President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi partook in Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir’s inauguration Tuesday, celebrating a new five-year presidential term for the man who had led Sudan since 1989.
A statement from the presidency said Al-Sisi’s participation comes “in the framework of special brotherly relations between the two countries”. Al-Sisi will head to Europe following the ceremony to start a visit that will include Germany and Hungary.
Al-Bashir won the April national elections in a landslide victory, with 94.5% of the vote as he ran facing little to no opposition during the elections, with nearly all major opposition parties boycotting the elections.
The “opposition” figures who did run in the election were identified by a leaked African Union (AU) report from March as sympathisers or even “creations” of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP). Despite its own criticism though, the AU decided to send observers to the election, thereby drawing heavy criticism from the opposition for granting credibility to the “forged” elections.
In its report on the elections, the AU only mildly criticised the Sudanese government, stating that the “suppression of human rights […] no doubt constrained and restrained participation in the electoral process”, but mostly keeping a low profile by concluding that “the results of the election would reflect the expression of the will of the voters of Sudan”.
Al-Bashir’s rise to political power began in 1989, when he, backed by military power (himself being a military man) and the support of Islamists, toppled the government. The 71-year-old president is indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.