The inflation-hit Sudanese population is unwilling to compromise for less and instead planning to overhaul the state's ruling apparatus.
The end of Sudan's 30-year long military rule of Omar al Bashir is not the end of Sudanese political upheaval. The country's leading opposition force Sudanese Professionals' Association (SPA) is now calling for a "full dissolution of the deep state."
The deep state usually refers to an unofficial alliance among political elites, institutional powers and business leaders in any given country, according to experts.
To reconcile with the opposition, Sudan's interim military government made many concessions — from putting Bashir under a house arrest to forcing the coup leader Awad Ibn Auf, who was also Bashir’s defense minister, into retirement.
It doesn't end there. The country's intelligence chief Salah Abdallah Mohamed Saleh, who's nicknamed Salah Gosh, was also forced to resign from his post on Saturday. Under Saleh, Sudan's intelligence service gained a bad reputation. Gosh launched a brutal crackdown on protesters since the beginning of the non-violent uprising.
The interim government led by General Abdel Fattah al Burhan, an ally of the Gulf’s autocratic rulers, made a pledge to protesters that they will have a say in picking the country’s new prime minister.
Initial signs show the Saudi-UAE bloc has appeared to lean toward Burhan, hoping to groom and use him as a buffer against the Muslim Brotherhood in Sudan. They see in Burhan what they saw in Egypt's military general Abdel Fattah el Sisi.
The protesters, however, do not seem to be in agreement with the governing military council’s political moves. They see “the deep state” structure as an obstacle to achieving a free, democratic state and they are not willing to compromise on it and still wish “to remove the entire system.”
What is Sudan’s deep state?
Bashir’s critics have long accused “the deep state” of being “a violent kleptocracy,” which focused on the exploitation of the country’s resources.
According to critics, they are “a relatively small group of regime insiders, supported by domestic and foreign commercial partners.” And this tiny but powerful structure has long been able to manipulate Sudanese people, muzzling free speech, calling the opposition forces “traitors and foreign agents.”
But that political equation began to change since 2011 when Bashir agreed to the secession of South Sudan from Khartoum under international pressure following a long civil war.
Sudan lost most of its oil fields to the newly independent South Sudan, which has gained the status of having Africa’s third-largest oil reserves after its secession. As a result, Sudanese have been subjected to increasing fuel prices.
With that, Bashir and the deep state struggled to maintain a grip over the country, triggering protests.
Five years ago, there were violent protests against rising oil and gas prices and more than 200 protesters were killed at the time by Sudanese security forces.
But more than anything else, Sudanese have been fed up by the fact that the price of bread can triple in a country that has the potential to be the breadbasket of the Arab world, according to many experts.
Other commodity prices skyrocketed too, while the Sudanese central bank recently devalued the pound, pushing inflation to 70 percent.
The popular unrest was able to remove two military leaders in a matter of two days, sealing "victory for the will of the masses."
But removing the deep state, a closely knit network, and replacing it with democratic governance will be a difficult task in a country where military intervention has been prevalent for decades.