By: Dallia Abdel-Moniem
It’s finally happening.
The Arab Awakening, the Arab Spring call it what you want is rearing its head on the streets of Sudan.
From the capital Khartoum to the towns and cities of Atbara, Gadarif and Wad Medini, Sudanese took to the streets on Friday in protest at the spiraling costs in the country, the austerity measures taken by the government and the continuing rule of Omer El Bashir and the National Congress Party (NCP). Seven days on and they’re still going strong.
It doesn’t matter if the numbers are small, it doesn’t matter if in some Khartoum districts the protests died out faster then they started. What matters is that the Sudanese people have had enough, they’re speaking out, they’re protesting, they’re ensuring their voices are heard.
The notorious National Intelligence & Security Services (NISS) and police are carrying out their heavy-handedness tactics of strong tear gas and severe beatings while there have been very worrying reports of thugs in cahoots with the security apparatus using machetes as a fear and crackdown mechanism. Accounts of activists being arrested in their homes and in the hospitals where they’re being treated as well have also circulated and been documented by various groups and individuals. The number of those arrested and in custody with their whereabouts still not known is increasing by the day. Some still held include the likes of well known blogger and social media personality Usamah Mohamed (twitter handle @simsimt) who’s been in the custody of the NISS for three days now; activist Mohamed Hassan Alim Boshi who famously stood up to Nafie Ali Nafie in public and numerous others who are locked up simple because they dared to go out, stand up to the regime and protest.
Splits are appearing in the ranks within the NCP, while the police isn’t too enamored with the NISS handling of protesters. The cracks are widening, they just need that extra push to cause massive rifts. And if ever an incentive is needed here’s one: the Sudan Revolutionary Front announced they would call a ceasefire on all military fronts once El Bashir is toppled from power.
It’s been a long time coming, 23 years overdue but its here and the protests have been continuing for some 7 days now – the longest extended period of demonstrations in Sudan for a while and that surely is saying something?
It’s our turn to say kifaya (enough).
Enough with the mild-toned, let’s-be-cautious types of articles written by both Sudanese and non- Sudanese, we should rejoice in what is happening, we should encourage it and we should do our damnedest to make sure the world and her sister knows what is happening.
We were the first to have a popular uprising back in 1964, we did it again in 1984 and we will do it for the third time.
The people have found their voice, their will and the power to stand up to El Bashir and his cronies. Support them in any way you can, raise awareness, pass on verified information and most importantly don’t get despondent. Sudan is not Egypt, its not Libya and it’s not Syria. But we all have the same end goal – to get rid of tyranny, of a corrupt and despotic regime.