- Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir faces a financial squeeze ahead of 2020 elections
- Attempts at conciliation have not yet got Sudan off the U.S. terrorist supporters list
- Mr. Bashir is maneuvering for foreign sponsors to keep himself in power
Even after South Sudan’s secession in 2011, Sudan remains a multiethnic and multireligious state. The highly centralized regime in Khartoum struggles to rule a country split between three distinct identities: Arab, Afro-Arab, and African. In the states of Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan, where self-determination aspirations persist, a low-intensity conflict continues, pitting the Sudanese Armed Forces against the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N).
Open contestation of President Omar al-Bashir’s regime has reached cities like Port Sudan and Khartoum. The austerity measures adopted in the 2018 budget (which include reduced wheat and energy subsidies) led to a sharp rise in consumer prices: bread, meat and sugar prices doubled, in a country where the average wage remains $200 a month. Mass dissatisfaction with the subsidy cuts was aggravated by the earmarking of three-quarters of the 2018 budget to defense and security outlays.