In April 2019, mass uprisings in Algeria and Sudan toppled their longtime dictators. Yet the two countries’ paths soon diverged. Protesters in Sudan secured a pact with the regime’s remnants and embarked on a democratic transition. Protesters in Algeria, however, rallied until May 2021 but could not compel a regime transition. This divergence stems from: 1) the level of organization among protesters; 2) the degree of unity of the regime’s security forces; and 3) the extent of international mediation. A comparison of Algeria and Sudan points to the importance of pacted transitions and sheds new light on the factors that facilitate such pacts.