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Sudan timeline January – March 2022: Political turmoil, lawlessness as attempts to revive

The first days of 2022 saw the final collapse of the already tenuous political agreement that reinstated Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok after a period of house arrest following the military coup d’état of October 25 last year.

On January 2, PM Hamdok announced his resignation in a televised address to the Sudanese people. Hamdok underlined that he was unable to combine all the components of the transition to reach a unified vision, describing the crisis in the country as political, but it gradually, includes all aspects of economic and social life.

His resignation came amid ongoing reports of Sudanese security forces violently suppressing waves of the Marches of the Millions, that saw hundreds of thousands take to the streets across the country to express their rejection of the military coup.

In the subsequent vacuum and chaos, lawlessness and insecurity increased, especially in Darfur and Kordofan, fuelled by marauding gangs of armed bandits made up of former combatants and militiamen. Stores and compounds of international peacekeeping and relief organisations were raided, looted, and often levelled.

The international community, largely via the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), initiated the facilitation of dialogue between the various actors in Sudan, in an attempt to solve the political impasse.

Protests against the military junta continued throughout February, as did their violent and deadly suppression by Sudanese forces. Looting of international and NGO resources continued in Darfur, amid rising concerns about food security as an effect of the political turmoil and rising food prices.

By March, the Sudanese Pound was in freefall against international currencies. Suppression of popular pro-democracy protests was the norm, and hundreds were detained, including activists and opposition politicians.

Violence claimed hundreds of lives and displaced thousands of people in Darfur and Kordofan, as armed groups scourged the region despite a joint force being deployed to counter them.

Sudan’s PM Abdallah Hamdok announces his resignation (Photo: SUNA)


Sudan timeline, January – March 2022

January: Security forces continue suppressing protesters of the military coup d’état on October 25 last year. Prime minister Abdallah Hamdok resigns. The UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) will facilitate an intra-Sudanese dialogue in an attempt to resolve the current political impasse. Lawlessness and impunity in Darfur and South Kordofan continue.

January 2: Three protesters are killed during pro-democracy demonstrations in Khartoum. PM Hamdok announces his resignation on the Sudanese state television.

January 3: The resignation of Hamdok sparks widespread reactions at local, regional, and international levels. Two North Darfur committees will investigate the looting at the warehouses of the World Food Programme (WFP) and the former United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) in El Fasher.

January 4: Sudanese protesters take to the street again despite the excessive force used against them. The Sudan Troika and the European Union (EU) will not support a unilaterally appointed Sudanese government.

January 5: Large numbers of heavily armed militants are gathering again north-east of the West Darfur capital.

January 6: US and UN representatives to meet with Sudan’s leaders ‘to prevent the country descending into chaos’. Three protesters are killed in Khartoum as Marches of the Millions against the coup sweep the country again. Sudan university directors form a committee ‘to end the political stalemate’. A joint military-rebel security force is to be trained in North Darfur.

January 7: Robbers use Rocket-Propelled Grenades (RPGs) to scare civilians in Abu Jubeiha, South Kordofan.

January 8: UNITAMS is to facilitate an ‘intra-Sudanese political process‘ with the aim to regenerate the country’s democratic transition following the coup of October 25. In North Darfur, a woman is gang-raped and nine others are injured by gunmen.

January 9: At least 62 demonstrators have been killed since the 25 October coup d’état. Opposition parties are divided over the initiative of UNITAMS. Farmers and activists in Northern State block the highway to the Egyptian border in protest against the latest increase in electricity tariffs and the military coup.

January 10: Two more protesters are killed and 96 others are injured in Khartoum demonstrations. UNITAMS head Volker Perthes announces the start of political talks. Resistance committees active on grass roots level in all parts in the country call for new massive protests against the military rule. The procedures for implementing the 2020 Juba Peace Agreement security arrangements start in North Darfur.

January 11: A group allegedly consisting of members of government forces and former rebels plunder the remaining assets from the former UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) in North Darfur. Mothers of protesters killed organise a vigil in Omdurman. The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports 15 attacks on health facilities and workers in Sudan since November 2021.

January 12: The Sudanese Journalists Network reports the detention of two press photographers in Khartoum. Farmers in northern Sudan continue blocking the highway to the Egyptian border despite a freeze on electricity tariffs in the agricultural sector. Darfur Governor and former rebel leader Minni Minawi pledges to recover all property looted from UNAMID and the World Food Programme (WFP) in North Darfur.

WFP warehouse looted in Darfur (Photo: WFP)


January 13: A young protester is shot dead during anti-junta Marches of the Millions in Khartoum. A number of journalists are assaulted. Lorries are accumulating at the road blocks on the highway to the Egyptian border. Killings and robberies in Darfur continue, while people living east of El Geneina, West Darfur, fear new attacks. The Sudanese Human Rights and Development Organisation (HUDO) reports various acts of lawlessness in South Kordofan.

January 15: The Ministry of Information withdraws the license of Al Jazeera Live. Wounded protesters are detained while leaving the Royal Care Hospital in Khartoum. The African Union expresses its readiness to support political consensus among all parties in Sudan. UNITAMS begins talks with democratic parties in Sudan, while resistance committees in the country say they will present their joint standpoint in a ‘political charter’. The resistance committees of Wad Madani, capital of El Gezira, issue a joint position paper concerning a democratic Sudan. El Hadatha daily newspaper ceases publication because of continuing press curbs.

January 17: Seven demonstrators are shot dead during demonstrations bound for the Republican Palace in Khartoum. The recovery of goods stolen from the former UNAMID headquarters in El Fasher begins. UN officials denounce the…

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