy groups responded with a general strike and increased protests. Negotiations resumed and an agreement was signed in August formally transferring the government to civilian-led bodies.
This study interviews key activists in the movement as well as journalists and scholars who chronicled it and key civil society groups which led the struggle. This qualitative research takes place primarily in Khartoum and Omdurman, the country’s two largest cities.
About the Author:
Dr. Stephen Zunes is a Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco, where he serves as coordinator of the program in Middle Eastern Studies. He serves as a Senior Policy Analyst for Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies, an associate editor of Peace Review, a contributing editor of Tikkun, and served for seven years as the first chair of ICNC’s academic advisory committee. He is the author of hundreds of articles for scholarly and general readership on strategic nonviolent action, Middle Eastern and North African politics, U.S. foreign policy, international terrorism, nuclear nonproliferation, and human rights. He has authored, co-authored, and edited a number of books, including an ICNC Monograph entitled Civil Resistance Against Coups: A Comparative and Historical Perspective (2017).