Abdel Fattah al-Burhan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Abdel Fattah al-Burhan
عبد الفتاح البرهان
Burhan in 2019
Chairman of the Transitional Sovereignty Council
Assumed office
11 November 2021[1]
Prime MinisterOsman Hussein (acting)
DeputyMalik Agar
Preceded byOffice re-established
In office
20 August 2019 – 25 October 2021
Prime MinisterAbdalla Hamdok
DeputyHemedti[2]
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Head of State of Sudan
In office
25 October 2021 – 11 November 2021
Preceded byTransitional Sovereignty Council
Succeeded byTransitional Sovereignty Council
Chairman of the Transitional Military Council
In office
12 April 2019 – 20 August 2019
DeputyHemedti[3]
Preceded byAhmed Awad Ibn Auf
Succeeded byTransitional Sovereignty Council[a]
Commander-in-Chief of the Sudanese Armed Forces[7]
Assumed office
12 April 2019
Preceded byAhmed Awad Ibn Auf
Personal details
Born1960 (age 62–63)
Gandatu, Northern Directorate, Republic of Sudan (present-day River Nile, Sudan)
Military service
Allegiance Sudan
Branch/service Sudanese Army
Years of service1991–present
Rank General[8][9]
Battles/warsSecond Sudanese Civil War
War in Darfur
2023 Sudan conflict

Abdel Fattah al-Burhan Abdelrahman al-Burhan (Arabic: عبد الفتاح البرهان عبد الرحمن البرهان, romanizedʿAbd al-Fattāḥ al-Burhān ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Burhān; born 1960)[10] is a Sudanese army general who is the de facto ruler of Sudan. Following the Sudanese Revolution in April 2019, he was handed control of the military junta, the Transitional Military Council, a day after it was formed, due to protesters' dissatisfaction with the establishment ties of initial leader Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf. He served as chairman of the TMC until a draft constitutional declaration signed with civilians went into effect in August 2019, and a collective head of state Transitional Sovereignty Council was formed, also to be initially headed by al-Burhan.

The 2020 Juba Agreement allowed al-Burhan to continue to lead the Sovereignty Council for another 20 months, rather than stepping down as planned in February 2021.[11] Al-Burhan seized power in a coup d'état in October 2021, dissolved the Sovereignty Council, and reconstituted it the following month with new membership, keeping himself as chairman.[12][13] He was formerly the General Inspector of the Sudanese Armed Forces.[14]

Early life and education[edit]

Abdel Fattah al-Burhan was born in 1961 in the village of Gandatu in northern Sudan, to a Sufi family. Al-Burhan studied elementary and intermediate level in his village school, and later moved to Shendi to complete his education before joining the Sudanese Military College among the 31st batch.[15]

Military career[edit]

After graduating from the Military Academy, al-Burhan worked in Khartoum, as part of the Sudanese army, and participated in the fighting fronts in the Darfur war and in the Second Sudanese Civil War in South Sudan and other regions. He was regional commander in Darfur.[16] Al-Burhan was one of the perpetrators of the Darfur genocide.[17] He later traveled to Egypt and then to Jordan to receive training courses in his military field until in 2018 he was appointed commander of the ground forces of the army.[18]

Al-Burhan held several positions throughout his career as he began as a soldier with the Border Guard Forces and later became commander of this force before becoming Deputy Chief of Staff of the Ground Forces Operations and then Chief of Staff of the Sudanese Army in February 2018 before he served as Inspector General of the Army for a period of time.[19] By 26 February 2019, during the massive protests that swept the country and demanded the fall of Omar al-Bashir's regime, al-Burhan was elevated to the rank of lieutenant general.

Chairman of the Transitional Military Council (2019)[edit]

Al-Burhan with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in October 2019
Al-Burhan with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Russia–Africa Summit in Sochi on 23 October 2019
Al-Burhan with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in August 2020

Shortly after his appointment, al-Burhan ordered the release of all jailed prisoners who had been arrested by his predecessor, Omar al-Bashir, in a televised address.[20]

Khartoum massacre[edit]

In early June 2019, following al-Burhan's and Hemedti's visits to the Egyptian, UAE and Saudi leaders, the Sudanese Security Forces and Rapid Support Forces, including Janjaweed militias, led by al-Burhan and his deputy cracked down on peaceful protests in Sudan, starting with the 3 June Khartoum massacre.[21][22] Human rights groups said that peaceful protesters were killed and about forty of the bodies were thrown in the river Nile, hundreds were tortured, violated and raped in the streets of Khartoum.[21][23]

Al-Burhan's talks with the opposition on forming a combined government were then cancelled. During the days that followed, the TMC arrested several of the opposition leaders.[24][25]

Iyad el-Baghdadi interpreted the decision-making by the TMC under al-Burhan's leadership as being strongly influenced by the general context of the Saudi, UAE and Egyptian leaders being afraid of democratic movements.[26] Mahmoud Elmutasim, a political activist and doctor who graduated from the University of Khartoum, similarly stated that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are opposed to the existence of democracies in the Middle East, since if "the idea of democracy itself [should] ever take root, or become widespread in the Middle East," then it would constitute a threat to the governmental systems of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.[27]

Internet shutdown[edit]

Several human rights organisations including Human Rights Watch (HRW) condemned the al-Burhan-led TMC for shutting down the internet in June 2019.[28] A spokesperson, Shamseldin Kabbashi, stated that the internet would be shut down for a long time because it represented a threat to national security.[29][30] The move was described by HRW as a "gross violation of human rights". International media saw this as a sign of dictatorship and condemned the act.[31] Many see it as an attempt to hide what al-Burhan's allied militia, known as the Janjaweed, were doing in Khartoum and

to delay uploading evidence of the violations that took place on 3 June 2019 and in the days that followed.[32]

Civilian government negotiations[edit]

In May 2019, al-Burhan's first international trip was to Egypt to meet Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.[33] His second visit was to the United Arab Emirates, where he met with the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.[34] Iyad el-Baghdadi, a human rights activist who became famous during the Arab Spring, later interpreted these visits (together with a visit by TMC deputy leader Hemedti to Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia) as encouragements for the TMC to cancel negotiations with the opposition.[26] This comment by Iyad el-Baghdadi and recent developments and his ties to the Egyptian brotherhood which he established long ago when he studied in Egypt has led to the popular belief that al-Burhan has no interest to lead Sudan to a democratic and civilian state. Despite his promise to establish a civilian government by February 2021 as demanded by numerous protesters, his group seems to consistently isolate the civilian government led by Hamdok in key government decisions.[26]

Numerous protesters asked for a civilian government. On Saturday 13 April 2019, al-Burhan announced that a civilian government would soon be established. Al-Burhan promised that the transitional period would take a maximum of two years.[20] Negotiations started to take place with the opposition leaders to achieve this.

Chairman of the Transitional Sovereignty Council (2021-present)[edit]

Al-Burhan with Israel's Minister of Intelligence, Eli Cohen, in January 2021

On 25 October 2021, al-Burhan led the October 2021 Sudanese coup d'état to overthrow the civilian government of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.[35][36] On 21 November 2021, all political prisoners were freed and Abdalla Hamdok was reinstated as prime minister as part of an agreement with the civilian political parties.[37] Hamdok was also allowed to return leading the transitional government.

On 4 December 2021, al-Burhan told Reuters in an interview that the Sudanese military will "exit politics" following the elections scheduled for July 2023, stating, "When a government is elected, I don't think the army, the armed forces, or any of the security forces will participate in politics. This is what we agreed on and this is the natural situation."[38]

On 9 December 2021, al-Burhan warned of possible measures against foreign diplomatic missions for their alleged incitement against the Sudanese army. He also reiterated his commitment to the political agreement struck with Prime Minister Hamdok in November 2021.[39] On December 20 2021, al-Burhan voiced his support for Hamdok, adding that recent appointments had been made as the result of co-ordination between him and the prime minister and in line with the November 21st 2021 political agreement.[40][41]

On 31 December 2021, in a speech, al-Burhan said he was committed to "building all the institutions of transitional government and holding free, fair, and transparent elections at their scheduled time", in July 2023.[42]

Both al-Burhan and Hemedti had ties to Vladimir Putin's regime in Russia. According to Business Insider, "The two generals helped Russian President Vladimir Putin exploit Sudan's gold resources to help buttress Russian finances against Western sanctions and fund his war in Ukraine."[43] On 9 February 2023, al-Burhan met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.[44]

On 2 January 2022 Abdalla Hamdok resigned from his post of prime minister and Osman Hussein was sworn in as acting prime minister.

On 4 July 2022, it was reported that al-Burhan mentioned the army will withdraw from the ongoing political talks and will allow political and revolutionary groups to form a transitional civilian government. This statement followed recent pro-democracy protests where 117 people were killed.[45][46]

On 10 November 2023, al-Burhan condemned Israel's actions in the Gaza Strip during the Israel–Hamas war, saying that "We declare our full solidarity with the Palestinian people and their right to establish their legitimate state on the 1967 borders."[47]

2023 Sudan conflict[edit]

On April 15, 2023, the country's paramilitary Rapid Support Forces launched attacks against al-Burhan's government, claiming to capture key government sites. Al-Burhan has claimed these sites are still under the control of his forces, and fighting is ongoing.[48] As of 21 April, the clashes have continued, although with occasional ceasefires.[49]

The Sudanese military received support from Egypt and allegedly Ukraine. Egypt had sent soldiers and warplanes to Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, while Ukraine has been carrying out drone strikes and has also allegedly sent troops to fight in Omdurman[citation needed]. The other rival, Rapid Support Forces had reportedly received support from Libya and United Arab Emirates as well as Russia's Wagner Group. The foreign involvement in the regional war could have a devastating effect on Sudan.[50]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Al-Burhan also heads the Transitional Sovereignty Council, but his role is weaker than it was on the TMC, with the new council collectively serving as head of state.[4][5][6][1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Sudan army chief names new governing Sovereign Council". Al Jazeera. 11 November 2021. Archived from the original on 21 March 2023. Retrieved 20 March 2023.
  2. ^ "Sudan: Constitutional Decree On Appointment of Sovereignty Council Issued". allAfrica.com. 21 August 2019. Archived from the original on 6 January 2021. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  3. ^ "Sudanese militia commander waits in wings after president ousted". Gulf Times. 23 April 2019. Archived from the original on 26 March 2022. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  4. ^ FFC; TMC (4 August 2019). "(الدستوري Declaration (العربية))" [(Constitutional Declaration)] (PDF). Raise the Voices (in Arabic). Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 August 2019. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  5. ^ FFC; TMC; IDEA; Reeves, Eric (10 August 2019). "Sudan: Draft Constitutional Charter for the 2019 Transitional Period". sudanreeves.org. Archived from the original on 1 November 2019. Retrieved 10 August 2019. Archived 27 October 2021 at archive.today
  6. ^ "Sudan protest leaders, military sign transitional government deal". Al Jazeera English. 17 August 2019. Archived from the original on 17 August 2019. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  7. ^ Hoffmann, Anette (November 2021). "Military coup betrays Sudan's revolution: Scenarios to regain the path towards full civilian rule" (PDF). Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 July 2022. Retrieved 22 March 2023. commander-in-chief of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and chair of Sudan's Sovereignty Council, Lt. General Abdul-Fattah al-Burhan
  8. ^ "Sudan crisis: Mediators over a barrel in mission to end fighting". BBC News. 7 May 2023. Archived from the original on 8 May 2023. Retrieved 8 May 2023.
  9. ^ "Who is al-Burhan, Sudan's military de facto head of state?". Archived from the original on 7 May 2023. Retrieved 8 May 2023.
  10. ^ "Sudan transition: Lt-Gen Burhan sworn in as Sovereign Council chief". BBC News. 21 August 2019. Archived from the original on 29 April 2021. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  11. ^ "Sudanese-Egyptian Military Relations and Geopolitics: Implications for Powering the GERD". African Arguments. 17 December 2020. Archived from the original on 12 April 2021. Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  12. ^ Walsh, Declan; Dahir, Abdi Latif; Marks, Simon (25 October 2021). "Sudan's Military Seizes Power, Casting Democratic Transition Into Chaos". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 26 October 2021. Retrieved 1 May 2023.
  13. ^ Kottasová, Ivana; Mackintosh, Eliza (26 October 2021). "The military has taken over in Sudan. Here's what happened". CNN. Archived from the original on 26 October 2021. Retrieved 1 May 2023.
  14. ^ Abdelaziz, Khalid (12 April 2019). "Head of Sudan's Military Council Steps Down, a Day After President Toppled". Reuters. Archived from the original on 15 April 2019. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  15. ^ "Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the general who leads Sudan". France 24. 25 October 2021. Archived from the original on 28 October 2021. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  16. ^ Walsh, Declan; Dahir, Abdi Latif (16 April 2023). "What Happened on the Second Day of Fighting in Sudan". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 29 April 2023. Retrieved 1 May 2023.
  17. ^ "Sudan's rival generals share a troubled past: genocide in Darfur". NPR. 27 April 2023.
  18. ^ "Who is new head of Sudan's transitional council". Anadolu Agency. 13 April 2019. Archived from the original on 10 October 2018. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  19. ^ "Who is Abdel Fattah al-Burhan". Alhurra. Archived from the original on 13 April 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  20. ^ a b "Civilian government to be established in Sudan: new head of military council". Reuters. 13 April 2019. Archived from the original on 17 June 2019. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  21. ^ a b "'Bodies pulled from Nile' after Sudan crackdown". 5 June 2019. Archived from the original on 6 June 2019. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  22. ^ correspondent, Jason Burke Africa; Salih, and Zeinab Mohammed (5 June 2019). "Sudan paramilitaries threw dead protesters into Nile, doctors say". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 26 December 2019. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  23. ^ "Sudan military offers talks after allegedly killing 100 protesters". CBS News. 5 June 2019. Archived from the original on 15 July 2019. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  24. ^ "2 Sudan rebel leaders arrested after peace talks with Ethiopian PM". Middle East Monitor. 9 June 2019. Archived from the original on 17 November 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  25. ^ "'Bloody massacre': Sudan forces kill at least 35, protesters say". Al Jazeera. Archived from the original on 1 October 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  26. ^ a b c el-Baghdadi, Iyad (11 June 2019). "The Princes Who Want to Destroy Any Hope for Arab Democracy". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 28 August 2019. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  27. ^ "Chaos reigns in Sudan as military clings to power amid information blackout". TRT World. 11 June 2019. Archived from the original on 11 June 2019. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  28. ^ "Sudan crisis: Internet restored – but only for lawyer". BBC News. 24 June 2019. Archived from the original on 28 October 2021. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  29. ^ Arab, The New (12 June 2019). "Sudan generals 'will not restore' internet because it poses a threat". Al Araby. Archived from the original on 8 October 2019. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  30. ^ Mitchell, Charlotte (11 June 2019). "Internet blackouts: The rise of government-imposed shutdowns". Al Jazeera. Archived from the original on 3 February 2020. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  31. ^ "Sudan: End Network Shutdown Immediately". Human Rights Watch. 12 June 2019. Archived from the original on 29 October 2019. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  32. ^ "To end mass protests, Sudan has cut off Internet access nationwide. Here's why". The Washington Post. 16 June 2019. Archived from the original on 8 November 2019. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  33. ^ "Sudan interim military council chief Al-Burhan meets with Egypt's President El-Sisi". Arab News. 25 May 2019. Archived from the original on 27 November 2021. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  34. ^ "Sudan military council chief to visit UAE". Al Arabiya. 26 May 2019. Archived from the original on 8 November 2020. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  35. ^ "Sudan's Burhan declares state of emergency, dissolves government". Reuters. 25 October 2021. Archived from the original on 25 October 2021. Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  36. ^ "Sudan coup 2021: Live updates". Middle East Eye. Archived from the original on 13 November 2021. Retrieved 21 December 2021.
  37. ^ "Sudan's Hamdok reinstated as PM after political agreement signed". Al Jazeera. Archived from the original on 21 November 2021. Retrieved 21 November 2021.
  38. ^ "Sudan's Burhan says military will exit politics after 2023 elections". Reuters. 5 December 2021. Archived from the original on 5 December 2021. Retrieved 5 December 2021.
  39. ^ "Burhan Warns Diplomats Not to Interfere in Sudan's Internal Affairs". Asharq AL-awsat. Archived from the original on 9 December 2021. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  40. ^ "Sudan army chief says he supports PM Hamdok". Middle East Monitor. 21 December 2021. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 21 December 2021.
  41. ^ "Ousted Sudanese Premier Hamdok to restore his post: Sources". Middle East Monitor. 21 November 2021. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 21 December 2021.
  42. ^ Staff, The New Arab (1 January 2022). "Sudan general promises free elections as protest death toll rises". Al Araby. Archived from the original on 1 January 2022. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  43. ^ "The two generals fighting in Sudan helped Putin plunder the country's gold to fund Russia's war in Ukraine". Business Insider. 15 April 2023. Archived from the original on 1 May 2023. Retrieved 29 April 2023.
  44. ^ "Lavrov pledges support for Sudan's efforts to lift UN sanctions". Sudan Tribune. 9 February 2023. Archived from the original on 21 March 2023. Retrieved 29 April 2023.
  45. ^ "Sudan's General al-Burhan says army stepping back from government". Al Jazeera. Archived from the original on 26 April 2023. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  46. ^ Nashed, Mat. "Sudan coup leader bids to co-opt pro-democracy movement". Al Jazeera. Archived from the original on 26 April 2023. Retrieved 1 May 2023.
  47. ^ "Sudan's Al-Burhan calls for end to Israeli 'aggression' against Gaza". Anadolu Agency. 10 November 2023.
  48. ^ "At least 25 killed, 183 injured in ongoing clashes across Sudan as paramilitary group claims control of presidential palace". CNN. 15 April 2023. Archived from the original on 15 April 2023. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  49. ^ Siddiqui, Usaid; Uras, Umut. "Fighting continues in Sudan's capital after army announces truce". Al Jazeera. Archived from the original on 21 April 2023. Retrieved 21 April 2023.
  50. ^ "As War Rages in Sudan, Countries Angle for Advantage". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 22 April 2023. Retrieved 22 April 2020.

External links[edit]

Media related to Abdel Fattah al-Burhan at Wikimedia Commons

Military offices
Preceded by Commander-in-Chief of the Sudanese Armed Forces
2019–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by Chairman of the Transitional Military Council
2019
Succeeded by
New office Chairman of the Transitional Sovereignty Council
2019–present
With an interruption from October–November 2021
Incumbent