In Sudan, the social front has been in turmoil for several weeks. Indeed, since mid-December 2018, the country is shaken by a wave of protest in all directions. It started in Khartoum and ended up in several other cities in the country, where the state of emergency was declared. It was the exaggerated increase in the price of bread that tripled and the lack of gasoline that triggered the movements. Demonstrations are suppressed in the blood, killing dozens of people and seriously injuring others. Faced with this repression, the movement did not weaken and became an anti-government sling with sectoral strikes and the demand for the departure of President Omar el-Bashir.

From a social crisis …

Protest in SudaanSince 19 December 2018, Sudan has been in the grip of a wave of protests. People are descending almost daily in the streets to protest the high cost of living, including the rising price of bread. These peaceful demonstrations are systematically repressed with tear gas and live ammunition. The balance is heavy. Forty deaths, according to human rights groups. Some images posted on social networks are appalling. It shows protesters with bare hands, taken apart by the forces of defense and security.

From simple social manifestations at the beginning, the movement has hardened. From now on, the demonstrators claim the head of the president. They are likely to go all the way and win their claim.   

Despite the strong deployment of security forces in Khartoum and other protest cities such as Omdurman, Port Sudan, Madani or Atbara, this has not stopped the movement from continuing. Hundreds of protesters, men, women and young people took to the streets again on the eve of New Year’s Eve, to chant again slogans demanding freedom, dignity, the departure of the government they say  » corrupt  » and that of President el-Bashir. Unsigned flyers were distributed in Khartoum, denouncing the dictatorship and the military regime.

The protesters have sometimes been original. In addition to the traditional protest marches, some have shown in small groups reading poems, others singing or throwing youyous; others, all dressed in white, are mounted by hundreds on horseback, as was observed in the state of Al Jazirah, in the center of the country.

… Towards a popular revolution

The muscled intervention of the forces of the orders and defense which brutalizes without qualms the demonstrators pushed the president el-Béchir to make a statement inviting his soldiery to show restraint.

In a speech to mark the 63 th anniversary of Sudan’s independence on January 1, he said he was  » confident in the ability to overcome the challenges of economic ». In power since 1989, Omar al-Bashir made new promises to the Sudanese who no longer believe in the sincerity of the regime. It is also insufficient since the perpetrators of its killings and other abuses enjoy impunity. They should be identified arrested and tried, so that they answer for their actions.   

This media release did not bring down the tension. Protesters have repeatedly tried to reach the presidential palace. But it is to count without the determination of the anti-riot forces that pushed them back. But nothing seems to shake the determination of the protesters.  » The revolution is the choice of the people,  » chanted the demonstrators who had gathered in the city center demanding « freedom, peace and justice. »

 » Barely two minutes after the start of our march, they used force to disperse us. They fired tear gas against us. It surprised us because usually they wait a little, maybe fifteen minutes before we disperse, but not today. They intervened from the start. After that, they started shooting. They did not use rubber bullets, no. It was real bullets. As I walked, I saw a man collapse right in front of me. He was bleeding, he had blood everywhere. It was terrifying. They use every means at their disposal to scare us. They have no limit. Right now, we went to a friend’s house because they were arresting people in the street. Apparently, there would be a lot of arrests« Describes a protester after a day of dispersed mobilization. This testimony gives an idea of the bloody repression of peaceful demonstrations in Sudan.

Several small processions still managed to walk on several arteries of the city. Buses bringing protesters from other cities were prevented from reaching the center of Khartoum. According to our information, there were about 10 wounded and dozens of arrests including opposition leaders.  » We’re not afraid , » repeated the crowd that he intended to stay in the street all night until 1 st January symbolic day in Sudan, as it marks the anniversary of independence.

The Bashir diet vomited

Every year for the last five years, Sudan has registered protest movements, but the latter is unheard of and  » is made to last,  » say several opposition leaders who blame the events for the government’s inability to find a solution. to the severe economic crisis that the country is going through. For them, the protesters must be patient referring to a form of war of attrition that is committed against the regime. In power since 1989, Omar el Bashir was nominated as a presidential candidate in 2020 by his party, the National Congress. This protest movement, which has been going on for two weeks, is considered by specialists to be the most important since the three decades of Omar al-Bashir’s rule.

 

Recent events in Sudan are the consequences of the failure of government policies, civil wars and the mismanagement of the country. In 2018, the economic difficulties increased with inflation of nearly 70% and a Sudanese pound plunged against the US dollar.

In addition to claims of freedom and democracy, the Sudanese street people want them to be respected. For them, the diet is arrogant, while it should provide for their needs for food, health and education. Instead, the protesters believe that Omar al-Bashir is surrounded by a corrupt and regime-favored Islamist political class as well as an army and a police force that defends him despite their internal struggles.

Also, Omar al-Bashir’s bodyguard now controls all sectors of the economy. She runs the institutions and controls the public money. It goes so far as to dominate the state apparatus and even the executive. This social category, as small as it is, « mortgages Sudan » to use the expression of an observer. According to the opposition, the entourage of Omar al-Bashir has reduced the state to an empty shell that the people want to recover and reactivate

The solidarity of Africans Rising to the movement

In what can be described as the Sudanese spring, struggling populations can also count on the solidarity of African social movements, particularly Africans Rising. « Africans struggling for justice, peace and dignity firmly believe in freedom of expression and association, defend their rights, and argue that the people of Sudan deserve to have their voices heard. We therefore call on the Sudanese government to put an immediate end to repression and restore Internet services in order to guarantee citizens’ freedom of expression and the right to protest, «  reads a statement by the Africans Rising Movement.  » We join our Sudanese brothers and sisters and call on all the active forces and voices of freedom, freedom and justice, on the continent and beyond, to stand in solidarity with the people of Sudan. We must not let the forces of oppression succeed in silencing the voices of citizens. We will continue to monitor the situation in Sudan and pledge our support to all non-violent 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 stand up for justice, peace and dignity, we rise with them, « the statement said.

Shalom Ametokpo

Sudan

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