Financial TimesFinancial Times

Sudan’s generals and the challenge of creating democratic societies

By David Pilling

27 Apr 2023 · 3 min read

Editor's Note

Two generals struggle for power in Sudan, trapping civilians amid chaos. The FT's David Pilling argues this tragedy symbolizes a wider betrayal of the "revolution" that toppled dictator al-Bashir.

“This town ain’t big enough for the both of us” is the classic language of two cowboys psyching themselves up for a gunfight at the OK Corral. It is a phrase ready-made for the grotesque spectacle of two generals blasting each other for control of what is left of Sudan.

Two gunslingers at war is a tragedy for the Sudanese people. At least 400 civilians have been killed in their crossfire. Some 3,500 are injured. This reckless disregard for life is symbolic of a wider betrayal: that of the “revolution” that overthrew the almost 30-year dictatorship of Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

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