Sudan’s Popular Uprisings: Where South Sudan Stands

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In April 2019, Sudanese protestors in Khartoum, the capital and other major towns, managed to push their country’s longest reigning dictator, Omer Hassen al-Bashir, out of power after 30 years of a brutal dictatorship. The fall of al-Bashir was a cause for jubilation amongst crowds across the country, and true to the history of popular uprisings that Sudan has come to be known for. This protest, as in previous ones, succeeded in removing al-Bashir because of the decision made by the army command to side with the protesting public. But, as the country moved towards forming a transitional government to replace the ousted regime, the events took a turn no one could have predicted. A vicious violence ensued and plunged the country into turmoil and a future of uncertainty. The violence against the protesters was carried out the Rapid Support Force, the militia composed of fighters formerly known as the Janjaweed, now part of the Sudanese army. It is now feared that Sudan will likely struggle with the violence in Khartoum for some time to come, and the threat of this violence plunging the country into more war is all too real.

This weekly review examines the various reactions by South Sudanese to the turmoil in Sudan. It also attempts to highlight some of the main questions that are being raised about the impact of Sudan’s crisis on South Sudan and whether or not South Sudan has a role to play in the efforts to bring Sudan back from the brink of total war, concerned that continued violence in Khartoum and other major towns threatens regional security.

Jok Madut Jok

Executive director at Sudd Institute
Jok Madut Jok is cofounder of the Sudd Institute. Born and raised in Sudan, Jok studied in Egypt and the United States. He is trained in the anthropology of health and holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Jok recently joined the Government of South Sudan as undersecretary in the Ministry of Culture and Heritage. He was a J. Randolph Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace and a fellow at the Rift Valley Institute. He is a Professor in the Department of History at Loyola Marymount University in California, from which he is on an extended leave. He has also worked in aid and development, first as a humanitarian aid worker and has been a consultant for a number of aid agencies. He is the author of three books and numerous articles covering gender, sexuality and reproductive health, humanitarian aid, ethnography of political violence, gender-based violence, war and slavery, and the politics of identity in Sudan. His book Sudan: Race, Religion and Violence, was published in 2007. Jok is co-editor of The Sudan Handbook, 2010.

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