I feel like whenever there’s a conflict in the Eastern world a lot of the West just ignore it and pretend it’s not happening – until one of their citizens is involved and honestly it’s kind of scary. I will admit I’m fairly ignorant to what’s happening in Sudan but even with my rushed knowledge on the topic, I feel like awareness needs to be brought to the situation. People are dying, being raped, losing their livelihoods while we sit and make a fuss over the AJ fight.
So what is happening in Sudan right now?
Waves of demonstrations and protests took place around December 2018 as a response to a rise in bread prices, and as the country has been going through ane extreme economic crisis, this became the final straw. The protests initially started in Atbara, which is a city in Sudan known for their anti government activities.
Thousands took to the streets as the governments initial response to the shortages of bread was to triple the price. The government then tried to crush the rising protests and imposed a curfer from 6pm to 6am and claiming a state of emergency. At this point the protests had already spread and everyone was angry. To add to this there were also cash shortages as a result of a restiction of withdrawals, which left people struggling to find cash.
The protests then evolved to a point that it couldn’t be stopped:
“Trade unions and professional associations also called for nationwide strikes that saw the participation of a large number of doctors, journalists, lawyers and pharmacists from across Sudan.
“Political parties then joined in, and influential sections within the military refused to take part in the repression, forcing the government to eventually cede power.
“Protesters adopted slogans used during the Arab Spring of 2011 and gathered outside the headquarters of the military in the capital and refused to move.”
President Omar Al-Bashir responded by ensuring that the citizens would have a decent living, but also refused to back down despite being in office since 1989. By Feburary 22nd 2019 Al-Bashir announced a one year state of emergency.
In doing this, he banned all public gatherings, protests and other political activities. It also gave the police and security forces the authority to monitor individuals and act in a way they saw fit. They were allowed to detail suspects, seize private property and a lot more without any evidence. Only the believe that the suspect was planning political activities.
Sudanese police are also being criticised for the rise in the death toll, alongside a stark increase of arrests of protestors.
“In early April, the interior ministry said 39 people, including three security personnel, had died since protests began last year. A spokeswoman for SPA put the death toll at nearly 70.”
On April 11, the military removed Al-Bashir from power and replaced him with the military council led by Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burha. Who has promised to “oversee a transitional period that will last a maximum of two years.”
The problem with that though is that demonstators and protestors have accused Al-Burha of being close to Al-Bashir, and have also said that they were responsible for the problems that ignited the protests. They demanded an end to the military rulers and are calling for a civilian-led government.
Which leads us to the most recent issues that are occuring right now as military rule is leading to multiple massacres. Women are being beaten, raped, forced to drink sewage and honestly it’s baffling that the news is failing to bring this to the front of our news websites. Yes, they’re writing about it, but they’re not pushing the articles to the front page.
EDIT : I feel like it’s important to note that I wrote this only a few days before this was set to be published and a lot has happened since. The military are opening fire on innocents, raping women, and are making the death toll high – and it’s being ignored.
Doctors in Sudan told the Guardian a lot about this, they said that “the Royal Care hospital said it had treated eight victims of rape – five women and three men. At a second hospital in the south of Khartoum, a medical source said it had received two rape cases, including one who was attacked by four RSF paramilitaries. Several witnesses have also described similar cases on social media.”
It’s a national crisis with no international aid, and hopefully if everyone spreads awareness something will happen.
I know I’ve probably missed out a lot, and honestly I still have a lot to learn on the situation, but writing this has helped me learn a lot more about the situation.