Abdel Fattah al-Burhan
Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan (Arabic: عبد الفتاح عبد الرحمن البرهان) (born 1960) is a Sudanese politician and Sudanese Army lieutenant general who is currently serving as Chairman of the Sovereignty Council of Sudan, the country's collective transitional head of state. Before assuming this role in August of 2019, he was the de facto head of state of Sudan as Chairman of the Transitional Military Council after former Chairman Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf resigned and transferred control in April 2019.
Abdel Fattah al-Burhan
عبد الفتاح البرهان
|Chairman of the Sovereignty Council|
|Assumed office |
21 August 2019
|Prime Minister||Abdalla Hamdok|
|Deputy||Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo|
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Chairman of the Transitional Military Council|
12 April 2019 – 20 August 2019
|Deputy||Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo|
|Preceded by||Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished|
|Born||1960 (age 58–59)|
Kundato, River Nile, Sudan
Chairmanship of Military CouncilEdit
In early June 2019, following al-Burhan's and Dagalo's visits to the Egyptian, UAE and Saudi leaders, the Sudanese Security Forces and Rapid Support Forces, including Janjaweed militias, led by al-Burhan and his deputy cracked down on peaceful protests in Sudan, starting with the 3 June Khartoum massacre. Dozens of peaceful protesters were killed and about forty of the bodies were thrown in the river Nile, hundreds were tortured, violated and raped in the streets of Khartoum.
El-Baghdadi interpreted the decision-making by the TMC under al-Burhan's leadership as being strongly influenced by the general context of the Saudi, UAE and Egyptian leaders being afraid of democratic movements. Mahmoud Elmutasim, a political activist and doctor who graduated from the University of Khartoum, similarly stated that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are opposed to the existence of democracies in the Middle East, since if "the idea of democracy itself [should] ever take root, or become widespread in the Middle East," then it would constitute a threat to the governmental systems of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Several human rights organizations including Human Rights Watch condemned the Burhan-led TMC for shutting down internet. A spokesperson, Shamseldin Kabbashi, stated that the internet would be shut down for a long time because it represented a threat to national security. The move was described by HRW as a "Gross violation of human rights". International media saw this as a sign of dictatorship and condemned the act. Many believe it was an attempt to hide what Al Burhan's allied militia known as the Janjaweed were doing in Khartoum and to delay uploading evidence of the violations that took place on the 3 June 2019 and the days that followed.
Civilian government negotiationsEdit
Numerous protesters asked for a civilian government. On Saturday 13 April 2019, Burhan announced that a civilian government would soon be established. Burhan promised that the transitional period would take a maximum of two years. Negotiations started to take place with the opposition leaders to achieve this.
In late May 2019, al-Burhan visited the Egyptian president el-Sisi and the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. İyad el-Baghdadi, a human rights activist who became famous during the Arab Spring, later interpreted these visits (together with a visit by TMC deputy leader Dagalo to Mohammad bin Salman in Saudi Arabia) as encouragements for the TMC to cancel negotiations with the opposition.
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- correspondent, Jason Burke Africa; Salih, and Zeinab Mohammed (5 June 2019). "Sudan paramilitaries threw dead protesters into Nile, doctors say". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
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- el-Baghdadi, Iyad (11 June 2019). "The Princes Who Want to Destroy Any Hope for Arab Democracy". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
- "Chaos reigns in Sudan as military clings to power amid information blackout". TRT World. 11 June 2019. Archived from the original on 11 June 2019. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
- Arab, The New. "Sudan generals 'will not restore' internet because it poses a threat". alaraby. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
- Mitchell, Charlotte. "Internet blackouts: The rise of government-imposed shutdowns". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
- Avenue, Human Rights Watch | 350 Fifth; York, 34th Floor | New; t 1.212.290.4700, NY 10118-3299 USA | (12 June 2019). "Sudan: End Network Shutdown Immediately". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
- "To end mass protests, Sudan has cut off Internet access nationwide. Here's why". The Washington Post. 16 June 2019. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
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