They wanted to abort the revolution that they could not kill, in spite of the killings and arrests. Just as the Egyptian defence minister, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawy, removed Hosni Mubarak as head of the Egyptian government and handed control over to the army, the Sudanese defence minister, Awad Ibn Auf, did the same and removed Omar Bashir as head of state.
Sudan’s revolution is following in the path of the Egyptian revolution, although the Sudanese experience combines that of Egypt’s January 2011 Revolution and the blood-stained June 2013 counter-revolution. The Sudanese Military Council announced through the defence minister a state of emergency and imposed a curfew from 10 pm to 4 am. This was a combination of the speeches made in Egypt on 11 February 2011 and 3 July 2013.
The minister also said that the Military Council will govern the country for two years, implying that the sit-ins would be dispersed and the protestors will go home. It is as if they are telling the protestors that their demands have been met by the removal of the man you demanded step down, President Omar Al-Bashir, and there is no longer a need for you to be on the streets.
However, the intelligent and vigilant Sudanese people know this game and learnt from the Egyptian revolution. The removal of the tyrant did not pacify them, as it did the Egyptians who left the squares and returned to their homes, after which plots were hatched against them. Instead, the Sudanese people remained in the squares and chanted, “Either victory or Egypt!”
The Egyptian revolution was a dream for every Arab nation and hope for them to see the removal of all the tyrants in the Arab world. The Arabs rejoiced in the revolution, just as we rejoiced in the revolutions in Sudan and Algeria, because the Arab people are one nation, speaking one language, Arabic, and sharing both religion and history; we were only separated into countries and mini-states by the colonialist powers.
Egypt has always been a pioneer of revolution and change in the region. When it is victorious, the whole Arab nation is victorious and when it suffers a setback, the whole nation suffers. Hence, when the January Revolution was curbed by the military coup, all of the Arab Spring revolutions were curbed. Frustration and desperation spread across the nations. However, when the Algerian and Sudanese revolutions started, the nation came back to life.
These two countries are witnessing the second wave of the Arab Spring revolutions, which is why our sights are set on the revolutions and our hearts and souls are connected to them. We pray to God that they succeed. The Algerian and Sudanese people have the right to rejoice in their achievement, but this does not stop us from worrying about them over what is yet to come.
Apart from the isolationist Algerian and Sudanese discourse adopted by some chauvinists, and the attempts to separate their revolutions from the failed Arab Spring, we can offer them a summary of the last eight years of bitter experiences suffered by the people of the first revolutionary wave, so that they might take lessons from them. This is especially so since the situation in both countries is similar to the situation in Egypt, with the military institution in both countries being the strongest force holding the reins as the de facto rulers. However, some Sudanese and Algerian brothers are angry with us and refuse to accept our advice despite the fact that revolutionary experiences can teach others, and they are all lessons that we can learn and benefit from. They do not like our advice, though, and are upset and sensitive. This much is clear on social media, where they claim that their army is different to the Egyptian army.
The Arab armies, they must know, are all the same; without exception, they have been created to protect the rulers and governments, not the state. They point their weapons at the people, not their enemies. We saw this in all of the Arab countries which experienced the Arab Spring.
The Sudanese people stood behind the army for protection and they stood in front of the military leadership. They fell for the illusion that the army protects the protestors and preserves their revolutions. The truth was very different, though; the army was plotting to attack the rebels and end their revolution. It even sacrificed its commander-in-chief, Omar Al-Bashir, in order to replace him with a puppet, Awad Ibn Auf, who was Bashir’s partner in shedding the blood of the Sudanese people. Ibn Auf led the rebels on with his decision to release all those arrested during the revolution, while, at the same time, arresting hundreds of Islamists, a move that was obvious to all.
Not even two days had passed after Ibn Auf took over the leadership of the Military Council before he resigned and was replaced by Abdel Fattah Burhan, commander of the Sudanese forces in Yemen, who is close to the UAE. It is clear that he was chosen to plot and is the UAE’s man in Sudan. To be honest, I do not understand why the Sudanese people are happy with this change, as there is no difference between the two men. They are both cut from the same cloth and from the same institution that does not want to give up control of the country. Both men are also partners in shedding the blood of the Sudanese people.
My dear Sudanese brothers and sisters, beware. The moments of ecstasy are the most dangerous because they are the best time for the counter-revolutionary thieves to infiltrate and hijack the situation and then impose deals. Do not be fooled by Burhan’s speech, full of pacifying statements and sweet talk, claiming that he desires to meet the objectives of the revolution. He has come to eliminate the revolution, eradicate the revolutionaries and quickly turn the revolution into a counter-revolution. We should never forget that half of those who participated in the Egyptian revolution are either in prison or a cemetery. What we have seen in Sudan was a coup against the revolution, not Omar Al-Bashir.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.