According to a government spokesman, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir “has no will to be president again” and claims the student protests in the North had nothing to do with it.
Bashir has ruled Sudan since he seized power in a military coup in 1987. His re-election last year was considered by outside observers to be fraudulent and won with bribery and intimidation. His term ends in 2015.
A political science professor at the University of Khartoum doesn’t believe the announcement was anything but “an immediate response to what is happening in the region.” The professor even doubts that Bashir is serious about giving up power, saying, “In the Arab world, we have become accustomed to rulers staying in power until they die.”
Bashir is under indictment by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity and genocide in the deplorable situation in Darfur region where more than 300, 000 have died.
President Bashir may expect the demands of the illegal protests to go away when the rest of the Arab world settles down to more severe dictatorships—or in some cases a mild sort of democracy that will soon revert to normality. But hopefully Egypt and perhaps others will find their way to an enduring freedom that Northern Sudanese will yearn to emulate.