There are increasing concerns in Sudan over what many have termed the systematic return to power of al-Bashir, three years after his ousting.
As you would recall, the former president was removed from power by an uprising by citizens who occupied the streets for four months. However, within the last few weeks, many of al-Bashir loyalists are being given influential positions by the military junta that took over the country recently.
Many critics and citizens alike are scared that the military junta is orchestrating a return to power for Omar al-Bashir and members of his party, the National Congress Party (NCP).
The transition government in Sudan set up after the deposition of al-Bashir ended last year after Gen Abdel-Fattah Burhan led a coup against his civilian partners. The civilians played a pivotal role in the mass protests Bashir regime, which subsequently led to its fall.
Some critics are of the opinion that the military junta is controlled by loyalists of al-Bashir and they are systematically trying to return him to power.
A senior member of the pro-democracy Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) movement, Hamza Balol, who was a key government official before the coup believes the military has sabotaged the transition by protecting the NCP.
After seizing power, the military junta suspended all the directives of the transition government and reversed all its decisions of the committee.
The committee which was led by lawyer Wajdi Saleh, who was detained after the military takeover - was instrumental in exposing the corruption that was rampant under Bashir.
It named corrupt officials and businessmen, fired civil servants, announced the seizures of assets, issued arrest warrants, froze bank accounts, and was investigating the dealings between the NCP leadership and army generals when the coup was staged.
One of the recent appointments by the military junta was the appointment of Gen Ahmed Mufdal, a former governor of South Kordofan and NCP leader.
Gen. Mufdal is a well-known loyalist of Omar al-Bashir, and his recent appointment as the head of the General Intelligence Service (GIS) has sparked outrage. The GIS is the new name for the National Intelligence and Security Service, an organization that was leather during Bashir's rule.
In what critics have also said is a further sign of the al-Bashir’s return to public life, hundreds of bank accounts belonging to its members have been unfrozen, and some of its leading members have been released from detention.
According to a report by the BBC, the released accounts include:
• Former NCP head, and former foreign minister, Ibrahim Ghandour
• Former East Darfur governor Anas Omar, who is accused of human rights violations
• Cleric Muhammad Ali Al-Jizouli who once supported the militant Islamic State (IS) group
Interestingly, Bashir himself, however, remains a prisoner of the junta. Even though he was convicted of corruption in 2019, and has been on trial since July 2020 for the coup that first brought him to power in 1989. The junta has refused to hand Bashir over to the International Criminal Court to stand trial on war crimes charges over the conflict in Darfur, which he denies.
Some analysts believe the generals might eventually release Bashir, just as Egypt's ousted President Hosni Mubarak was freed after the military took power in 2013.
What are your thoughts?