The End of Military Rule in Sudan Inspires Promise but Worries of Instability Abound

By Maura Mulholland

This week in Sudan, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan proposes an end to military rule, and the institution of a new, civilian-based, pro-military government. Despite this proposition, military attacks against pro-democracy protestors continue as the protestors reject the deal.  

Military rule has been the status quo in Sudan since October of last year, when Burhan and his forces held a coup d’etat and deposed the transitional government that had been working towards a shaky democracy in the country. The Sudan has historically struggled to institute a democratically elected government since gaining independence from the British in 1955. The country’s instability contributed to the secession of South Sudan in January of 2011. While Burhan and his forces claimed they were acting in the favor of the Sudanese people, wide-scale protests immediately proved that the Sudanese did not agree. Extreme clashes between protestors and the heavily armed coup participants have further exacerbated tensions. The most infamous of these, the Khartoum massacre of June 2019, resulted in the deaths of at least 128 pro-democracy demonstrators, and still casts a shadow over relations between the two factions today. 

Burhan’s announcement came at the same time as his forces were working to violently disband a group of pro-democracy demonstrators hosting a sit-in, reinforcing demonstrators’ attitudes that Burhan does not intend to follow through on his words. Demonstrations have increased in fervor and numbers since his speech, which is seen as almost insulting in its lack of regard for the concerns of the protestors. Within his speech, Burhan did not discuss a new constitution for Sudan, or what the process of transition to the new government he described would look like. He also did not address protestors’ concerns of creating a Sudanese legislative assembly, or investigating the killings of numerous pro-democracy demonstrators by the army over the course of the insurgents’ reign. 

The future of Sudan’s government is highly precarious. With no end in sight to the repeated clashes between military forces and democratically aligned citizens, the conflict drags on and the bodies keep piling. The most fitting description of relations is the democratic activists’ own motto: “no negotiation, no compromise, no partnership.” 

Amazon to Open Most Technologically Advanced Fulfillment Centre in Abu Dhabi to Drive Innovation and Retail in Middle East and North Africa

Abu Dhabi will be home to Amazon’s most technologically advanced fulfillment centre in the region. The launch of the centre is a part of the Abu Dhabi Investment Office’s (ADIO) programme to attract investment that drives innovation. Amazon is working to launch the facility in Abu Dhabi to drive innovation in the logistics sector, to support entrepreneurship and the growth of the retail ecosystem, and to create thousands of new job opportunities. 

Expected to be launched by 2024, the new fulfillment centre comes as part of a wider collaboration between Amazon and ADIO which will also unlock job opportunities over the coming years, as well as provide support to help entrepreneurs, startups and small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) thrive in the digital economy. 

Russell Grandinetti, Senior Vice President, International Consumer, Amazon, said: “Driven by customer-obsession, innovation and long-term thinking, we are very proud to be working alongside the UAE leadership as we contribute to the nation’s accelerating digital economy and ambitious growth agenda. We look forward to partnering with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office to bring Amazon’s advanced logistics, technology innovations, sustainability initiatives and decades of expertise to the area.” 

Following its successful and ongoing collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to launch cloud data centres in the UAE, ADIO continues to partner with Amazon to advance innovative and technological solutions in Abu Dhabi. ADIO creates an enabling environment for such partnerships and invests in strategic projects that promote an ecosystem of innovation. 

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