How A Broken Promise In Sudan Has Ended In Protest
Protests have erupted in the streets of Sudan against a military takeover of the government.
Tens of thousands of pro-democracy supporters have been met with extreme force and violence by Sudanese security forces, which is a new tremor in the face of political crisis.
At least 14 people were shot dead on just one day of the pro-democracy protests, which is now being called the ‘bloodiest day’ of marches so far.
According to witnesses and medics, the military fired live ammunition and tear gas to disperse the crowds that gathered across the country.
The deaths happened in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, and in the city of Omdurman.
These latest deaths bring the total death count to at least 38 since October 25th – when the military seized power – and hundreds of more people have been wounded.
Why Are People Protesting?
The recent rallies were led by the Sudanese Professionals, Resistance committees, and reportedly even the Sudan Doctors Committees.
They started after this man, General Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan, reappointed himself head of the Sovereign Council – which is Sudan’s interim governing body.
He’s the leader of the current military coup and his reappointing has been labelled a sign of al-Burhan tightening his grip on the country.
There are reports that al-Burhan has already imprisoned more than 100 key political leaders and activists.
Even the prime minister Abdalla Hamdock is under house arrest, and Al Jazeera’s bureau chief has been arrested.
Why There Was A Coup In Sudan
This stronghold over civilians actually started a few years back, just when the country felt closer than ever to a democratic government.
In 2019, a military coup ousted Sudan’s long-time dictator and accused war criminal, Omar al-Bashir, during mass anti-government protests against the dictator and authoritarian rule.
Once Omar al-Bashir was arrested and his regime had fallen, the military took temporary control of governing.
An agreement was arranged between the people of Sudan, protest leaders, and the military – that all groups would be put in charge of the country.
The goal was to transition to full civilian rule and have elections by 2023.
But in October this year, the military seized total control of the transitional government in another coup.
The army basically went against the plan for the country’s power-sharing government and set up its own new ruling council, without including any civilians like it had promised.
A Global Reaction
Despite the news coverage, which includes footage, Sudanese police have denied using live ammunition against the protesters.
There have been reports that the Sudanese military shut down the internet when it took over, which has made it hard to know the full scope of the resistance movement and the military’s response to it.
Sudan has long suffered a deep economic crisis – which was exacerbated by the 2019 coup – leaving civilians facing huge fuel, gas, food, and medical shortages.
The moves by the military have drawn international criticism from world leaders urging the military to reverse their coup.
Around the world, demonstrations have been organised to stand in solidarity with the Sudanese people, like this demonstration in Wales.
Hundreds of protestors gathered outside the United Arab Emirates Embassy in London, as well.
Earlier in October, 400 people in Paris gathered to call for the immediate handover of power to civilians.
And protestors in Berlin carried a banner that read “A victory for the Sudanese protestors…is a victory for all of us!”.