Russia’s role in propping up al-Bashir revealed
Publish date: 26 April 2019
Issue Number: 4686
Diary: Legalbrief Today
Category: A Matter of Justice
When anti-government protests erupted in Sudan at the end of last year, the response of President Omar al-Bashir came straight from the dictators' playbook – a clampdown that led to numerous civilian deaths. At the same time, a more insidious strategy was being developed. It involved spreading misinformation on social media, blaming Israel for fomenting the unrest, and even carrying out public executions to make an example of ‘looters’. According to documents seen by CNN, it was drawn up by a Russian company tied to an oligarch favoured by the Kremlin: Yevgeny Prigozhin. One official of the former regime said Russian advisers monitored the protests and began devising a plan to counter them with what he called ‘minimal but acceptable loss of life’. The report notes that while the documents do not come from official Russian agencies, they were essentially a blueprint for protecting the Kremlin's interests in Sudan and keeping al-Bashir in power.
About 100 Sudanese judges have demanded civilian rule, joining anti-government protests for the first time yesterday. Wearing their black robes, some of the judges carried signs reading 'judges for change' as they marched through central Khartoum. 'Civilian, civilian, protected by the judiciary,' they chanted. A report on the News Trust site notes that the Transitional Military Council and the opposition have been at loggerheads over how long it will take to move to civilian rule after the military removed al-Bashir. Yesterday's march is the first by judges in Sudan since before al-Bashir took power in an Islamist-backed military coup in 1989.