Gulf Loses Patience With Sudan

As protests against the 30-year regime of Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir enter a third month the reluctance of traditional Gulf allies to provide financial backing leaves him increasingly isolated.

More than two months since protests began on 19 December against an increase in the price of bread and other basic commodities, demonstrations in Sudan have morphed into a countrywide challenge to the regime of President Omar al-Bashir. Pent up frustration with the regime and its failure to provide basic political freedoms and decent living standards has been uncorked. Thousands of protestors have taken to the streets in towns and cities across the country demanding that Mr Bashir step down as well as demanding an end to the corrupt cronyist regime that he embodies.

“The sustained protests have shaken the pillars of government for the first time in 30 years,” says Anwar Elhaj, executive director of Sudan Democracy First Group. “It’s the first time that political parties, civil society organizations, professional organizations and reformist Islamists have stood together protesting change. It’s a big group for the government to ignore or to crush by force.” Protestors are demanding that Bashir step down and a four-year transitional period be ushered in with a technocratic government laying the basis for fundamental political and economic reform. (CONTINUED - 1093 WORDS)