In the past two weeks, Sudan has plunged into dire political crisis as citizens rise and protest against difficult living conditions. The uprising has so far been met with severe repression and as of date, over 40 people have been reported killed including children as young as 12 years old.
These killings and grave abuses must never be mere statistics. We recognise that the victims are human beings who are part of families and communities, and who, within their legitimate rights, went out to protest for justice and dignity. Governance is effective when it can guarantee basic rights and conditions for its citizens, but in recent times Sudan has failed to guarantee the basic needs of its citizens. Citizens are protesting against high food prices, coupled with the inability to access money deposited in banks as a result of an economic crisis that has prevailed since April of this year and which reached its peak in September 2018. Beyond the economic crisis aggravated by the rise in prices of basic food products, the citizens of Sudan are protesting against three decades of Omar Al-Bashir’s brutal dictatorship. Dictatorship coupled with poor governance means the regime is prepared to do anything – including intimidating, detaining, and torturing activists and journalists, or killing protesters, as we have observed in the past two weeks – to maintain its hold on power.
Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and dignity strongly believes in and stands for freedom of speech and association, and maintains that the people of Sudan deserve to have their voices heard. We therefore call on the government of Sudan to put an immediate end to repression and restore internet services to guarantee citizens freedom of expression and the right to protest. We stand with our Sudanese brothers and sisters and call on all active forces and voices of freedom, liberty and justice, on the continent and beyond, to stand in solidarity with the people of Sudan. We must not allow the forces of oppression to succeed at silencing the voices of citizens.
We will continue monitoring the situation in Sudan and pledge our support to all nonviolent civil movements in Sudan. In the spirit of Ubuntu, the struggle of the Sudanese is a struggle of all Africans – and as the people of Sudan rise for Justice, Peace and Dignity, we rise with them.
A luta continua…
by Farida Nabourema