Abdel Fattah al-Burhan
Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman al-Burhan (Arabic: عبد الفتاح عبد الرحمن البرهان; born 11 July 1960) is a Sudanese politician and Sudanese Army 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 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
Abdel Fattah al-Burhan in 2019
|Chairman of the Sovereignty Council|
|Assumed office |
21 August 2019
|Prime Minister||Abdalla Hamdok|
|Deputy||Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo|
|Preceded by||Position inaugurated|
|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||citation needed]11 July 1960 [|
Qandto, Northern Directorate (present-day River Nile), Sudan
Early life and educationEdit
Abdel Fattah al-Burhan was born in 1960 in the village of Qandto in the River Nile State in Northern Sudan, to a religious family. al-Burhan studied elementary and intermediate level in his village school, and later moved to Shendi to complete his education before joining the Sudanese Military College among the 31st batch.
After graduating from the Military Academy, al-Burhan worked in Khartoum, as part of the Sudanese army, and participated in the fighting fronts in the Darfur war and in the Second Sudanese Civil War in South Sudan and other regions. He later traveled to Egypt and then to Jordan to receive training courses in his military field until in 2018 he was appointed commander of the ground forces of the army. 
Al-Burhan held several positions throughout his career as he began as a soldier with the Border Guard Forces and later became Commander of this Force before becoming Deputy Chief of Staff of the Ground Forces Operations and then Chief of Staff of the Sudanese Army in February 2018 before he served as Inspector General of the Army for a period of time. By February 26, 2019, during the massive protests that swept the country and demanded the fall of Omar al-Bashir's regime; Abdel al-Fattah al-Burhan was elevated to the Lieutenant General rank.
Chairmanship of Military CouncilEdit
Shortly after his appointment, Burhan ordered the release of all jailed prisoners who had been arrested by his predecessor, Omar Al-Bashir, in a televised address.
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, 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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