S. V. KOSTELYANETS
Candidate of Political Sciences Institute of Africa, Russian Academy of Sciences
Keywords: Arab Spring, Sudan, Islamism, Muslim Brotherhood, foreign policy, conflicts
The Arab crisis, known as the "Arab Spring", began in late 2010 and resulted in regime change in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, the civil war in Syria, and mass unrest in several other Arab countries. The wave of protests has not spared Sudan, which is weakened by serious domestic political and economic problems, primarily related to the separation of the oil-rich south of the country. In the midst of an acute economic downturn and political instability, the country has nevertheless skillfully used destabilization in the Middle East and North Africa to strengthen its role in the region.
The division of the Sudan into two States - the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan - was proclaimed in July 2011. It ended a period of remarkable economic growth that had begun with Sudan's entry into the global oil market as a major exporter in 1999. The decline in oil exports in 2012 caused a "fiscal cliff" and a skewed balance of payments: the loss of almost 60% of total tax revenues and most of foreign trade receipts.1
The disillusionment of the population with the" surrender " of the South, the devaluation of the national currency and a sharp increase in food prices, the abolition of fuel subsidies and an increase in a number of taxes were the main factors in the growth of mass discontent with the policies of the Omar al-Bashir regime and the escalation of the protest movement in 2011-2013. Protests stemming from economic difficulties, increased media censorship, and the unresolved conflict in Darfur have regularly erupted in the capital and other major cities of the country, culminating in clashes with police and mass arrests. The bloodiest events were observed in September 2013 after the abolition of fuel subsidies, as a result of which gasoline prices almost doubled. Hundreds of ... Read more