Sudan’s New Ruling Body Faces First Test of Governance
Less than a week after taking control of a country wallowing in military-civilian friction and violence, Sudan’s new Sovereignty Council has declared an emergency and sacked two top officials in a coastal state where tribal clashes have claimed at least 16 lives. Given a mandate on August 20 in the wake of a power-sharing agreement by civilians and the country’s military following the April 11 ouster of president Omar al-Bashir, the council fired the governor and head of security for Sudan’s eastern Red Sea State. Eyewitnesses say members of two major tribes began attacking each other outside Post Sudan city last week, with the clashes continuing into the weekend. The city is home to the country’s primary sea port, making it key to ensuring a steady flow of imports and exports, the latter consisting primarily of oil. A spokesman for the Sovereignty Council of Sudan, the ruling body’s official name, said security forces had been moved in, and that there would be an investigation. Abdalla Hamdok, named prime minister under the country’s power-sharing agreement, is set to name a government later in the week. Bashir, meanwhile, is on trial in Khartoum on charges of widespread corruption, including the embezzlement of millions of dollars and further millions he is accused of having kept for himself after cash injections from at least one Gulf state. He is also wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes stemming from the lengthy unrest in Sudan’s Darfur province over a decade ago.