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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Who is Abdul-Fattah al-Burhan the New Leader of Sudan?


Mortada Ahmed - 7Dnews Khartoum

Sat, 13 Apr 2019 14:01 GMT

After some 30 years with the same president, Sudan has now had two new leaders in two days.

This is the result of Sudan's first transitional leader, general Ibn Auf, announcing he was stepping down, on Friday April 12th, just a day after taking power and ousting long time president, Omar al-Bashir. He then announced that the next interim president would be another member of the country's military elite, general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. This caused relief and celebrations in the streets of Sudan, where huge country-wide protests have been ongoing since December, to force the end of al-Bashir's regime of 30 years.  

Who is the new leader? According to available information, al-Burhan was born in the village of Kundato, in the north of the country, and joined the Sudanese military academy.

He comes from a political and military family, the al-Sharifs, who are connected to the former Sudanese general and president Ibrahim Abboud, who ruled the country in the 1960s and was ousted by the country's October 1964 revolution.

Al-Burhan took on a number of military jobs, ranging from the executive and the military, during the war in southern Sudan and the Darfur region.

He also served as head of intelligence for border guards in the city of Zalingei, central Darfur state in the early 1990s, and then was the commander of border guards.

In addition, he served as the Sudanese military attaché to China, before stepping down and serving as chief of staff, and then inspector general of the army in February 2019.

Major General Abdullah Safi al-Nur says he is one of the officers who put the country and the armed forces first. He has also never belonged to any specific political grouping.

According to al-Nur, he is a patriot who is flexible and has the ability to communicate with the Sudanese people and political factions. Al-Nur said he hoped that the Sudanese protest groups could cooperate with him, to get the country out of its current crisis, and to achieve the goals of security, stability and peace.

A former colleague, Siddiq Ismail, said he knew Abdel Fattah al-Burhan in 1992, in the western Sudanese province of Darfur. He was then head of the border guards' intelligence in Zalingei.

He added that al-Burhan was appointed as the president's representative in the Darfur region after the outbreak of armed conflict in 1998. Ismail said that he was known during this time as a flexible and tolerant operator.