The news out of Sudan, so recently full of fragile hope, is now deeply troubling. For over a week, the Transitional Military Council, or TMC, has been violently suppressing the very protestors whose bravery and persistence created the conditions for the security services to seize power from disgraced former President Omar al-Bashir. Over a hundred civilians have been killed, many more wounded, and the facade of shared goals and commitment to reform between citizens and security elites irreparably broken.
The resolve of the Sudanese people to resist thinly disguised military dictatorship cannot be underestimated, but they are not operating in a vacuum. Over the past weeks of halting negotiations between a mix of military and militia leaders on one side and the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces, a coalition of civil society leaders and political opposition on the other, those international forces interested in a Sudan have helped to tip the balance to the brutal reality of today—some with their actions, and others with their passivity...
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Ambassador Michelle Gavin served as U.S. Ambassador to Botswana from 2011 to 2014. Ambassador Gavin is a senior fellow for Africa Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. She has over twenty years of experience in international affairs in government and non-profit roles.