Last week, Sundanese dictator Omar al-Bashir became "the second north African leader forced from office this month in the face of mass protests, following Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika", report Okech Francis and Mohammed Alamin for Bloomberg. These departures "stirred echoes of the Arab Spring uprisings earlier this decade". The protesters have since won further concessions from the military council that has taken over, including the removal of former defence minister Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf as head of the council. There are now demands for "a civilian handover", as well as for political and media freedoms.
There is "understandable euphoria" on the streets of Khartoum, says the FT, but "the experience of countries that went through the Arab Spring suggests that severe dangers lie ahead". One problem is that over the past 30 years "the Sudanese state has been geared to one thing: keeping Bashir and his cronies in power". Now, with the Bashir regime gone, "the concern is there is nothing credible or coherent enough to replace it". People worry that the military is merely "conducting an elaborate piece of political theatre to give the appearance of change".
Still, Sudan's generals have a vulnerability, say George Clooney and John Prendergast in The Washington Post. Bashir's "disastrous" policies have "left the country in crushing debt and in need of aid and debt relief". Non-humanitarian aid should be suspended until civilian rule is in place. In the meantime, the US should keep Sudan on its list of states that sponsor terrorism.If there is to be "real change", "strong international action" will be needed.
Matthew graduated from the University of Durham in 2004; he then gained an MSc, followed by a PhD at the London School of Economics.
He has previously written for a wide range of publications, including the Guardian and the Economist, and also helped to run a newsletter on terrorism. He has spent time at Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and the consultancy Lombard Street Research.
Matthew is the author of Superinvestors: Lessons from the greatest investors in history, published by Harriman House, which has been translated into several languages. His second book, Investing Explained: The Accessible Guide to Building an Investment Portfolio, is published by Kogan Page.
As senior writer, he writes the shares and politics & economics pages, as well as weekly Blowing It and Great Frauds in History columns He also writes a fortnightly reviews page and trading tips, as well as regular cover stories and multi-page investment focus features.
Follow Matthew on Twitter: @DrMatthewPartri
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