March 8, 2019 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir, on Friday, has issued a number of decrees promoting several army officers to higher ranks and transferring a limited number of officers to retirement.
In a press statement seen by Sudan Tribune, Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) spokesperson Ahmed Khalifa al-Shami said the decrees come in accordance with the 1993 SAF law and regulations.
However, the statement didn’t elaborate on whether or not the reshuffle has included top officers at the army command of joint staff.
Large protests have been ongoing across Sudanese cities since 19 December. The demonstrations first began over fuel shortages and a hike in food prices but have now morphed into full-fledged protests calling for al-Bashir to step down.
Last February, al-Bashir reshuffled the Sudanese army command and appointed a minister of state defence to second his defence minister who is also the first vice president.
Al-Bashir on 22 February declared a one-year state of emergency and dissolved the federal and states governments appointing 18 militaries as governors of the states.
Last January, Defence Minister, Awad Ibn Ouf, and SAF’s Chief of General Staff Kamal Abdel-Marouf vowed full support to President al-Bashir saying the army wouldn’t hand over the country to the “homeless”.
Large segments of the Sudanese society have called on the SAF to take the side of the people and interfere to seize power as it has done during the October revolution of 1964 and the April uprising of 1985.
However, many intellectuals doubted that SAF would take similar action as it did in 1964 and 1985 saying the army is no longer a neutral institution.
They pointed out that the regime of President al-Bashir has carried out deep structural changes in the army during the past three decades dismissing thousands of officers and replacing them with Islamists loyal to the regime.