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Transcript: Sudan: Popular Protests, Today and Yesterday

[Listen to the podcast here.]

In April 2019, four months of sustained protests throughout Sudan culminated in the ousting of President Omar al-Bashir, who had ruled the country since taking office in a 1989 military coup. Originally a response to the spiraling cost of living, demonstrators soon widened their criticisms to encompass the full impact of Bashir’s three decades in power: brutal political repression, economic stagnation, and civil war in the country’s west and south. In the end, the huge crowds who took to the streets of Khartoum and other cities (including a significant proportion of women) crystallized their demands in a simple chant, directed at Bashir: “Just fall — that’s all.”

International observers have suggested that the uprising in Sudan represents a second “Arab Spring.” Yet perhaps more important is the long history of popular protest within Sudan, which have twice in the past toppled autocratic governments. As protestors continue to defy the military government and demand the establishment of civilian rule, understanding Sudan’s past is key to any attempt to predict its future.

Join us in this month’s History Talk podcast, as your hosts Lauren Henry and Eric Michael Rhodes discuss this pivotal moment for Sudan with two experts on Sudanese history and politics: Ahmad Sikainga and Kim Searcy.

To learn more about the history of Sudan, read our feature article, Who Owns the Nile? Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia’s History-Changing Dam. Be sure to check our other coverage of the region: All Politics is Local: Understanding Boko Haram, Searching for Wakanda: The African Roots of the Black Panther Story, and our recent episode, Who Owns the Past? Museums and Cultural Heritage Repatriation.
 

Transcript Begins Here:

[This transcript has been edited for clarity.]

Lauren Henry   
Welcome to History Talk, the podcast that brings together experts to discuss current events in historical perspective. My name is Lauren Henry and I'm here with my cohost, Eric Michael Rhodes.

Eric Michael Rhodes 
Hi, Lauren. As of this recording on the 24th of April, 2019, former president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir languishes in solitary confinement. It is in the same prison in Khartoum in which he incarcerated political dissidents for years. In 1989, al-Bashir came to power with the help of a military junta. In the 30 years since, Sudanese citizens have suffered growing inequality, political repression and civil war in the country's west and south. When al-Bashir rewrote the rules to hold on to power late last year and food prices soared, a popular front of reformists began a campaign of protest to force him out of power. A military coup ensued in April, but the struggle to establish a civilian government continues. So what can Sudan's past tell us about current events there? And can it give us clues as to what's to come?

Lauren Henry  
Today we're thrilled to be joined by two senior scholars who will help us understand the history of Sudan, leading up to this critical turning point, as well as what to look for in the coming months. In studio, we have Dr. Ahmad Sikainga. Professor Sikainga is a historian at The Ohio State University. His research focuses on urban and socio-economic history in Africa, specifically Sudan and the neighboring region, in which he has published several monographs. Thank you so much for being with us today, professor.

Dr. Ahmad Sikainga  
Thank you for having me. And thank you for organizing this event.

Eric Michael Rhodes  
And joining us remotely from Chicago is Dr. Kim Searcy. Professor Searcy is an associate professor of history at Loyola University Chicago and a specialist on the Sudan. He is currently working on a new book on the history of Islam in Lusophone Africa. Professor Searcy, thanks for coming on the show.

Dr. Kim Searcy  
Thank you very much. Thanks for having me.

Lauren Henry  
So we'll start with current events. How did the protests in Sudan begin?

Dr. Ahmad Sikainga   
Well, the protests started in December, specifically December 19th. I was in Sudan at that time. They started in the small town of Atbara, which is about three hours north of Khartoum, the capital. Basically, they started in response to rising food prices as well as inflation, repression and all sorts of things. And then very quickly, they spread to other Sudanese towns, especially the capital city of Khartoum. They started  as a protest for what they dubbed as bread protests, but in fact, very quickly turned into a major political revolution demanding the government to step down, the ousting of al-Bashir and the whole regime.

Eric Michael Rhodes  
And Dr. Searcy, what are the protesters' major criticisms of the now deposed President Omar al-Bashir and and his regime?

Dr. Kim Searcy  
The major criticisms are that the government was steeped in nepotism and corruption and then it's a kleptocracy. And then there's a government that has marginalized these regions. For example, in the west, and then in the east. And then there's still an ongoing conflict in South Kordofan, and then in a Blue Nile state, well that the government seems to be not keen on calling for engaging in negotiations with. And then so for example, in January the protests move to Darfur and the media here in the West has kind of turned a blind eye to Darfur situation in Darfur. But the conflict is still going on. That conflict in South Kordofan is an extension or intertwined with that conflict in Darfur. And so the government of Omar al-Bashir was saying that well, these protests are organized by individuals that are for the rebels and that they have the support of Israel and then people themselves are saying no, we need to bring down this racist government and [in Arabic], "All of us are Darfur." All of us are Darfur. So the major criticism is that the military regime is corrupt and then it's and then doesn't really have an investment in the people. It just has investment in itself and, and this was evident by the fact that I think last week, when they arrested and then placed in public prison Bashir, they discovered that he had all this large amounts of like foreign money in his possession, as well. So that illustrates what the people were alleging against him for a long time actually. Because I remember when I was a student there, I was a student there 16 years ago, and then people were saying the same thing-- the government's stealing the money. And then there's no investment in the infrastructure and it came to light this past week.

Dr. Ahmad Sikainga  
Just to add to the issue of corruption, in 2018, Sudan is ranked number 172 of least corrupt countries out of 175 by Transparency International. The rate of inflation is 63% and unemployment. Actually in recent days, they've been searching houses of former figures of the regime and they're discovering these piles of cash in trucks as we speak. So the level of corruption was just unprecedented.

Lauren Henry  
How did Omar al-Bashir come to power in the first place in 1989? How was this current regime established?

Dr. Ahmad Sikainga  
He came to power through a military coup on June 30, 1989, basically overthrowing a democratically elected government. The coup was  backed by the National Islamic Front, which is the Sudanese version of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and immediately moved on to try to establish what they call the cultural project or basically establishing an Islamic State in the Sudan and transforming the Sudanese society completely in every aspect of life.

Lauren Henry  
Now, Dr. Searcy, I know that you've worked on the Muslim Brotherhood in the region. Could you give us a little bit more detail on how these cultural changes came about?

Dr. Kim Searcy   
The cultural changes began -- the architect of this is Hassan Al-Turabi. Sudan has a long history of these uprisings.  The first one was in 1964 and then second one in 1985. Hassan Al-Turabi, he was a student leader during this time period, Islamist and then when his presence became known, and then there's a dichotomy that exists between the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood in Sudan. For example, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has always been marginalized by the government. But then the Muslim Brotherhood in Sudan has been able to infiltrate all levels of government as well as army and then civil service as well. So with this 1989 coup, the Government Alliance, or the NIF was part of the army as well, and then people began to believe that well, Bashir was the puppet of Turabi. But then in 1999, Bashir actually removed Turabi from power as well. I think one of the questions was that how much of a role did Islam play as far as the politics of Sudan is concerned, and then the Mahdist revolt, illustrates in stark relief, the role that Islam played in politics and this is from 1885, all the way to 1898. So that's the beginning you can say, you can say that that was the beginning, perhaps, of political Islam in Sudan. But then even before that, even perhaps during a time period of first Turkiyyah, which is from 1821 to 1885, there were revolts, staged by individuals that maintained that they were the second coming of Jesus. And then this continued even after the Mahdi's death and then during the time of the second Turkiyyah, which is from 1898 to 1956, the British, and then the Egyptians controlled the Sudan. And then three decades into the British rule, there were many people that were maintaining that they were the second coming of Jesus and that the British were the Dajjal, which is the anti-Christ. And then they were using religion as a way to galvanize the people. And so there's a long history as well. So the Muslim Brotherhood project, you can say, is an extension of the, like the religious activism in the Sudan.

Dr. Ahmad Sikainga  
That is definitely true. And I would add also that the earlier tradition is also part of militant Islam, which happened also in West Africa, like the jihadist movements in the 19th century of Usman dan Fodio and El Hadj Umar Tall. Equally important is the very strong secular radical tradition in modern Sudanese history. So it's always been a struggle between these two extremes. And it’s also important to add that the Sudanese Islam reflects the cultural tradition of the country. I mean, before the coming of Islam in Sudan, you had the ancient civilization of Nubia, and you also have three Christian kingdoms that existed in the country just before the arrival of Islam. So Sudanese Islam is really shaped by all these cultural traditions as well as Sufi Islamism. The most militant form has always been associated with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamicist movement.

Eric Michael Rhodes   
So for our listeners who are less familiar with Sudan's history and want to know more about the deeper history, can you give us a brief summary of Sudan's colonial past?

Dr. Kim Searcy   
Alright, so from 1885 to 1898, the Nilotic Sudan was essentially under control of the Mahdiyyah. The Mahdiyyah is kind of millenarian movement staged by Muhammad Ahmad, the Mahdi, and then he's responsible for the overthrow of the Turco-Egyptian forces that had been occupying the Sudan, the Nilotic Sudan, since 1821. They created a Sudanese Mahdist state in 1885. So from 1885 we have the state, right, that was created. And then, as Dr. Sirkainga mentioned, the most dynamic form of Islam in Sudan is Sufism, a mystical aspect of Islam. What the Mahdi did was essentially create this kind of super Sufi order, and then outlawed all these other Sufi orders. The Sudanese Mahdist state was conquered by the combined forces of the United Kingdom and Egypt in 1898. And then the UK and Egypt instituted policies in the Sudan that continue to have a long lasting effect in the Sudan in the contemporary periods. For example, they include these territories of present day Sudan and South Sudan and is ruled by a dual colonial mandate through colonial government and is known as the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium that lasted from 1899 to 1956. But then Britain was the senior partner in administration and Egypt was subordinated to England, between 1888, I mean 1882 and 1956. And so during the most of this colonial period, Sudan was ruled as two Sudans, north and then the South as well.

So the British separated the predominately Muslim, and Arabic speaking north from the multi-religious, multi-ethnic, multilingual south. And then this separation was evident in educational policies. So for example, the British until 1947, developed a government school system in the north, while Christian missionaries in the south were tasked with taking care of educational matters in the southern part of the Sudan. And then in the north, there was government investment in education and school networks consistent with Egyptian schools, missionary schools, community schools and Sudanese private schools. In the south, the schools were established by the Anglican Church and missionary society.

Dr. Ahmad Sikainga   
Two things: the Sudanese colonialism is quite unique. I mean, this is a country that experienced two different colonial eras. The first one was in the 19th century, which is what they call Turco-Egyptian or Ottoman and then you have the European colonial rule in the 20th century, when Sudan was ruled by two powers: Egypt and Britain, which is quite unique. But I think the legacy of the first Imperial period was the incorporation of the present day territories of South Sudan. As you know, the Ottoman Empire was trying to expand in East Africa along the Red Sea region  and one of the legacies was the opening of that region to international trade and most important slave trade, and that had a long, lasting legacy in Sudanese history. Thousands of people from the present day, Southern Sudan, the upper Blue Nile, the southwestern part of Sudan, were taken as captives and sent to Egypt or used locally. During the second period, the Anglo-Egyptian period, it also created this kind of uneven development. Economic resources, investment and so on were concentrated in the central parts of the country. And this is a legacy that the postcolonial government in the Sudan did not address. It continued the same pattern of marginalization, which really contributed to the current conflicts in South Sudan, in Darfur, in the upper Blue Nile and so forth.

Lauren Henry   
So how did these regional divisions lead to conflict in the post colonial period?

Dr. Kim Searcy  
There's a -- I'm sure Dr. Sikainga is familiar with this book called The Black Book?

Dr. Ahmad Sikainga  
Yes.

Dr. Kim Searcy   
Okay. So then it was, I think it came out, I remember reading it in 1999 or 2000. So initially, people didn't really know who published it, but then it came out it was the Justice Equality Movement --

Dr. Ahmad Sikainga  
Yes

Dr. Kim Searcy   
... A group that was in Darfur and so they said, they wrote some things. And then scholars have done some research and the things that they wrote concerning the divisions resonate. So for example, they noted that the British placed in positions of power and authority during a time period when during this Anglo-Egyptian Condominium, from 1899 to 1956. So the British based system, the power and authority, in the riverine people -- specifically the Shaigiya, the Ja'ali and the Danagla, right? And so those groups continue to wield power and influence in contemporary Sudan. So for example, Bashir is a Ja'ali. And then they didn't invest in these outlying regions such as Darfur, and then the east, and, of course, the south as well. So the British created a social hierarchy in the Sudan, and then that continues to exist. So it resulted in distrust there and conflicts between the various Sudanese people, so just kind of a divide and rule policy that separated Southern Sudanese provinces and the rest of the country. There's no investment in the western part of Sudan, relatively little investment in the eastern part of Sudan as well. So this is a reason for the conflicts in those regions, as well. So you can argue, make an argument that it's an extension of colonial policy,

Dr. Ahmad Sikainga  
And especially in Darfur, more recently, after the conclusion of the CPA, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Sudan's People Liberation Army and the Sudanese government, the approach that the Sudan government adopted as well as the international community is to focus on resolving the issue between the central government and the south and ignoring the other regions. That's actually what this armed movement in Darfur is that as well as in the Nuba Mountains and the upper Blue Nile is that they felt that they have been completely ignored. And now the government is making a deal with the South alone.

Eric Michael Rhodes   
The International Criminal Court has indicted Omar al-Bashir for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Can you tell us a bit of the background behind these charges?

Dr. Ahmad Sikainga   
Well, the war in Darfur the government created this tribal militia called the Janjaweed and basically unleashed them on the civilian population. The conflict in Darfur has deep roots. There is tension between the pastoralists groups and  the sedentary and the sedentary happen to be the local people, the Fur and non-Arabic speaking people who own land, and so on. So historically, there have been this conflict between the pastoralists and the sedentary. But these conflicts were  resolved mostly through local mechanisms of conflict resolution by tribal chiefs, and so on. Well, what the government did is basically arming these militias and actually, some of them are now in Khartoum. They just changed the name, calling them Rapid Support Forces, who are now actually now roaming in the city of Khartoum. The result was a massive genocide which the United Nation described it as the worst humanitarian crisis, and an estimated 300,000 people were killed and millions were displaced in the neighboring countries. So that's the background which eventually led to the indictment by the International Criminal Court.

Eric Michael Rhodes   
And what was the time period for this?

Dr. Ahmad Sikainga   
I think it was 2008, 2009 when the indictment happened.

Dr. Kim Searcy   
Right, but the Arab League doesn't recognize it. Nor does the Organization of African Unity.

Lauren Henry   
Yeah, I was going to ask what has been the response to this indictment, both by al-Bashir by the regional community, the international community?

Dr. Ahmad Sikainga  
Basically, they ignored it. I mean Bashir is able to travel for freely to the Arab League Summit, as well as the African Union Summit. The only time there was an attempt [was] when he was in South Africa, which did not succeed. So basically,  you could see that even now, the African Union, was also trying to play a very dubious role in the current crises in terms of -- well, we'll talk about that later. But in terms of supporting the current military council, while the protesters are demanding the immediate handover of power to civilians.

Dr. Kim Searcy   
I mean, it's like, it doesn't seem that those indictments are going to have any kind of resonance on him being brought to the Hague. So because for some, the reason why he held on for such a long time, in the midst of these protests, because protesting the past, for example in 1964, Abboud was able to voluntarily step down from power after five days of protest, and then say, and then same. I mean Gaafar Nimeiry didn't wait three or four months, he was of the country. But then some people, some scholars writing about Bashir were noting that the reason why he chose to be holding on to power for such a long time period in the midst of these protests was because he was afraid of being arrested for these war crimes. However, it doesn't seem there's going to be any kind of manifestation or he's going to be brought to trial for these, that's just my opinion.

Dr. Ahmad Sikainga   
Yeah, I think in  the last few days, members of the military council [have said that, they are not going to hand him over. But he committed so many other crimes that  he could be tried in the country, if things carry through.

Lauren Henry  
Now, Dr. Searcy, you mentioned these popular protests in the past. And Dr. Sikainga, I believe you alluded to them as well. What has been the role of popular protest in political change in Sudan's history?

Dr. Kim Searcy  
They've had a long history of these popular protests. And then what was really interesting is that I remember I was in, I was in Egypt, in 2013, and Egyptians were beside themselves for joy, because they were just boasting about how they were the only country in the Arab world that was able to overthrow a military regime with popular protests, using popular protests. And so I had to tell them that this is not the case. There's several cases, there's two occasions where the Sudanese did the same as well. So they overthrew, they overthrew a military regime in 1964, and then there was public, there's democratically, there's parliamentary elections, and there's a democratic type of government that ensued and then again in 1985, this is when Sadiq al-Mahdi became the prime minister, the present head of state, in 1985. So he didn't rule that long as a democratically elected government, but then the army stepped in, took over power in '89 -- Bashir came to power in 1989. There's a long history, and then they had to, I think the background concerning those were a major issue that was the driving force for these popular overthrows of the military regime was that there was a war, there are wars waging in the south during that time period. And so people were calling for an end to these wars. And then so the economy played a role as well. But then the war, like a civil war, the first civil war from 1955 to 1972, and the second one was '83, to 2005 as well. So I think, I think that played, those were major issues, the economy was important. But then the desire to end those wars, I think.

Dr. Ahmad Sikainga   
You know, these popular protests of the 1964 or 1985, were really built on a long tradition of labor organizations and the trade union movement, which dates back to the 1940s. In that regard, I think what happens in Sudan really reflects  an African pattern, because, as we know, the postwar period in Africa was a time of labor unrest across the continent, from Senegal, to Mombasa, to Lagos, Nigeria. And these protest movements were really spearheaded by transportation workers, railway workers, dockworkers, and so on. And in the Sudanese case, they started  ironically in the city of Atbara, which is where the current uprising  started. What really distinguished the Sudanese labor movement was the fact that from the beginning, it was closely associated with radical leftist organizations, especially the Sudanese Communist Party, which was the second largest Communist Party in Africa after the South African Communist Party. And I know you, there's  the question of the role of women. It was during that time- the 1940s -that you also have the rise of the women's movement, which was also linked to the leftist organizations. The first Sudanese woman to be elected to Parliament was in the late 1960s. So the current protest  have this rich experience in terms of mobilization, rolling strikes, and so forth.

Eric Michael Rhodes   
Given this long democratic tradition among the Sudanese populace, how did Omar al-Bashir suppress these proclivities after 1989? What was life like in Sudan for the average citizen? Or let's say the political dissident?

Dr. Ahmad Sikainga   
Well, I mean, the regime came with an ideological project, what it called the “cultural project” of establishing an Islamic State. It started by purging the civil service, the army, the police and all institutions that are considered in, their view, as secular. At the same time, the regime really established a reign of terror that had never happened in modern Sudanese history. The only comparison may be Ethiopia under the Derg and Mengistu Haile Mariam. So it started by severe repression, establishing what was  called “ghost houses” where people were tortured, assassinated, murdered and so on. So the result is that you have thousands of Sudanese who lost their jobs and they had to leave the country. What happened was that the most experienced people in labour organization , trade union leaders and the civil servants have left the country and the army was filled with party loyalists and Islamicists. That played a very important role in prolonging the life of this regime.

Dr. Kim Searcy  
The factor for, it was this kind of, either you're with us or against us tactic where if you're not a member of the...if you're not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and NIF then you're not truly for example, Islam plays a role. It plays a significant role as far as northern politics is concerned, as I mentioned, but then, as Dr. Sikainga mentioned, there's tactics for creating this kind of environment of fear, as well. So you had, you mentioned those ghost houses and torture, and people spying on one another, as well. So that was, it became a very totalitarian, autocratic, very totalitarian regime, with Islam or Islamism as the driving force.

Lauren Henry   
Dr. Searcy, when we were talking about the history of popular protest in Sudan, you mentioned that you had made the comparison at the time in Egypt to earlier popular push in Sudan. Now we see that many commentators are describing the current situation in Sudan, along with the ongoing anti-government demonstrations in Algeria, as constituting a second Arab Spring. In your view, both of you, is it useful to compare what's happening in Sudan with the wave of revolutions that swept the Middle East and North Africa in 2010 and 2011?

Dr. Ahmad Sikainga   
In my view, it resembles the Arab Spring in some way. But I think this is really uniquely Sudanese, in terms of the slogans,  the organization, and even in terms of the objectives of the uprising itself. The first major distinction, if you recall, the Arab Spring, for the most part, was supported by Islamist movements. I think what is unique about the Sudanese case now, which is lost to the international community, is this is a movement that represents a total rejection of an Islamicist regime. There's  no other country in that region that can be considered an Islamist regime. So this is a movement that is committed to completely eradicating any trace of this Islamicist regime and adopting very progressive slogans. If you look at the slogans for instance: "Just fall, that's all," or  the other slogan, "Freedom, peace and justice," which is really simple. And also  "We are all Darfur," which goes, "You arrogant racist, we are all Darfur." So I think the content really reflects that people are yearning for something different. The question is that many people are really pessimistic in terms of the current military council that is trying to reproduce or I mean, remove the head of the regime, Bashir, and keep the regime intact. As we speak,  regional powers are also playing a very large role. You have the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, are basically trying to prolong or support the military regime. On the other hand, you have Qatar and Turkey who are also trying to support the Islamicists. So regional politics is also playing an important role in what is going on now.

Dr. Kim Searcy   
Right. So and there's also a major difference because, for example, Sudan, unlike -- I follow Egypt, actually and the Egyptian revolution. The army in Egypt, essentially, is an army that is emancipated from society, whereas the army in Sudan is not. So there are members of in army in Sudan -- it's not unified, that's what I meant. That's what I mean. For example, the army in Egypt, there's not that much dissent within the rank, whereas the army in the Sudan, the junior officers were protecting the people. Right, and so there's dissent within the ranks. So not everyone is falling in step behind Bashir. Even those -- for example Ibn Auf, he may be related to Bashir, he's the one that essentially calls for the ouster of Bashir. So I think that's the major difference. And then another difference is, as we mentioned, that there's a long history. The Arab Spring, was something unique. The Western media latched onto it, and then embraced it. But then they held at arm's length, the history of Sudan, Sudanese uprisings, as well. So as Dr. Sikainga mentioned, this is uniquely Sudanese, actually. You have women participating, as well. There, you have the iconic figure, Alaa Salah, and on top of the car, singing and chanting revolutionary slogans and she's become an icon and this is unique to Sudan. Women have played a role in these uprisings. Whereas in Egypt, for example, if women participate in the protests in Tahrir Square, then they're going to be, they would be harassed, removed, as well. So this uprising, in the Sudan, these protests in Sudan that are uniquely Sudanese.

Dr. Ahmad Sikainga  
The other important point, I think, is the role of the youth especially young women, because they really bore the brunt of the policies of this regime in terms of harassment. The other thing about protest is the discipline of these protesters -- I mean, you have almost a million people camping in front of the army headquarters for more than two weeks now and not a single incident of harassment or looting or anything like that.

Lauren Henry  
Thank you so much for bringing up this issue of women in the protest, because I think, for an international viewer, or maybe somebody who's not as aware of this history of female involvement, it is a bit startling, and I think refreshing to see women in such prominent positions. The final question that I have about these current protests is, we've talked about the regionalism of it and the fact that they're involving, you know, this question of we are all Darfur. I wondered if we could talk a little bit about the international element? You've mentioned, Dr. Sikainga, the fact that many of the sort of professional class were forced to leave. And so I wondered if there's an expat element to this, or perhaps, Professor Searcy, you mentioned, the regime's claims that the protests are being controlled by Israel. So is there a sense that, you know, there's accusations being made about this being a foreign implementation or something done by expats?

Dr. Ahmad Sikainga  
The Sudanese diaspora definitely played a huge role in supporting this protest. In addition to people marching in different European capitals, in US cities, as well as in the Gulf. They're providing a lot of support, both financially and politically. And most of these people are --actually technocrats and the hope is that if things go well, these people will play a very vital role in the development of the country. I mean, you have the best experienced people in different fields who are now outside the country. But as I said earlier, I think the biggest worry now is the role of the regional players, especially UAE and Saudi Arabia, mainly because of the Sudanese involvement in the war in Yemen. You know, that most of the people on the ground fighting in Yemen, are Sudanese, who are paid by Saudi Arabia. And so the regional powers have a strong interest, in addition to their investment in Sudan in terms of agriculture, and so on. So that is the biggest worry from the perspective of the protesters, but they're quite aware of what's going on.

Dr. Kim Searcy   
Even just yesterday, the protesters noted to Saudi Arabia and UAE, they said, the issued an announcement that we don't need your money.

Dr. Ahmad Sikainga  
Yeah.

Dr. Kim Searcy   
So we don't need your money. Keep your money. So what you said resonates concerning regional actors that are, have an interest in prolonging the current regime's time and power unnaturally, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt, as well.

Dr. Ahmad Sikainga  
And people are so disappointed when the African Union initially gave the military council two weeks to transfer power to civilians and then Egypt called for the meeting of the AU, it was extended to 90 days, which is a huge disappointment to the protesters.

Eric Michael Rhodes   
Well, on that note, we'll wrap it up. Thank you to our two guests, Dr. Ahmad Sikainga and Dr. Kim Searcy.

Dr. Kim Searcy  
Thank you very much.

Dr. Ahmad Sikainga   
Thank you. It was nice hearing you. Hopefully we'll see you soon.

Lauren Henry  
Thank you, everyone. This episode of History Talk was brought to you by Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective, an online publication of the Public History Institute, the Goldberg Center, and the History Departments at The Ohio State University in Columbus and Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Our main editors are David Steigerwald, Stephen Conn and Nicholas Breyfogle. Our audio and technical advisor is Paul Kotheimer. And our audio producers and hosts are me, Lauren Henry, and Eric Michael Rhodes. Song and band information can be found on our website. And you can find our podcasts and more on origins.osu.edu, iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud and wherever else you get your podcasts. And as always, you can find us on Twitter, @originsosu and @historytalkpod. Thanks for listening, and we'll see you next month.

Eric Michael Rhodes  
See you next month.