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Can Sudan protests succeed without a leader to replace Al-Bashir?

19 5 13

A month after a spontaneous protest in the Northern Sudan of Atbara, known as the “City of Iron and Fire,” morphed into a series of organised demonstrations, there are still no signs that the resistance movement is coming to an end. What began as a protest against bread, fuel and cash shortages, in an town famous for the intersection of the Sudanese railway system and its now-antiquated Cement factory, became a nation-wide campaign to drive President Al-Bashir and his government out of power.

Atbara has never been a friend of the Islamic movement that came to power in 1989. Located on the Nile River, where locals pride themselves on drinking its brown water for medicinal purposes, the city has been politically recognised as the Northern home of Sudan’s Communist movement. Nevertheless, the question remains in the city and elsewhere in the country, is there a viable alternative political and economic programme to the incumbent government? Will the protests that begun in Atbara lead to the fall of the government or real changes in Sudan?

Families in Atbara remain divided on this question. Some are public sector employees who have benefited from government links with the private sector awarding separate sources of extra income for security or ex-army officers. Others are disillusioned with the conditions created by a government they once supported. However, in the past few days, following government-organised rallies supported by hundreds of thousands of citizens. The danger has emerged of Sudan is fast........

© Middle East Monitor