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The Arab Spring is alive and kicking in Sudan

Hundreds of protesters come together during a demonstrations against the soaring prices and the scarcity of basic goods and services in Sudan on 20 December 2018
Hundreds of protesters come together during a demonstration against the soaring prices, the scarcity of basic goods and services in Sudan on 20 December 2018

We have barely finished with the Gilet Jaunes movement and the Paris demonstrations, which lasted six weeks and spread to some other European capitals, and are now faced with the white robes of our brothers in Sudan. They have held enormous and widespread demonstrations, extending across most of the states in the country; no city has been spared. The Sudanese people took to the streets and condemned the regime that has ruled with an iron fist for 30 years, oppressed and impoverished its people, and spread corruption throughout the land. Tyranny and corruption are inseparable, and once a fascist dictatorship is established, it is accompanied by corruption, as there is no accountability or sense of responsibility. Freedom is noticeable by its absence and the ruler makes decisions that cannot be reversed.

I find it odd that the Sudanese people are protesting for the sake of a loaf of bread despite the fact that Sudan is rich with natural resources, livestock and fertile land that provides food for the entire Arab world. Isn’t it strange that it has to import most of its basic needs? This is the product of the regime that has stifled Sudan for 30 years.

The government has started to “solve” the crisis by conventional Arab means: repression, arrests and TV clips of pro-regime elements receiving weapons to suppress and terrorise ordinary citizens. However, this has not stopped the popular protests, although the number of martyrs has apparently gone beyond 25; there is no accurate body count, official or unofficial. The areas where the protestors are gathered are too big to be covered on a security level, and there are dual timings for them, at night and during the day, which stretches the security forces.

The protests came as a surprise to the Sudanese authorities because they thought that they had reined in the people and completely repressed them. Moreover, the authorities do not feel the suffering of the people, who face severe economic conditions. There is a shortage of flour, bread and petrol, which alone suggested that protests would break out. Indeed, they have picked up pace over the past few days and are calling for the fall of the regime, the same slogan used during some of Arab Spring protests.

It is ironic that despite former US President Barack Obama’s suspension of the sanctions imposed on Sudan by America 20 years ago, the Sudanese economy is in its worst-ever state with severe inflation and a decline in the value of the national currency against the US dollar. The country is in an economic nightmare, with flour and petrol shortages as well as an increase in the price of everything now that the black market has become the only way to obtain basic necessities. This illustrates the bad management and corruption that is at the core of the fascist dictatorship in Khartoum.

The Arab Spring revolutions began in Tunisia and spread to Egypt, Libya and Yemen. They were protests against injustice and tyranny, and demonstrators demanded freedom, democracy, justice and dignity. Broken by counter-revolutions they have now re-emerged in Sudan, sending a message to the tyrants that the Arab people will not break. They may be knocked down but they can rise again. No matter how strong and powerful the dictators are, the Arab people are unafraid, and they will not leave; it is the dictators who must leave.

Free people in other Arab countries have shown solidarity with the Sudan protests, while the Zionist Arab leaders fear that the winds of change will reach their countries and they will experience a new wave of the Arab Spring. The revolutionary embers are in the hearts of the people and are waiting to be re-ignited. This is why no Arab government has issued a statement in support of the Sudanese people. Instead, some Arab leaders have contacted President Omar Al-Bashir to offer financial help to face the economic crisis in Sudan.

There is also a serious media blackout of the Sudanese uprising, apart for some recent scare reports which surfaced when the public complained about the protests being ignored. If it weren’t for alternative media outlets and social media, the world would be unaware of events in Sudan. Hence, the first decision made by the Sudanese authorities in response was to cut off the internet and dismiss the Minister of Communications.

It is ironic that this uprising came after the disgraceful visit made by Al-Bashir to the Syrian killer Bashar Al-Assad in order to break his international isolation and be the first head of state to step foot in Damascus and praise the President. They are two sides of the same coin known as dictatorship, fascism, injustice and tyranny. Their hands are stained with the blood of their people; Al-Bashir’s crimes in Darfur are still condemned by the International Criminal Court, which has an outstanding warrant in circulation for his arrest. One of the most amazing images in the Sudanese protests is the raising of the green Syrian revolutionary flag as an expression of solidarity with the rebels and their discontent with Al-Bashir’s visit to Damascus.

This is not the first Sudanese uprising; one broke out in 1964 and resulted in the overthrow of the military President, Ibrahim Abboud. There was also an uprising in 1985 that overthrew army leader Gaafar Al-Nimeiry. If God wills it, these protests will bring down Omar Al-Bashir before he raises Israel’s flag in Khartoum. He has been seeking to normalise relations with the Zionist state; Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exposed him by mentioning this openly.

By means of their uprising, the Sudanese people have proven that the Arab Spring did not die and that its waves are coming, inevitably so, no matter how long it takes. It will continue to haunt the dictators and tyrants in their waking hours and their sleep, and the more they try to supress it in one place, it will erupt in another. The treason, conspiracy and Zionism exposed by the first wave of the Arab Spring are too much for the Arab people to overlook. It is alive and kicking in Sudan.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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AfricaArticleOpinionSudan
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