The Washington Post | Sudan and Algeria’s dilemma: How to avoid turning into Egypt

In the space of little more than a week, two long-ruling autocrats in the Arab world succumbed to people power. First, it was Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the wheelchair-bound figurehead of an entrenched regime who bowed out in the face of mass protests last week after two decades in power. Then came news Thursday of Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who was placed under house arrest by the country’s military authoritiesafter four months of ceaseless demonstrations in the streets. The move brought to an end Bashir’s 30-year rule, during which he ruthlessly cracked down on dissent, waged bloody — legal experts would say genocidal — counterinsurgencies and, over the past decade, evaded an international warrant for his arrest for crimes against humanity.

Protesters in Sudan and Algeria are deeply aware of the fragility of their present gains. What began as unrest over economic grievances morphed into a far-reaching clamor for political reform. Young people who have only known life under Bouteflika or Bashir will wake up Friday with both leaders gone and their nations poised for change. Though the situations differ, they share the same fear that the old guards of the ancien regime may snap back into place, halting the momentum of what ……

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