Author: Siggy Kahama
Citizens of Sudan are facing dire consequences after a security force opened fire against protesters in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, leaving the country in a massive political warfare.
The start of the country’s unrest can be traced back to the end of 2018. In an attempt to prevent an economic collapse, Sudan’s President of 30 years, Omar al-Bashir increased bread and fuel prices, leading to riots and a significant rise of pro-democracy protesters demanding his removal from office.
The peak of the riots, however, took place April 11 when Bashir resigned from the presidency after a massive week-long protest in which protesters gathered around Khartoum’s military square demanding the army remove him. A general council assumed the position of power after this. However, ascribed to the fact Sudan’s military is not united due to past conflicts, the nation remained in discord and protests continued against a military-ruled government.
After almost two months of talks between protest leaders and military forces, on June 3, the military invaded a protest camp in Khartoum, killing an estimated 31 people and leaving about 100 injured.
The military government faced international condemnation, with countries like the U.S. describing it as a “brutal attack.” Despite this, the head of the military council Lt. General Abdel Fattah al-Burham stated that the civilians were just as responsible as the military for the outbreaks.
As of mid-June, according to the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, at least 108 people have been murdered and dumped into the Nile river. However, a health official cited by the Reuters news agency said that the death toll did not exceed more than 61. News sources have yet to confirm a number, as Sudan has ordered journalists to stop reporting about the country, detaining 90 of them earlier this year. The UN pulled its staff out of Sudan in response to the violence.
As a result of the raids, al-Burham announced that the military was ready to recommence discussions and negotiations with opposing groups. However, due to the deadly crackdown on civilians, protesters refused to negotiate, saying they could not trust the military.
Ultimately, the invasion led to a temporary clearing of the streets, but protesters such as Mohammed Azharri, a doctor who recalls watching soldiers beat an old man in the streets, is not ready to back down.
In a phone interview with The New York Times, Azharri stated, “We can’t let people die for nothing,” and “That’s why we are going back out tomorrow. This revolution is not over.”
In an attempt to censor media coverage of the situation, the government has cut off access to the internet. Yet some protesters are finding ways around it, spreading awareness through leaflets and promoting Sudan Bukra, a TV channel broadcasting coverage of the rebellion.
Social media coverage of the situation continues to grow as more people share articles and videos of what is occuring in Khartoum. Trending on social media platforms are hashtags such as #SudanUprising and #IAmTheSudanRevolution.
Mohanad Humam, a Twitter user, posted “The amount of gunfire used at the early hours as soldiers walk along the railway track. Khartoum sounded like a battle one. This camera overlooked the sitin [sic] site. #SudanUprising” in a tweet along with a video displaying police walking along the streets and gun sounds (Trigger Warning: loud gunshots). Humam has posted several more videos conveying the tragedy Sudan is facing.
A hashtag #BlueForSudan has also risen as a tribute to Mohamed Mattar, a protester killed in the crackdown. People have changed their social media profiles to the color blue in order to show solidarity for Sudan.