By now you (better) know, Sudan’s longtime authoritarian ruler Omar al-Bashir was forced to step down back in April, amid widespread protests against political repression and systemic human rights violations within the country. So, is Sudan a thriving democracy that respects human rights? Sadly, not yet. In June, following continued violence against democracy demonstrators, deliberations moderated by the African Union ended in a power-sharing agreement, dictating the creation of a ruling Sovereign Council, which the military will lead for the first 21 months, followed by a civilian leader for the next 18 months. Under this agreement, 11 members of the Council were sworn in on Wednesday. Critics have been concerned about the under-representation of women (only 2 of the 11 members of the Council), the lack of a voice for the victims of the genocide in Darfur, and the role of the military, including allies of al-Bashir. Because Sudan’s struggle is complex and needs to be understood better, we just held a briefing on Capitol Hill exploring what can be done to maximize the odds for a speedy transition to democracy. There are no guarantees about what happens next in Sudan, but we salute the brave youth of the country for standing up for their rights and for all the small victories they achieved along the way, and hope we they get to celebrate the big one soon!

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