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Sudan: Will the June 30th processions signal a coup d’etat?

Wednesday marks the second anniversary of the June 30th processions –the original June 30th processions having been held in 2019–after of the infamous sit-in dispersal chaos that took place in that same year. The 2019 processions had played a role in forcing the ex-military council to resume negotiations with the Freedom Forces Coalition. Might the processions in Sudan for this June 30th pave the way for a coup d’etat?

AlTaghyeer: Elfadil Ibrahim

The second anniversary comes under different circumstances this year, circumstances which have witnessed divisions with the ranks of the December revolutionaries, the debilitating economic disaster Sudan is currently going through, the fragility in the state of nationwide security, and political instability.

The current circumstances have driven some in Sudan to question whether, this June 30th, a coup d’etat was in the making amidst the chaos.

However, most experts and analysts have concurred that the chances of a military takeover are slim, given the internal complications and the absolute refusal of such a matter by both international and regional entities.

Chances for a Coup

Mohammed Tor Shein, academic and political analysts, rules out the probability of Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan – or the Sudanese military institute–going through with a coup d’etat that would send the civilian half of the transitional government packing.

Tor Shein affirmed to AlTaghyeer that, “even though the economic situation is bad, the security situation is fragile, along with the political instability issue, despite that, in my own personal assessment, I don’t think any person within their right mind would consider such a thing given the current circumstances.”

The political analyst also believes that “any military coup would be completely unacceptable to the international community”.

He pointed out to the military component within the Sudanese government lacking allies within the UN Security Council, and more specifically, lacking alliance with countries that hold veto rights, rendering the probability of a military takeover over the transitional government’s civilian half unfeasible for the time being.

Tor Shein also brought attention to the situation in Chad, noting that what had occurred after the assassination of Idriss Deby was an exceptional case, and that old fashioned military coups are no longer in demand and no longer receive the support of the international community.

Clarifying what had occurred in Chad, the analyst explained that the events that took place there came about through consensus made among individuals within the military institution and blessings from the international community; which might not have offered these blessings had it not been due to the circumstances that Chad was going through.

An Agenda

The political analyst clarified that Sudan is now part of an international agenda, and that the international community has begun to fulfill some of its obligations towards Sudan, making it difficult for the world to allow the current facts on the ground to change.

Tor Shein believes that the military component is aligned in its thinking, be it the army, the Rapid Support Forces, or the General Intelligence Service, indicating that these components always come to terms with each other.

Regarding what is being raised about the tensions between the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), he supposes that these differences may be caused by the calls – and al-Burhan’s desire – for integration, but are not severe enough to prompt the exclusion of one party or another from the political scene.

He continues by saying that “On the other hand, we find that Hemedti (RSF Commander in Chief) is emboldened and strengthened by his forces that he relies on politically, so he is keen not to lose them, therefore when he sensed the army’s desire to integrate, he sought communication with Turkey, the Emirates, and even Egypt, which does not want even support the existence of the RSF.”

With regard to the presence of Islamist cells in the army, who might contribute to bringing about political change in conjunction with 30th June anniversary, Tor Shein considered this illogical, in terms of the fact that most of the influential Islamists in the army have been expelled and even among Islamists outside the military establishment –civilian Islamists– there are great differences.


Expert on security issues Tariq Muhammad Abdallah finds himself in agreement with Tor Shein’s sentiment, stating that he does not believe that a coup could take place “before, during, or even after June 30th.”

Even in the event all hell breaks loose in regards to security matters, Tariq believes “the army and the joint forces are more than capable of swiftly dealing with any hypothetical insecurity issue.”

Tariq Abdallah explained to AlTaghyeer that in order for a successful coup d’etat to take place, a few things need to be in order first, most importantly a regional or international force backing the coup, along with a political incubator and internal factors concerned with establishing the existence of threats to national security; all which are currently unavailable for a successful coup to take place in Sudan.


Abdallah however, believes that one factor, such as strikes, could potentially legitimize aforementioned national security concerns, and specifically pointed to what has been circulating regarding the national police organizing strikes, referring to the fact that any absence for the police from the public eye for a period of more than two days gives reason for the army to descend in an effort to restore security.

And, going back to the issue of the RSF—Sudanese army differences concerning the army merger, Abdullah explained that the rapid support is actually affiliated with the army, and that there are currently 2,000 army officers in the RSF who hold important and strategic positions.

He attributed what was happening to the fact that it was no more than sensitivity between both Sudanese armed forces and RSF leaders, al-Burhan and Hemedti respectively, as a result of the sovereignty council’s deputy chairman’s meeting with the Israeli delegation without al-Burhan’s knowledge, thus angering the head of the sovereignty council; a matter which Hemedti could have avoided had he notified the head of the Sovereignty Council (al-Burhan) after the meeting.

Abdullah ruled out the hypothesis of a coup backed by Islamists being a-brewing, saying that “they have tried the ruling and reached a conviction that the military coup is futile. They are far from the political scene at present, especially the National Congress, and even they won’t lend support to anyone trying to carry out a military coup.”


For his part, Ja’far Hassan, the official spokesperson for the federal gathering, confirmed that all pointers are currently signaling towards a peaceful transfer of power in Sudan, until the end of the transitional period.

Hassan told AlTaghyeer, “The whole world is now supporting Sudan’s steps towards a democratic transition, so we expect the current government to complete its tasks until the end of the transitional period.”

Relying on the Protestors

Regarding what is being raised about the intention of some to create chaos and confusion on June 30, Hassan affirmed his confidence in the revolutionaries and their usual peacefulness.

“Anyone who tries to sabotage is certainly not a revolutionist,” he added, calling on the authorities to do their duty in the event of any kind of chaos and sabotage.

He said that the genius of the revolutionaries transformed the symbolism of June 30th from a pessimistic day into a joyful one where messages were sent emphasizing the civil state and farewell to the era of military coups.

Hassan stressed the importance of celebrating the symbolism of the day, and said that “the government must acknowledge that the people have demands,” pointing out that the revolutionaries’ departure on this day will also fill any void through which the enemies of the revolution and the remnants try to sabotage the gains of the December revolution.

Revolution: A Second Wave

The head of the Umma Forces Party and the former parliamentarian, Mahmoud Abdel-Jabbar, stressed on how difficult the execution of a military coup would be, but predicts that a “second wave” of the December revolution would kick-off on the 30th of June in all cities in Sudan.

Abdul-Jabbar said that the second wave of the revolution will be the strongest because it represents the revolution of the hungry, adding that “The day (30th) of June will have its aftermath, and a change may occur at the level of the government, and we do not mean a coup, but perhaps a ministerial change, or decisions.”

He expects that the Empowerment Committee could be dissolved, the government’s political incubator could be replaced, or perhaps –according to him– the constitutional document might even be abolished.

Chances of a Successful Coup

Director of the Conflict Analysis Center at the Islamic University, Rashid al-Tijani, reemphasized the difficulty of a political coup, be it al-Burhan overthrowing the civilian government, or even junior officers in the army; the most likely to carry out coups.

Rashid told AlTaghyeer that the chance for a coup at the present time, despite economic pressures, security fragility, and political instability, is zero.

“The June 30th revolutionary movement will not be able to trigger a coup unless it turns into a massive, widespread and continuous popular uprising that incorporates all the cities of the country, then a change can occur.”

Bad for Business

Al-Tijani pointed out that the military component’s leadership of the Sovereign Council, represented in al-Burhan, will not risk excluding any party and it is not in its interest to commit such an unwise move without foreseeing the consequences.

He explained that the military coup, in general, needs popular support and cover and will not succeed in the absence of those.

With regard to the June 30 movement, al-Tijani said that the size of the movement will determine the type of change.

The greater the movement will force the government to make amendments, pointing out that the Prime Minister, Abdullah Hamdok, anticipates June 30 by making reforms and announcing political, economic and security decisions that might perhaps help reduce the size of counter-movements.

Al-Tijani stressed that the military and security establishments, despite what was said about the existence of differences between them, do not rise to the level of Saddam, or would resort to political change by pitting one party against another.

He explained that the obstacles and barriers to any coup, whether from military presence within or outside the Sovereignty Council, are great and will harm their interests; hence why they are currently committed to the longevity of the status-quo.

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