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Changes in Algeria and Sudan - Hope for the Survival of Democracy

Each time I begin to lose my remaining hope in humanity, an event comes along that restores my confidence in the girth of the champion of the human spirit and in humanity's aspirations toward happiness, freedom and prosperity.

Frustrated at the state of democracy in 2017, then into 2018 and already in 2019, my low expectations thus far, this year, have now rebounded to greater hope, thanks in part to the courage of Algeria's youth, who protested for weeks-on-end to demand their aging long-term often-absentee president, step down. 

Peaceful civil protests by Algeria's youth, which culminated in the nation's armed forces endorsing a change at the helm of the country, finally resulted in the resignation of president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who had ruled the north African country since 1999. The head of the nation's summit is now interim leader and has called for elections on July 4, this year. President Bouteflika was often absent from the country since suffering a stroke back in 2013, but yet, he insisted on seeking a fifth term in office when elections were announced earlier this year. 

I beamed at the audacity of Algeria's youth to lead an unprecedented determination to a future variant from the long-standing norm. I considered the action of Algerians "...what democracy looks like" and the source of my eager goose-bumps of elation over the possible good hope for democracy.

As a double satisfaction, I was encouraged by civil protests in Sudan against the 30-year-rule of president Omar al-Bashir. For several months, protests had been waged against Bashir, who ruled the African nation since 1989. I became even more hopeful on Wednesday when the Sudanese army agreed that the time was ripe for the long-serving president to be away from power. 

I was elated at news that the president would step down. But that elation soon turned to an unfortunate sorrow on today's news that the long serving president had indeed been actually ousted by the military, which was seeking to put in place a three-month state of emergency. And defense minister Awad Ibn Ouf has claimed that the military would oversee a two-year transitional period of governing followed by elections, a result not intended by the Sudanese protesters. Protesters are demanding a rightful civilian council to lead the transition rather than a military one, the BBC-News reported this afternoon.

The eventual paths taken to democratic change in both Algeria and Sudan will have a major impact on the survival of democracy in north Africa and in the general world into 2019 and lasting into future years.