Sudan: Anticipatory Actions for Unrest, DREF No. MDRSD030 – Final Report – Sudan



description of the disaster

In December 2018, the economic crisis sparked protests that led to the ousting of the former president in April 2019, Sudan’s Revolution of 2019 – New Politics. A Transitional Military Council (TMC) was established; However, this did not stop ongoing protests calling for the formation of a civilian government, leading to the formation of a hybrid sovereignty council with military and civilian members and an interim government in September 2019. On October 25, 2021, the Sudanese Military Council, led by the Supreme Commander of the Sudanese Armed Forces, took over the government in a military coup that drew popular opposition. In addition, the interim government was dissolved, a state of emergency was declared and the majority of the Hamdok cabinet and several pro-government supporters were arrested. In addition, from mid-September to late October 2021, protesters from the Beja tribe in eastern Sudan had blocked highways leading from Port Sudan to the rest of the country and forced the closure of Red Sea ports to protest the interim government and the poor economic situation protest conditions. With seaports and highways closing from Port Sudan to the rest of the country, the government warned that the country would run out of life-saving medicines, fuel and wheat supplies as the port was closed and ongoing protests could fuel further unrest.

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Key civilian groups, including the Sudanese Professionals Association and Forces of Freedom and Change, called for civil disobedience and non-cooperation with the putschists. The protests against the coup began on October 25 and 26 and have continued regularly since then. The Foreign Ministry, the Information Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office refused to recognize the transfer of power, saying that the coup was a crime and flouted the constitutional agreement and that Hamdok should remain Prime Minister.

On October 26, the African Union suspended Sudan’s membership pending a return to power of the Hamdok government. On October 27, the European Union, the United States and other Western powers said they continue to recognize the Hamdok cabinet as “the constitutional leaders of the interim government” and insisted that their ambassadors have access to Hamdok. Faced with internal and international opposition, on October 28 al-Burhan declared his willingness to restore the Hamdok cabinet, although the deposed prime minister rejected this initial offer and made any further dialogue conditional on the full restoration of the pre-coup system.

On November 21, 2021, Hamdok and al-Burhan signed a 14-point agreement reinstating Hamdok as prime minister and declaring that all political prisoners would be released. Civilian groups, including Forces for Freedom and Change and the Sudanese Professionals Association, opposed the deal and refused to continue sharing power with the military. The protests continued, with demonstrators shouting slogans, blocking roads and burning tires. There was civil disobedience, schools, shops and gas stations were closed in Geneina. Protests outside the capital took place in Omdurman, Atbara, Dongola, El-Obeid, Port Sudan, Gezira and Red Sea State. Security forces used live fire as they attempted to clear protesters’ roadblocks in Khartoum. In the evening there were large demonstrations in districts and main streets in Khartoum.

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The situation described above has arisen as Sudan continues to grapple with an economic crisis that has led to rising inflation rates that are disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable. Meanwhile, the Sudanese people are also coping with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the needs caused by the devastating floods and Tigray crisis in Ethiopia. The disruptions caused by this political situation threatened to worsen the humanitarian situation.

Ahead of the October 25 coup and in anticipation of heightened tensions that could have led to conflict, the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) launched a DREF operation on October 14 through the IFRC Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF). CHF148,255 to strengthen the Sudan Red Crescent Society’s preparedness capacity to anticipate, prepare for and respond to humanitarian needs arising from civil unrest and conflict by training 200 volunteers and supporting the delivery of first aid kits at identified hotspots. This standby support should ensure that SRCS can assist at least 10,000 people threatened by the unrest in 6 hotspot states. An Operation Update was released on November 23, 2021 to update stakeholders on the progress of the DREF operation and to request an extension of the timeline from 3 months to 4 months, which will take place on February 28, 2022 instead of the originally planned January 28 ends 2022 to start the response phase of the operation based on the identified needs and request the second allocation of CHF 81,834 in support of the response measures. The audited total budget rose to CHF 230,089. The focus of the DREF-funded operation was to ensure response capacity is in place to provide first aid, ambulances, evacuations and health posts by providing the essential elements and training the national and industry level response teams and volunteers.

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