AFRICA/SUDAN – Social crisis, a coup is feared: for the Bishop of El Obied, the “future is uncertain”

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El Obeid – “Life in Sudan is very hard at the moment, we miraculously survive. Everything is very expensive, transport, food and the people have no bread. This situation is intolerable for the population and the help of the international community only reaches a few few, while many remain without help”, said Msgr. Yunan Tombe Trille, Bishop of El Obeid and president of the Bishops’ Conference of Sudan and South Sudan in a comment on the situation in the African country after a period of great hope with the end of the dictatorship by Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashīr in April 2019 and the beginning of a democratic transition.
The Bishop explains: “People are divided between those who want the transitional government to continue with civilian ministers and who do not betray the principles of the demonstrations; and those who instead want the military to take total power who, according to them, are the only ones who can resolve the profound political crisis and provide bread. There have been no meetings between civilians and the military in the government for some time, and we can say that the executive branch is currently inoperative. In the meantime, the crimes have reached unprecedented levels in history, perhaps due to the hunger that so many people are suffering from. Naturally, behind those sections of the population who are calling for a coup d’état and for power to return completely to the hands of the military, there are pressure groups linked to army circles”. Msgr. Yunan Tombe Trille: “It is very difficult to predict what will happen in the very near future, and I don’t want to repeat what I’ve said many times: I don’t believe in their promises”. It is possible that there will be a new coup d’état at the hands of the military. I have never given credit to the promises of those who have governed us in the last 60 years because when we look back, we see that they have only created so many problems for us”.
The church, which for a long time was forced to live amid difficulties in a dictatorial regime with a strong Islamic character, now has fewer problems, but fears an uncertain future. “It is a very difficult time for everyone”, the Bishop concluded. “I can say that we are experiencing a time of relative calm for the Church, a feeling of recovery after years of activities that were decidedly against us. I think, the attitude towards the Church has not changed much except in the words: the words are milder, but I want to say that, despite the greater tranquility, we cannot speak of true change”.