inally, the crisis in Sudan has navigated its way to world news. Big media outlets have finally given up on the Kardashians and are reporting the troubling reports of rape, murder, and other acts of inhuman violence that has marred Sudan. What started as a protest against an authoritarian figure, turned into violence, bloodshed, and a nationwide internet blackout.
How Did it All Begin?
It all started in December with the Sudan uprising against increased prices of basic items such as bread and fuel, which had been hiked by the authoritarian government to stop the country’s economy from getting worse.
The suffering citizens took to the streets to protest, which ultimately led to them overthrowing the dictator Omar al-Bashir. Bashir was ousted via a military coup after nearly 30 years of being in power, during which he had been indicted for war crimes and genocide in Darfur. After the Sudanese citizens liberated themselves from the criminal claws of Omar al-Bashir, the military leaders claimed their support for democracy.
However, the military leaders and the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which led the civilian protest towards democracy, had clashing opinions to reach the democratic future of Sudan. The military wanted to take a vote in nine months, while the SPA wanted a long transition to give the country and its citizen’s time to prepare for a democratic election.
Who is in Charge Now?
Amidst disagreements, the military reportedly formed a temporary government or a military council. Sudan is currently being led by Lt. General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan. The Transitional Military Council (TMC) was formed to keep “order” and “security” in the country.
Read on to find out how it maintained this “order”.
Reasons for Continued Protest and Unrest
The slight hope of democracy that the Sudanese got after the removal of Omar al-Bashir had plummeted into the darkness with the new military-ruled government. The TMC had effectively rendered all previous struggles and efforts vain.
The Sudanese continued their work toward a fully democratic government with protests. On June 3, the military responded with violence to the nonviolent strike of the civilians. The World Health Organization reports that the military was responsible for the killing of 52 protestors and injuring 700. However, civilian reports claim that the numbers are much higher and the bodies were thrown into the Nile River.
What Transpired During Protests in Sudan?
During demonstrations on June 3rd, reportedly the Transitional Military Council used “tear gas” and “brutal violence” against the civilians-with many being killed and injured. The TMC said they felt “sorrow for the ways events escalated” and that the operation had targeted “trouble makers and petty criminals”.
Emergency laws and night-time curfews have been executed by the authorities all over the county. Classes have been suspended in schools and universities.
How Were Women Protestors Targeted?
A spine chilling message was sent out to the officers on the ground by the authorities-“Break the girls because if you break the girls, you break the men.”
Activists say that in the capital Khartoum, women were arrested, taken to detention sites, where they were photographed naked, and threatened with sexual violence. Women were singled out, raped and had their underwear stolen as a “war trophy”.
This set forth a running wheel of abuse against women. Husbands started divorcing their wives out of shame and fathers beat their daughters into submission, in order to keep them at home. Abuse, rape, violence, and threats, didn’t do what the military intended. Women came back to the streets, injured and beaten, yes, but braver, to fight for freedom. They were beaten, not broken.
The Internet Blackout
In an attempt to keep their atrocities from coming out, the military reportedly shut down the internet across Sudan.
Response from Other Countries
The United Kingdom said that the military council held “full responsibility” and the United States called it a “brutal attack”. Most western and African countries have backed the protestors.
The news is finally getting the coverage it deserves. It is widely being talked about and garnering more supporters in this time of need. Support is on its way in the form of donations as the rest of the world stands in solidarity against violence and brutality on innocent civilians.