The 2019 Revolution and ouster of President Omar al-Bashir began in December 2018 when decades of state-sponsored violence, militarism, and corruption all came home to roost.
The civil war with southern Sudan, which eventually seceded and became South Sudan in 2011, put enormous strain on the country and the morale of the military. But the loss of South Sudan’s oil—some 75% of Sudan’s oil fields—has rapidly thrust Sudan into a “post-oil” or “decarbonized” economy that Sudan was hardly prepared for.
In addition to the massive loss of oil revenue, Bashir’s instigation of ethnic violence in the nation’s periphery had displaced millions of people over the years, some of whom never returned to their homelands. As this displacement forced more and more people from the hinterlands toward urban centers, the government-subsidized flour and bread distribution system could no longer keep up. And without the oil revenues, Bashir was not in a position to spend his way out of the rising unrest.
When the government decided to cut its bread subsidy, thereby increasing the price of bread for families across the country, the dam of resentment against the regime broke, culminating in protests around the country, and the ultimate ouster of the 30-year autocrat, Omar al-Bashir.