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Sudan’s military takes power in coup

Context:

Sudan’s military seized power recently dissolving the transitional government hours after troops arrested the acting Prime Minister and other officials.

Thousands of people flooded into the streets to protest the coup that threatens the country’s shaky progress toward democracy.

The takeover comes more than two years after protesters forced the ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir and just weeks before the military was expected to hand the leadership of the council that runs the country over to civilians.

Relevance:

Prelims, GS-II: International Relations (Important political developments), Prelims, GS-I: Geography (Maps)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Understanding democracy and autocracy
  2. What is a Coup d’état?
  3. More about Sudan
  4. Recently in news: Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)

Understanding democracy and autocracy

A Democracy is a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.

In simple words, A democracy means rule by the people.

The two current types of democracy are:

  1. Direct democracy: The people directly deliberate and decide on legislation.
  2. Indirect / Representative democracy: The people elect representatives to deliberate and decide on legislation (such as in parliamentary or presidential democracy.)

The opposite of Democracy is Autocracy.

  • Autocracy is a system of government in which supreme power over a state is concentrated in the hands of one person (commonly referred to as a dictator), whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularized mechanisms of popular control (except perhaps for the implicit threat of coup d’état or other forms of rebellion).
  • Both totalitarian and military dictatorship are often identified with, but need not be, an autocracy.
  • Totalitarianism is a system where the state strives to control every aspect of life and civil society. It can be headed by a supreme leader, making it autocratic, but it can also have a collective leadership such as a commune, military junta, or a single political party as in the case of a one-party state.

What is a Coup d’état?

  • A coup d’état (usually shortened to coup) is the seizure and removal of a government and its powers.
  • Typically, it is an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a political faction, military, or a dictator.
  • Many scholars consider a coup successful when the usurpers seize and hold power for at least seven days.

Recently in news -Myanmar: What is military Junta?

Military junta is a government led by a committee of military leaders.

The term is now used to refer to an authoritarian form of government characterized by oligarchic military dictatorship, as distinguished from other categories of authoritarian rule, specifically

  1. strongman (autocratic military dictatorships);
  2. machine (oligarchic party dictatorships); and
  3. bossism (autocratic party dictatorships).

Currently, it can be said that Myanmar is essentially ruled by a Military junta.

More about Sudan

  • Sudan is a country in Northeast Africa which borders Egypt to the north, Libya to the northwest, Chad to the west, the Central African Republic to the southwest, South Sudan to the south, Ethiopia to the southeast, Eritrea to the east, and the Red Sea to the northeast.
  • Sudan is Africa’s third-largest country by area. From the 19th century, the entirety of Sudan was conquered by Egypt under the Muhammad Ali dynasty.
  • Since independence in 1956, Sudan has been ruled by a series of unstable parliamentary governments and military regimes.
  • Unstable governments exacerbated the rift between the Islamic north, the seat of the government and the Animists and Christians in the south.
  • Differences in language, religion, and political power erupted in a civil war between government forces, strongly influenced by the National Islamic Front (NIF), and the southern rebels, whose most influential faction was the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), eventually concluding in the independence of South Sudan in 2011.
  • Islam was the Sudan’s state religion and Islamic laws applied from 1983 until 2020 when the country became a secular state.
  • Sudan is a member of the United Nations, the Arab League, African Union, COMESA, Non-Aligned Movement and the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation.

Recently in news: Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)

  • The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) was formerly known as the Millennium Dam and sometimes referred to as Hidase Dam and it is a gravity dam on the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia under construction since 2011.
  • The primary purpose of the dam is electricity production to relieve Ethiopia’s acute energy shortage and for electricity export to neighboring countries.
  • With a planned installed capacity of 6.45 gigawatts, the dam will be the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa when completed, as well as the seventh largest in the world.
  • Recently, Saudi Arabia has thrown its weight behind Egypt and Sudan in their bitter dispute with Ethiopia over a massive hydropower dam built by the latter on the Blue Nile, the Nile River’s main tributary.

-Source: The Hindu

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