Who is Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan, who took power in Sudan?

Who is Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan, who took power in Sudan?
Who is Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan, who took power in Sudan?

Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, who announced today (Monday), the dissolution of transitional institutions and the state of emergency in Sudan, embodies the return of military rule, amid welcome by some and absolute rejection by others who condemned what they described as a “coup”.

Today, Al-Burhan appeared on television in his military uniform, and declared in a firm tone that he wanted to “correct the revolution” that toppled Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

He affirmed that ministers and deputy ministers were relieved of their duties, noting that a large part of them had been arrested since dawn by military forces.

On the street, demonstrators have chanted against him for days, rejecting “military rule.” But for others who demand a military government, he is the savior who will solve all the country’s economic and political problems, according to Agence France-Presse.

Al-Burhan became in the spotlight when he assumed the leadership of the Transitional Military Council following the overthrow of former President Omar al-Bashir by the army on April 11, 2019, following five months of massive demonstrations.

On April 12, Al-Burhan was sworn in as head of the military council that took power after Al-Bashir. Al-Burhan took office after Lieutenant-General Awad Ibn Auf relinquished the presidency of the Military Council after less than 24 hours in power, under pressure from the street, which viewed Ibn Auf as being from within the regime and a close ally of the former president.

Al-Burhan turned from a shadow figure to the de facto president. An army officer, who asked not to be identified, said of him at the time: “Al-Burhan is a high-ranking officer in the armed forces… He was never under the spotlight as is the case for Ibn Auf (who was Minister of Defense) and Lieutenant-General Kamal Abdel Marouf (who was Chief of Army Staff).

In August 2019, after street violence and negotiations with the “Coalition of Freedom and Change” that led the popular protests, the military council signed an agreement with the coalition known as the “constitutional document” that provided for a transitional phase during which civilians and military would share power to lead the country towards elections and rule. civil.

Under this agreement, Al-Burhan headed the Sovereignty Council, which was tasked with supervising the management of the transitional phase. Today, Al-Burhan affirms that he wants to “complete” the transitional process and lead the country towards an “elected civilian government.” But for this, he dissolved the Sovereignty Council and the current government, relieved many officials, and declared a state of emergency in all of the country.

And after two years of the transitional period, Al-Burhan has become accustomed to the spotlight, and he has started to act and be treated as a head of state. He (Wednesday) received an invitation to participate in a summit on Libya that will be held in Paris in mid-November. He regularly receives foreign officials and envoys who visit Sudan.

He generally appears in his military uniform with his decorations on his shoulder, often accompanied by the Vice President of the Sovereignty Council, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as “Hemedti”, the commander of the Rapid Support Forces accused of suppressing the 2019 uprising.

Al-Burhan spent part of his career as a military attaché in Beijing. The Sudanese officer says of Al-Burhan that he is “a senior officer who knows how to lead his forces,” adding: “He has no political inclinations, he is a military man.”

Al-Burhan was born in 1960 in the village of Qandto, north of Khartoum, and studied at the Military College and later in Egypt and Jordan. He is married with three children. He was the commander of the land force before al-Bashir appointed him to the position of inspector general of the army.

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