By kribsco diallo
Protests have spread all over Sudan since the decorations, one month ago, of the increase of fuel prices in Sudan. this is not the first uprising against the Islamic dictatorship of el-Bashir, in power since 89. But it’s are the biggest since the beginning of the dictatorship. The brutal repression meted out by the police and Islamic militiamen is not deterring the heroic youth of Sudan. But will it succeed this time in overthrowing the regime?
“The uprisings the poor and disenfranchised”
Bashir in power since the coup on 89 has used the Islam as a tool of domination and to control its grip the state, the military authority & the economy…..What keeps his party stand at all this years is not faith in religion but belief in their very material mercantile interests….this is also the case of other reactionary religion & Tribal movements in the region. In the hands of these people, Islam is just a tool for exploitation and oppression….the system is very secluded with its economic war against its own people. there is virtually no support for the austerity measures on the Sudan. Growing social isolation is producing the first fissures. the unity of the system is cracking.
4 weeks of peaceful thousands demonstrations had escalated into a more generalized expression of opposition to years of austerity, economic hardship and suppression of the most basic democratic rights that make life intolerable for most Sudanese people. security forces fired live ammunition to prevent protesters reaching the presidential palace…At least 50 people have been killed and 400 injured….Hundreds more have been arrested in a brutal crackdown on demonstrations against the rising cost of basic commodities including bread…the government have also blocked social media sites and disrupted internet services to stop protesters communicating
Demonstrations broke out on 19 December over the high price of bread and fuel shortages in the northeastern city of Atbara, where protesters torched the ruling National Congress Party offices.Atbara, is known as the “City of fire and steel” because its a working class hotbed of anti-government protest and the birthplace of the Sudanese trade union movement that was dismantled under military rule in the 80s and 90s.
Demonstrations rapidly spread in capital Khartoum and across Sudanese major towns and cities, including Port Sudan and Dongola, in the first week, second week of protests witnessed demonstrations at Wad Nubawi in Omdurman, Bazura in southern El Gedaref, and Shabasha in the White Nile state, (the spread of demonstrations in Sudan since 19 December maps materially to the class divide, the geography of impoverishment that encircles the capital.) the doctors and medical staff launched an indefinite strike on 24 December aiming to “inability” the government, calling on members of other professions to join their nationwide work stoppage in solidarity with the movement. On the 27 December, journalists followed suit with a three days strike in remonstrance at the violence unleashed by the government against the protesters and also at the regular confiscation of newspapers by security agents and the beatings and arrests of media workers covering protests. the government imposed curfews and states of emergency in several cities, deploying the army around the country. It ordered the police to use tear gas wherever there were large crowds, the brutal repression, the “shoot-to-kill” orders to police officers, secret service agents, military personnel and plain clothed armed groups have cost the lives of dozens of demonstrators. this is what the so-called “plenty of self-restraint” of the police, so that they fired tear gas against fans leaving a football match immediately after they exited the stadium in Khartoum….security forces fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters following Friday prayers outside a mosque in Omdurman, part of the Greater Khartoum conurbation. But this Bloody violation has not deterred people from keeping the struggle going. Among the slogans chanted in the streets against the regime are: “Bullets don’t kill but submission does”. This reflects a widespread sentiment among the Sudanese people that the situation has become so bad that nothing is as worse as doing nothing, even if that means putting one’s life on the line. As one woman interviewed by the RT put it: “Whether you go out and die in a protest or stay in and die of hunger…Well, let’s protest then”. The sporadic closure of the internet, has not stopped information from circulating and has not fundamentally hampered the youth from organising. The internet service is on only for the NCP officials to make their financial transactions.
It is not true what is said : the political parties and opposition forces do not have a clear programme to take the movement forward. The Sudanese Communist Party called to “unite and work together to coordinate the movement” is a progressive step insofar as it pertains to strengthening the mass movement that exists. it unfortunately fails to draw a line with those sections of the political opposition who are keen to see el-Bashir ousted, but who do not represent a break from big business and whose primary interests are objectively opposed to the class interests of the living forces involved in the current uprising like the National Umma Party, have compromised into regular alliances with the regime in the past.
Coordination of Sudanese Change Coalition, was established in Khartoum which includes the opposition party members of National Consensus Forces, trade unions of the doctors and teachers, democratic lawyers, and the Alliance of Civil Society Organisations.
The Coordination demands that the regime “dissolve its executive and legislative bodies and to hand over the power to a transitional and inclusive government to administrate the country during an interim period.” No real strategy to achieve these goals has been outlined except for a “continuation of the struggle”. To “hold on” and “to continue the uprising” what is required is to prepare a general strike in the country.
A number of independent professional unions (doctors, pharmacists, engineers) have called for a general strike in 31/12/2018 this coalition called the Sudanese Professionals’ Association which enjoys the support of opposition parties, has called for a march on the presidential palace since protests began more than a week ago.
On new year Day, thousands attempted to reach the Nile-side palace in central Khartoum, clashing with police that used tear gas and batons to disperse them. The day also witnessed protests in a string of Sudanese cities.
Although the protesters never reached the palace, their action on Tuesday showed the depth of popular discontent with Bashir’s rule. Protesters numbering in the hundreds or very low thousands gathered in dozen or so venues across the city and fought pitched battles with police for hours before they dispersed after nightfall….Bashir sought to justify the killing of protesters by police, quoting from the Quran to argue that from punishment by death comes life, according to a video clip of his comments. “In reality, it’s deterrence to others so that we can maintain security, which is a valuable commodity and, God willing, we will not risk the security of the citizens or the nation,” he told the police commanders.
In January 10, 2018 3 people were killed and several others were injured in the largest opposition protest that took place in the Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman, Government security forces responded to peaceful demonstrations with live ammunition, rubber bullets, and tear gas, As in protests over the past three weeks, photos and video clips circulated quickly on social media, showing bloody bodies in the streets….Awfully, the images on social media show government forces entered the main hospital and shot live bullets, causing panic and chaos. Tear gas flooded operating rooms in at least two hospitals, videos show, and doctors confirmed in interviews. One doctor saw security forces enter a hospital and beat doctors and patients inside. She said she heard them say “we don’t care if you are doctors.” By day’s end, doctors’ organizations issued a joint statement condemning the attacks and arrests and announcing a general strike….The Police forces brazen disregard for medical facilities is not new. Since protests started nearly a month ago, sparked by price hikes but tapping a deep reservoir of discontent, government forces have shot scores of protesters dead and detained hundreds including doctors and medics….Far from condemning the killings and calling a halt to the shooting, beating and arrests, Sudan’s leaders seem to encourage their forces’ violence. On Monday January 8, in a rare public appearance, Former Vice President Ali Osman Taha warned opponents of the government that militia “brigades” would defend the country a statement that recalls the response to demonstrations in December 2013 that killed more than 200 protesters.
The protesters are not only targeting the recent economic measures, but they reject the regime as a whole. This is reflected in the slogans of the protesters who, just like their brothers and sisters in the rest of the third world, demand “equal rights & justice” and the “fall of the regime” and the “death of the president”.
Free fall economy
“Economic reform” is the excuse for the cutting of food and fuel subsidies. Those subsidies cost the state budget 3.5 billion dollars a year. But the government forgets to say that military spending represents 74 % of the state budget, including 26 million dollars a day for the wars in Darfur or in Kordofan and the Blue Nile.
The NCP government actions follow slavishly the recommendations of the IMF. The cuts in subsidies are part and parcel of a wider package of austerity…..Sudan is witnessing an economic collapse, with an increase in expenses and a deficit in the revenues.
The economy is in a confusion. the lifting of food and fuel subsidies is expected to raise inflation in the country. This is particularly the case as most food is imported. The exchange rate of the Sudanese pound against the dollar has fallen to a record low. Although there is not much foreign trading going on in the nation’s currency, its rate on the black market is generally considered to be a good gauge of the mood in business circles and the confidence of ordinary people in the economic situation.
(People have been forced to turn to the black market, but with the pound losing at least 25 percent of its value against the US dollar in the last month alone, the cost has become exorbitant.) In the last few months the Sudanese people have rushed to trade in their Sudanese pounds for hard currency and with prices spiraling, there has been a huge demand for cash, leading to hour-long queues at ATMs that often run out. This has followed the government’s sharp devaluation of the Sudanese pound last October and the central bank’s policy of restricting the money supply to shore up the currency and prevent a run on the banks, leading to a liquidity crunch and a shortage of cash.
Since the separation of the oil rich southern part of Sudan the national currency lost half of its value. (three quarters of oil production is located in South Sudan). oil revenues were the driving force behind the economy and generated most of the much needed dollars to import food. The bashir regime has tried to compensate the loss of oil revenues by selling its gold which represents now 60 % of foreign trade. Sudan is sitting on the biggest gold reserves of the African continent and has handed out exploitation contracts to 700 firms in the last 6 years. But the fall of gold prices this year means that income will be sharply reduced. The gold sales also fall below the income of oil before the secession of South Sudan.
Repression does not deter the movement
Sudanese protesters been teargassed by securities
The people anger is running far deeper than just on the rising cost of living. the Deterioration conditions of life, extending poverty and mass unemployment combine with generalized outrage at the enormous corruption of the ruling elite and the systematic asphyxiation of the most basic freedoms. While the Sudanese living standards are being constantly undermined, a large proportion of State spending is siphoned off by the military and security apparatus, aimed at protecting those in power and at perpetuating a state of war in the west of Sudan.
That is why regime should know better, but it is completely alienated from reality. the Sudanese people and especially the new generations remain undeterred by the extreme retaliatory violence of the state. Repression of all kinds no longer paralyses or instils passivity quite the contrary! Every drop of blood lost, every man or women hit by a truncheon, every protester killed today increases the resolve to get rid of the dictatorship. It does not weaken but hardens the will to struggle
Media coverage of the revolutionary movement
what’s happening in Sudan did not get world attention cause the mainstream media’s tends to ignore happenings outside of the US and Western Europe and because they want Al Bashir Stay on top of power.
Protests in Africa have increased by 40%. Often these resistance movements are overlooked and ignored, even by leftists in the 1st world. Although outside support is slim, this has not detoured African freedom fighters from publicly taking stances of solidarity with causes such as Black Lives Matter in Amerikkka, labor protests in Europe, and the calls for a Free Palestine, and many others. Activists from all over the continent, for decades have centered labor rights, dismantling white supremacy, internationalism, anti imperialism, women’s rights, LGBT+ rights, environmental racism,decolonization, reparations and asserting their rights for self determination. This list is to acknowledge a few of their political actions tied to a growing movement for global liberation.
Qatar and turkey officially expressed its support to the Islamic Sudanese fascist regime, which is facing a popular uprising these days. Apparently, erdogan and tamim hamad support of democratic aspirations in the region is dependent on their Islamist nature….which explains the scarce coverage by Al Jazeera of the protest movement!
“The compelling need for a centralised revolutionary leadership”
General strikes in Sudan have a charged history, because of the insurrectionist character they took in both 1964 and in 1985, the mass action of the workers’ movement leading both times to the overthrow of the then ruling dictatorships of General Ibrahim Abboud and General Jaafar Nimeiri respectively….today the biggest challenge for the Uprising is to forge its own central political leadership from the grass roots up. the best way to do this is to establish committees of struggle in the schools, universities, workplaces and neighbourhoods and to coordinate them at the local, city, regional and national level. All left-wing groups, communists and trade unions should participate in it. They must become instruments for unifying and centralising the struggle for the overthrow of the regime. But they can and must be much more. In the revolutionary situation which is rapidly developing in Sudan they will become tools of a new power to replace the old rotten and corrupt state apparatus and government. They should become the backbone of a new revolutionary constituent assembly elected by those same committees of struggle.
The instantaneous task of such a revolutionary ingredient assembly is to dismantle the old repressive and bureaucratic state, disband the NISS, prosecute the men and women responsible for the repression of the people, dissolve the NCP and all parties who sided with it, free all political prisoners, introduce the right to organise, to strike, to demonstrate and freedom of expression. It shall also take the first measures of social justice, increase the wages, lower the prices, stop all privileges, expropriate the oligarchs and make their possessions public property, nationalise the mines and oil wells, nationalise the fuel distribution network, the big markets, the big truck companies, telecom companies, banks, etc. under the democratic control of the workers. Those basic conditions for revolutionary and democratic change cannot be obtained through negotiations, through wheeling and dealing with the regime. The regime must be overthrown. This would then be the first step to eradicating the root cause of all discrimination, prejudice, national, ethnic and religious oppression, i.e. the economic system of capitalism.
“We urge the Sudanese people to continue their demonstrations until success is achieved by overthrowing the regime.” – The Sudanese Communist Party issued a statement calling on opposition groups to continue the protests.
Is a member of Communist Party in Egypt
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