Sudan strongman is seen as an insider with powerful allies

CAIRO (AP) — Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, who led this week’s coup in Sudan, has vowed to usher the country to an elected government. He first gained prominence in 2019 when he and other generals toppled longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir under pressure from mass demonstrations. The 61-year-old Burhan has powerful allies, including Gulf nations and a feared Sudanese paramilitary commander who heads the Rapid Support Forces, which grew out of the Janjaweed militias notorious for atrocities and rapes during the Darfur conflict. Monday’s coup was a resounding signal that Burhan appears intent on keeping the military firmly in control despite pressure at home and abroad for greater democracy and a return to a civilian government.