From the pyramids of Meroë to the Sanganeb National Park, and the varieties of corals and fishes found in the waters of the Red Sea bed, Sudan is graced with beautiful attractions and let’s not forget the wonder that is The Nile River.
Sadly, the past couple of weeks have been filled with unending scenes of violence, and unlawful killings in Sudan.
6th April 2019- a peaceful sit-in was held outside Army Headquarters in Khartoum where thousands of protesters remained camped out in front of the site calling on the generals to cede power to a transitional authority. The military ousted Sudan’s former President Omar al-Bashir in April after months of protests against his authoritarian rule, following months of massive pro-democracy demonstrations in Khartoum and elsewhere.
The sit-in was a call to transition to civilian rule and it was held by Sudan’s opposition. However, factions within the military appear to have decided to put an end to the pro-reform protests after months of negotiations with civilian leaders and activists for a transition to democracy.
“Now an attempt is taking place to disperse the sit-in at the headquarters of the people’s armed forces by force by the military council,” said the Sudanese Professionals Association, the group which spearheaded nationwide protests that started in December.
The military sought to clear out protest camps on June 3rd as sounds of jubilant songs gave way to those of automatic gunfire and the screams of the dying. The beautiful Nile River has seen its shores wash up with bodies. Witnesses reported that the security personnel belonged to the feared Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary force that was heavily armed by Omar al-Bashir, the former Sudan president. Several video clips showed groups of RSF fighters beating and shooting at civilians, including traders.
Many people were killed and hundreds injured in the crackdown, hospitals also recorded more than 70 cases of rape in the attack.
An internet blackout broke out in Sudan to stop protestors from sharing footage of the total human rights’ violations. Members of other countries have been taking to social media to raise awareness and people are also taking to the streets to protest against the killings of demonstrators.
The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), one of the main pro-reform groups, called on Sudanese people to take part in “total civil disobedience” to topple the military council and for people to take to the streets to protest.
Sudan’s main protest group, therefore, launched a nationwide “civil disobedience” campaign. It says that it will last until power is transferred from the country’s military rulers to a civilian government.
The SPA is calling for people to stop: working, transferring phone credit, paying taxes and even filling up at petrol stations. Protestors say that their goal is to bring the country to a standstill.
The military is said to have arrested several doctors, bankers, airport employees and other professionals ahead of the general strike. If the RSF is not reined in, Sudan risks slipping into a civil conflict similar to the one in Syria. There are already reports that security forces and the RSF are leaving weapons behind to encourage civilians to arm themselves and give them an excuse to launch an even more brutal repressive campaign.
What the every-day people want to see is they want to ensure that the old guard is out of the military council. And more particularly that the RSF are also out. They don’t want to see RSF around the cities and they don’t want to negotiate with any military council.