Political uncertainty in Sudan bad for Uganda, other nations

Thursday August 8 2019

 

By Aisha N. Majid

Since the overthrow of Omar Hassan al-Bashir on April 11, the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) in Sudan has foiled a number of coup while at the same time engaging protesters in dialogue processes.

Just at the time Africa expected a steady advancement toward instituting democratic electoral processes, thanks to efforts by the African Union and government of Ethiopia to unite the TMC and Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC), then news came in of yet another coup attempt, leading to arrests and detention of senior army and intelligence officers. This is an unfortunate development that prompts an intrusive question: Who is not happy with the new arrangement for a civilian-military transitional government and why?

Earlier, there had been several coup attempts that were nipped in the bud with frustrating effects. These coup attempts are not only a source of discomfort to the people of Sudan, but they also generate worries for the country’s neighbours and economic partners, including Uganda.

For the record, Sudan is one of biggest importers of Uganda’s coffee, with statistics showing that Sudan takes the second position after the European Union. But the EU is a union of 28 countries, so going country by country of those sustaining the Ugandan coffee industry, Sudan ranks number one.

Theretofore, that is the extent of Uganda’s interest and eagerness to see the restoration of stability in Sudan. In general terms, if Sudan sinks into a major civil conflict as a result of the ongoing uncertainty, the scope of political and economic ramifications will most likely spill-over to at least six immediate African neighbouring countries of South Sudan, Central African Republic, Chad, Libya, Egypt and Ethiopia, before sucking in to nations.

That is how central and hurting the Sudan question is to the region and Africa on a continental security context.

Aisha N. Majid,
Kampala University

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