Sudan peace? Why protesters aren’t embracing deal ending coup.

For weeks Sudanese protesters demanded an end to a military coup and the release of chief Minister Abdalla Hamdok. Now, despite a coup-ending deal that was hailed as a victory by the international community, protesters have swiftly turned against Mr. Hamdok for conceding too much to the military.

It is part of a boiling over of frustration that the international community, in its pursuit of compromise and diplomacy, has shut average Sudanese out of the change away from dictatorship, which they say is moving too slowly.

Why We Wrote This

Perspective matters. Viewed from outside, the peaceful restoration of a civilian chief minister in Sudan was a diplomatic triumph. But on Sudan’s streets, protesters say their voices nevertheless aren’t being heard.

Since the overthrow of dictator Omar al-Bashir, the international community has worked with decades-old political parties, technocrats, and the military. However, critics say the West has overlooked the people who powered the dramatical change.

“At the root of all this is the fact that not the international community, nor the military, nor the political elites in Khartoum reach out to these youth groups, women’s groups, and resistance committees that have been the drivers of political change,” says Kholood Khair, manager of a Khartoum think tank that provides change policy advice.

“There is a enormous disconnect. The whole change is predicated on a shallow examination that doesn’t take into account where the real politics happen – on the ground.”

AMMAN, Jordan

It was Ahmed’s sixth protest in six weeks.

Despite the risks from the military’s deadly crackdown on displays, the unemployed Sudanese university graduate says he had nothing to lose.

“There is no going back,” the 20-something says from Khartoum, Sudan, while participating in nationwide protests Monday.

Why We Wrote This

Perspective matters. Viewed from outside, the peaceful restoration of a civilian chief minister in Sudan was a diplomatic triumph. But on Sudan’s streets, protesters say their voices nevertheless aren’t being heard.

“No to negotiations, no to collaboration with the military, yes to dramatical change,” he adds. “Either we unprotected to a complete, civilian democracy right now, or we die an oppressed people.”

The international community is hailing the Nov. 21 deal that ended a nearly monthlong military coup that threatened the country’s steps toward democracy. But Sudanese protesters like Ahmed who demanded the release of civilian chief Minister Abdalla Hamdok now blame him for making too many concessions.

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