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Yearbook 2015

Sudan. According to COUNTRYAAH, President Omar al-Bashir was re-elected in April for another five years. That the president received just over 95% of the vote was attributed to the opposition boycotting the election, the first since 2011 when South Sudan became independent.

2015 Sudan

The turnout was very low. Officially it was stated to be 46.4%. This, although the three-day election was extended by one day. It was seen as an expression of deep voter dissatisfaction. Observers from the Arab League, the African Union and the IGAD regional cooperation group approved the election, which was criticized by the EU and the so-called troika - Norway, the UK and the US.

Even in the parliamentary elections, which were held at the same time, the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) won. The party received 323 of the 426 seats. The only opposition party to stand, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), got 25 seats while independent candidates took 19 seats. Before and after the election, there were reports of how leading opposition politicians were arrested or harassed. The 72-year-old president appointed a new government in June, appointing new defense and foreign ministers.

In June, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of the African Union (AU) and the UN Joint Force UNAMID in Darfur. This despite the fact that Sudan 2014 declared that it wanted to discontinue the force.

The security situation in the Darfur region remained worrying. In November, the United Nations reported that at least 100,000 people have fled after escalated fighting, including between rival Arab clans, government forces and other groups. However, the number was lower than in 2014. The UN and other aid organizations criticized that they were denied free access.

In April, the government reported major successes in an offensive against the rebel force JEM (the Justice and Equality Movement) in Darfur. The human rights group Human Rights Watch blamed the government militia, Rapid Support Forces (RSF), for murders, rapes, poisoning of wells and looting. The report was based on testimony from refugees and satellite images.

Struggles also continued in the provinces of the Blue Nile and South Kurdufan between the government side and the rebel movement SPLM-North (Sudanese people's liberation movement). The government was accused of using cluster bombs in South Kurdufan. Sudan has not signed the international agreement banning these weapons.

No breakthroughs were achieved in the national dialogue launched by the president in 2014. In January, 18 opposition groups jumped off the process. Both the government and rebel groups promised temporary ceasefire, but mistrust persisted despite attempts by, among others, the AU mediator Thabo Mbeki.

President al-Bashir continued to defy the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, which issued an international arrest warrant for suspected war crimes and other crimes in Darfur. He visited South Africa in June but had to leave the country in a hurry after a South African court announced that he should be arrested. South Africa stated that the meeting was organized by the AU and that al-Bashir had immunity. However, the ICC requested an explanation, and in South Africa debated whether the country should leave the ICC. During the year, al-Bashir visited China and India, among others, who are not members of the ICC.

Sudan also contributed hundreds of soldiers to the Saudi-led coalition fighting Shiite rebels in Yemen.

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