Sudan has been suffering under a tyrannical regime for decades until April 11 when the leader, Omar al-Bashir, was overthrown. Since then, people in Sudan have been involved in a two-month-long peaceful sit-in fighting for civilian rule. There have been multiple attacks on the sit-in culminating in its most violent attack on Monday June 3rd.
What has been going on in Sudan?
Last Monday, the RSF (Rapid Support Forces), also known as ‘janjaweed’ violently attacked protesters. Over 100 people died and over 650 people were injured. The horrors of this massacre don’t end there, though. There have been multiple reports of torture and rape. They burnt down tents at the sit-in with people still inside them. According to the BBC, some women arrested by the RSF were beaten with sticks, forced to drink sewage water and even urinated on. They’ve been throwing bodies into the Nile to hide what they did with 40 bodies being retrieved so far.
The man in charge of the RSF, Mohamed Hamdan, has since become one of the most powerful men in Sudan. This isn’t the first injustice he’s authorised. He is the same man responsible for the genocide committed in Darfur which resulted in the deaths of 300,000 people.
Since then, the government has been trying to restrict access to mobile internet in order to prevent people all over the world discovering what they’ve done. Most people in Sudan access their internet through mobile devices so this has a widespread effect. They forbade Sudanese journalists from reporting on the situation or risk arrest.
What’s the world doing in response?
The UN has declared that they will be removing most of their staff from Sudan because of the violence and threat to their security, with some remaining in order to ‘perform critical functions’. In other words: they don’t seem to care that the same violence they’re running from is the one that the Sudanese people are still being abused by.
The African Union (AU) has suspended Sudan from all AU activities as a result of the attack on Monday until the Sudanese government establishes a government led by civilians.
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed arrived in Khartoum on June 7 to spearhead mediation efforts between the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the protest leaders. However, it seems unlikely that these talks will proceed as the protesters aren’t interested in discussion with the ‘Coup Council’. The Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) have issued a statement demanding several things:
- They want those responsible for Monday’s attack to be held responsible for their actions.
- A full transfer of power to a civilian government
- The dissolution of the RSF
The FFC declared that they intend to proceed with a general and nation-wide act of civil disobedience, starting June 9, in order to put pressure on the TMC.
How can I help?
It can be easy to feel helpless when we learn about such terrible acts being committed. But we can do something about it. To bring light on the situation in Sudan, people all over the world have been using the hashtag #IAmTheSudanRevolution so their voices can be heard. I’m asking you to do the same. Or share this article. Or talk about what’s happening with your friends. It doesn’t matter how you do it. Let your voices be heard. Don’t let the world ignore what’s happening. The terror inflicted on the Sudanese people is despicable and must be stopped.
There are some other ways to help too. Doctors have become an invaluable resource in Sudan right now and have since been targets for the military who want to cripple the Sudanese people. Donating your money to help them could truly change many people’s lives.
Individually, we may not be able to stop what’s going on but collectively we can definitely make a difference.