After protests, Sudanese bishop says country is fragile and the future unclear

A Sudanese protester gestures during a demonstration in Khartoum July 27, 2019. (CNS photo/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah, Reuters)

NAIROBI, Kenya (CNS) -- Sudanese Catholic Bishop Yunan Andali of El Obeid said his country has become too fragile, after months of protests in which demonstrators have been pushing for a civilian government.

The bishop said developments had left most civilians confused, with glaring signs that the ruling Transition Military Council was not ready for a civilian government. He said he feared the council was using tricks to continue the authoritarian rule of ousted President Omar al-Bashir.

Advertisement

"The situation is too fragile; the future is very unclear. This is a country of coups, and anything can happen here," said Bishop Andali. "(For the) experienced and specialized in our country's history, the country is back to its rulers, and the revolution lost the track."

“The situation is too fragile; the future is very unclear. This is a country of coups, and anything can happen here,” said Bishop Andali.

[Don’t miss the latest news from the church and the world. Sign up for our daily newsletter.]

On Aug. 4, Freedom for Change, a body representing the protesters and the council, announced an agreement to form a transitional government. The proclamation, to be signed formally Aug. 17, cut the military council's participation in the process of transitioning to a civilian government, ended the military leaders' immunity from prosecution and put the brutal Janjaweed militia under the command of the armed forces.

Six civilians and five military officials will lead the Sudanese government, but Bishop Andali said the current political and constitutional arrangements had left out issues that initially ignited the uprising.

"The economic challenges remain untouched, and the standard of daily life of the people is hard to bear," said Bishop Andali. "Statements on peace were not part of the new change. ... It was mentioned only later, when it seemed an issue for youth from marginalized communities participating in the revolution."

[Want to discuss politics with other America readers? Join our Facebook discussion group, moderated by America’s writers and editors.]

The bishop said in the 30 years under al-Bashir's rule, a number of civil servants, army officers and Islamist militants had been empowered and were now taking charge. He said they use the language of those the protesters ousted.

"There is no space left to accommodate or focus on Christian or other minorities' issues. The international community can help as much, as it knows a little about the root cause of the problem," he said.

The country had been in turmoil since December, when protests ignited in several cities and towns over rising cost of living and deterioration of economic conditions.

Advertisement

The latest from america

Light streams into St. Gabriel’s Passionist Parish in Toronto. (Photo courtesy of Larkin Architect Limited)
The daily light show at St. Gabriel's in Toronto is not just aesthetically moving, writes Dean Dettloff. It is part of a church design that reminds us of human dependence on the earth.
Dean DettloffAugust 23, 2019
“The Church is a family of families,” Pope Francis writes in “Amoris Laetitia.”
Kerry WeberAugust 23, 2019
Our commitment to God is expressed through living out the gospel, but also in your fidelity to prayer. Day in and day out. “Showing up and shutting up,” as my friend likes to say about daily prayer.
James Martin, S.J.August 23, 2019
In this Aug. 20, 2019 drone photo released by the Corpo de Bombeiros de Mato Grosso, brush fires burn in Guaranta do Norte municipality, Mato Grosso state, Brazil. (Corpo de Bombeiros de Mato Grosso via AP)
A record number of wildfires and the rapid deforestation of the Amazon are prompting Latin American bishops to plead for international action, writes America’s correspondent in Brazil, Eduardo Campos Lima.
Eduardo Campos LimaAugust 23, 2019