Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 21 September 2019

Beyond the Headlines: What’s next as Sudan takes tentative steps towards democracy?

We look at the challenges Khartoum faces days after signing an agreement to steer the country to democracy

Sudan's 11 new leaders were sworn in on Wednesday, marking the first step in implementing a two-year transition agreement signed by the military heads and protest leaders over the weekend.

The Sovereign Council will act as a joint presidency as Sudan begins to grapple with the massive challenges that lie ahead – from fixing the food shortages, breadlines and economic disaster to ending simmering ethnopolitical conflicts.

Meanwhile, in a courtroom near Khartoum, lawyers have begun the opening arguments in their case against former President Omar Al Bashir.

After nearly three decades, Mr Al Bashir was removed from office by the military in the face of mass, monthslong rallies in April.

Now the joint council of military and protesters will lead the country towards elections.

This week we spoke with Hamza Hendawi, The National's Cairo correspondent who is in Khartoum covering the changes taking place. He'll tell us about the mood on the streets and the challenges the country faces.

We'll also hear from Sara Abduljaleel, a spokeswoman for the Sudanese Professionals Association – one of the leading umbrella groups that organised the protests.

She’s based in London but has been active in the group.

She'll tell us about her hopes and concerns for the coming months.

We covered the situation in Sudan a few weeks ago in the aftermath of Mr Al Bashir's removal from power. If you've not heard that episode yet, there's a link below.

Updated: August 22, 2019 09:43 AM

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