August 18, 2019

Late Arab Spring arrives in Sudan and Algeria

The armed forces of Algeria and Sudan, which pushed out the long-serving rulers of those countries after mass protests, are following a script that has failed millions of Arabs since the 2011 uprisings. Emily Wither reports.

A tense standoff in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. Protesters are pushing for a quick transition to civilian rule after long-time ruler President Omar al-Bashir was ousted.

Protesters were defiant after an attempt to break up their sit-in. They’ve been here outside the defense ministry since April 6.

Sudan’s army has announced that it’s removed and detained Bashir after three decades in power and is setting up a transitional military council to run the country.

But the armed forces in both Sudan and Algeria – where protesters have also toppled their leader of twenty years – are following a script that has failed millions of Arabs since the 2011 uprisings.

Middle East correspondent, Michael Georgy covered the Arab Spring and explains from Dubai.

“Something very striking in Sudan, they compared their plight with the template which Egypt had which was the army stood on the sidelines which at the time didn’t really show what was about to happen, people were happy they weren’t in to leading, but actually they wanted to get Mubarak out and the head of the army actually effectively pushed him out because the security was getting out of hand so the Sudanese people are saying its either victory or Egypt but they want to avoid that situation where the military exploits the turmoil and makes promises like the elections but at the end of the day they’re still calling the shots.”

Any future civilian leader in Sudan or Algeria will need the support of the army, and those “Arab Spring” upheavals raised hopes of political and economic reforms. But in many places ousted autocrats have been replaced by leaders who also failed to create jobs, and eradicate poverty and corruption.

In Algeria unemployment among the young is high. In Sudan the protests started over bread prices and poor living conditions. But as Algerians and Sudanese seek more freedom and better prospects, turmoil elsewhere in the region suggests their hopes for a better future may be disappointed.

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