Since becoming independent from its former colonizer, the Republic of Sudan has fluctuated between democratically elected governments and severe dictatorships. Problematic civil wars and human rights violations have plagued the country. However, since December 2018 new hope has risen within this northeast African country.
In the wake of large-scale protests which demanded his removal from power, Omar al-Bashir, the long-time dictator, was ousted by a coup d’état. Witnesses of this Sudanese revolution have claimed it is a Sudanese sequel to the Arab Spring.
When Foreign Service Officer Donald Petterson took up his duties as ambassador to Sudan in 1992, al-Bashir had been in power for less than three years. Early in his tour, Petterson understood that it would not be an easy job, as Sudan already was in a precarious state. In the first year after assuming power in a military coup, al-Bashir wasted no time in moving against potential opponents. Many people were detained, tortured, or executed. Over the years, the al-Bashir government systematically did away with democratic institutions and civil rights.