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Explainer

A timeline of events in Sudan from the fall of Bashir until the apparent coup

Recap of developments from the toppling of autocratic leader in 2019 to Monday’s detention of PM and other ministers and officials by the military

Sudanese protesters flash victory signs and lift national flags as they demonstrate on 60th Street in the capital Khartoum, to denounce overnight detentions by the army of government members, on October 25, 2021. (Photo by AFP)
Sudanese protesters flash victory signs and lift national flags as they demonstrate on 60th Street in the capital Khartoum, to denounce overnight detentions by the army of government members, on October 25, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

KHARTOUM — Here is a recap of events in Sudan since autocratic president Omar al-Bashir was toppled over two years ago:

2019: Bashir ousted

On April 11, 2019, four months after mass protests sparked by a hike in bread prices spiral into demands for wholesale reform, Sudan’s army removes Bashir from power.

He is replaced by a transitional military government.

Thousands camp in front of army headquarters demanding civilian rule.

Talks between the generals and protest leaders break down.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir delivers a speech at the presidential palace in the capital Khartoum on January 3, 2019. (Ashraf Shazly/AFP)

Bloody crackdown

Armed men move in on the protest camp on June 3, 2019 and dozens are killed in a days-long crackdown.

A feared paramilitary group that sprang from the notorious Janjaweed militia, accused of war crimes in the 2003 Darfur conflict, is blamed for the violence, but rejects allegations it was involved.

Power-sharing

After the African Union intervenes, civilian and military factions agree to share power in a three-year transition to full civilian rule.

Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, the deputy head of the military council, right, and Protest leader Ahmad Rabie hold up a signed agreement at a ceremony attended by African Union and Ethiopian mediators in the capital Khartoum, Sudan, August 4, 2019 (AP Photo)

On August 17, 2019 a “constitutional declaration” is signed and a sovereign council comprising leading military and civilian figures is formed three days later.

In October, the government and rebel groups who had fought Bashir’s iron-fisted rule for decades agree to a “permanent ceasefire” in the country’s three war zones.

Bashir convicted

On December 14, 2019 Bashir is convicted of corruption and sentenced to two years in a correctional center.

The toppled autocrat has long been wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague over charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in the 2003 Darfur conflict in which 300,000 people were killed.

A Khartoum prosecutor rejects extradition as not “necessary.”

2020: Unrest spreads

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok survives an assassination attempt on March 9, 2020, which many see as a bid to derail the transition.

Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok chairs a cabinet meeting in the capital Khartoum, on September 21, 2021. (AFP)

Inflation skyrockets in April to 99 percent and higher, with food prices soaring after borders are closed to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

On June 30, 2020 street demonstrations reiterate demands for justice for people killed under Bashir and during the protests of recent years.

Bashir tried for coup

Bashir goes on trial in Khartoum on July 21, 2020, over the 1989 coup that brought him to power.

The government announces it will devalue the currency in a bid to curb black market activity as it struggles with an “economic emergency.”

Peace deal

In October 2020, Sudan signs a landmark peace deal with an alliance of rebel groups.

Two key groups refuse to sign and tribes in Sudan’s east also oppose the accord, saying it overlooks them.

Also in October 2020, Sudan agrees to normalize ties with Israel, in what is seen as a quid pro quo for the US to remove the country from its State Sponsors of Terrorism list in December.

Ethiopia tensions

In November, conflict breaks out in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, sending tens of thousands of refugees into Sudan.

Refugees from the Tigray region of Ethiopia arrive at Hamdayet, Sudan on Saturday, November 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Marwan Ali)

The fighting rekindles a decades-old dispute between Sudan and Ethiopia over the fertile border region of Al-Fashaqa. Khartoum sends troops to secure the area.

The two countries are also at odds over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, as Sudan — along with Egypt — are both downstream from Ethiopia on the Nile.

2021: Fragile government

Sudan in February announces a new cabinet including seven ministers from ex-rebel groups.

In June, Hamdok warns of fractures within the civilian alliance that spearheaded the anti-Bashir protests.

Military ‘coup’

Protests in eastern Sudan block trade through the key hub of Port Sudan from September into October.

Khartoum announces on September 21 that it has thwarted a coup attempt by civilian and military plotters linked to Bashir’s ousted regime.

Protesters take to the streets in Khartoum from October 16 to demand a military government, ostensibly at the behest of a splinter faction of the main civilian protest bloc.

Sudanese protesters take part in a rally demanding the dissolution of the transitional government, outside the presidential palace in Khartoum on October 16, 2021. (Ashraf Shazly/AFP)

In response, tens of thousands demonstrate on October 21 in support for the country’s transition to a civilian-led democracy.

On Monday, the information ministry says armed forces detain civilian members of the ruling council and ministers in the government, as well as premier Hamdok, after he refused to support their “coup.”

News of the detentions sparks demonstrations in the capital.

The ministry says internet services have been cut across the country and the main roads and bridges connecting with Khartoum shuttered.

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