Current events in South Sudan (and Addis Ababa) continue to grab the headlines, and preoccupy the attention of most analysts, including this author. But that should not imply there have been no recent notable events north of the border. Here are three, mostly un or underreported developments in Sudan, and some thoughts on their implications. Continue reading
Most attention has focused on the resignation of Ali Osman Taha and his replacement as first vice-president by Bakri Hassan Saleh. While Bakri’s ascension may in time prove to be the decisive move in the Bashir succession drama, I’d argue that its immediate significance has been overplayed. Recall: Bakri has been at Bashir’s side since the regime’s beginning. As minister of presidential affairs from 1998 to 2000 and again from 2005 onwards, he has steered policy in the presidency and served to mediate party and army concerns. He is one of the main gatekeepers to those seeking access to presidential decision making. His elevation in the constitutional hierarchy does not alter his already formidable power and influence. The army is central to state policy concerns; that is unchanged. We will now see much more of Bakri, the man. But Bakri’s mentality has long been on display.