The Dream of the Sudanese Revolution
It is June 3rd when a crowd of pro-democracy Sudanese protesters gathered outside the Military Headquarters in Khartoum. Two hours later, fire would be opened on them, and as heavy bullets and tear gas fly, a hundred innocent Sudanese perish. Afterwards, the majority of bodies was dumped in the Blue Nile by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, deployed by the Transitional Military Council. In the two weeks after the massacre, the death toll rises to 128. Who are the Rapid Support Forces? What is the Transitional Military Council? A brief overview of the situation in the ‘Republic’ of the Sudan is not unnecessary.
The nation has been in unrest for years. For thirty years, the Sudanese people have been subjected to the totalitarian rule of Omar al-Bashir. Torture, human rights abuses, repression and corruption were on the everyday agenda. The powder keg of a repressed population ignited, however, when economic mismanagement caused the standard of living to decrease all over the nation. On the December 19th, 2018, the peaceful demonstrations against the rising cost of living were met with violence. As the protests increased, and international pressure on al-Bashir increased, al-Bashir’s position became untenable. Within four months after the protests started, on April 11th to be exact, al-Bashir was removed from power in a military coup.
Subsequently, it was not the people who took power, but the army, which established the Transitional Military Council (TMC) as al-Bashir’s replacement. The TMC suspended the Constitution and effectively changed the country from a totalitarian dictatorship into a junta. It is this TMC that committed the Kharthoum Massacre, continued the human rights abuses, terrorized the people and deprived them of the human rights they were never free to enjoy. It even refused to hand over al-Bashir, for all his crimes and misdemeanors, to the International Criminal Court in the Hague.
It was not the system that changed, it was merely the regime. People from the previous government still rule in the current Sovereignty Council, which gained power from the TMC last summer. Al-Bashir, who has sending child soldiers to Saudi-Arabia and Yemen and protecting Osama Bin Laden on his list of crimes, is still protected by the current government. Is the revolution finished? Are the people of Sudan truly free, now that al-Bashir has been removed from power? Abdulrazik Khamis, Mohammed Abdulrahman and Karin Willemse discussed the situation in Sudan, about whether the dream of the Sudanese people was at least partially realized, or denied. AISA considers the event to have been a great success, with many new insights, and we will continue to hold events like this! If you wish to attend our events, make sure to check our events on Facebook!
Abdulrazik Khamis for sharing his views and his insights with me, and for reviewing this post.