Additionally, the recently signed Juba agreement allows Lt. General Al-Burhan to continue to lead the SC for another 20 months, rather than stepping down as planned in February 2021.
Burhan's record is considered to be cleaner than that of most of Sudan's generals, and he met with protesters during the Sudanese Revolution
to listen to their demands.
In May 2019, Burhan's first international trip was to Egypt to meet Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
His second visit was to the United Arab Emirates.
Early life and education
Abdel Fattah al-Burhan was born in 1960 in the village of Kundato in northern Sudan
, to a religious 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.
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 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.
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.
By February 26, 2019, during the massive protests that swept the country and demanded the fall of Omar al-Bashir's regime
; Abdel al-Fattah al-Burhan was elevated to the Lieutenant General rank.
Chairmanship of Military Council
Burhan with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev
in October 2019
Burhan with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
in August 2020
Shortly after his appointment, Burhan ordered the release of all jailed prisoners who had been arrested by his predecessor, Omar Al-Bashir, in a televised address.
In early June 2019, following al-Burhan's and Dagalo'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
Dozens of 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.
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.
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.
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.
Several human rights organizations including Human Rights Watch
condemned the Burhan-led TMC for shutting down internet. A spokesperson, Shamseldin Kabbashi, stated that the internet would be shut down for a long time because it represented a threat to national security.
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.
Many believe it was 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 the 3 June 2019 and the days that followed.
Civilian government negotiations
Numerous protesters asked for a civilian government. On Saturday 13 April 2019, Burhan announced that a civilian government would soon be established. Burhan promised that the transitional period would take a maximum of two years.
Negotiations started to take place with the opposition leaders to achieve this.
In late May 2019, al-Burhan visited the Egyptian president el-Sisi
and the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
. İyad 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 Dagalo
to Mohammad bin Salman
in Saudi Arabia) as encouragements for the TMC to cancel negotiations with the opposition.
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.
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Last edited on 2 May 2021, at 00:25
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