Indiscriminate Murders & Rapes: Know All About The Crisis That Has Gripped Sudan
June 16th, 2019 / 1:56 PM
Image Source: Wikimedia
On the morning of June 3, military forces cracked down on a peaceful sit-in in Khartoum, Sudan. They opened fire on protestors and gave a bloody turn to a six-month-long peaceful protest. With reports of gunfire, indiscriminate murder, rapes, and mass arrests, the bloodshed has deepened the ongoing crisis in Sudan.
Until then, the international media had largely ignored the incident. It was only after Sudanese influencer and beauty blogger, Shahd Khidir, posted a series of photographs of Instagram on June 6, that everyone took notice.
She wrote, “There’s a massacre happening in my country Sudan’s and a media blackout and media censorship for four consecutive days. There’s no objective media sharing what’s going on except for Aljazeera which had their offices shot down.”
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It’s really hard being an influencer and sharing information that is “off brand” and not worthy of the “feed” but I cannot hold this in anymore. I am at my office crying because I have so many emotions in me and I feel horrible. There’s a massacre happening in my country Sudan’s and a media blackout and internet censorship for four consecutive days. There is no objective media sharing what’s going on expect for @aljazeeraenglish which had their offices shot down. My friend @mattar77 was MURDERED by the Rapid Support Forces. My best friend was in hiding on June 2 and that’s the last time I spoke to him. He was missing for 4 days and when I got in touch with him he said: “I was caught, beaten and abused and humiliated and arrested and had my phone confiscated from me. I am injured currently.” And all I could do this post this. I am sorry to all companies I am running campaigns with but my editorial calendar is currently on pause. I am willing to refund all and everything right away. Please, just send me an email. To my followers/supporters who this is too much for I am also sorry but my regularly scheduled content/reviews is also on pause. If this offends you, I am sorry. But I need to speak out and share this in a time like this. If you want to support me please share this information as widely as possible and don’t be silent. Be an ally because we need your help. And tune into my stories for more information. THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY HAS BEEN SILENT. #sudanuprising #sudanese_protest #مجزرة_القيادة_العامة #عيد_شهيد #اعتصام_رويال_كير #اعتصام_القيادة_العامه #السودان @wawa_waffles @sudanuprising.updates #sudanrevolts #sudanuprising #iamsudan #iamsudanrevolution #sudanese #freesudan
According to estimates, the death toll in the crackdown was more than 120 and has been on the rise since then.
Since 1983, more than 2 million people have died in Sudan as a result of civil war and famine. It has also displaced more than 4 million people. This massive loss of life surpasses the civilian death toll in any war since World War II.
Here is all you need to know about the ongoing crisis in Sudan.
Omar Hassan Al-Bashir
When the second civil war of Sudan (1983-2005) was at its peak, it was the then Col. Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir who seized power from the ruling government in a coup-de-tat. As a result, he became the President, Chief of State, Prime Minister, and the Chief of Armed Forces.
After a number of foreign interventions and peace treaties, the war stopped in 2005. By then millions had died and millions more had been displaced.
A major armed conflict began in Darfur, Sudan, in 2003 when the civil war was nearing its end. It turned into an armed conflict between the rebel groups, the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) and the Justice, the Equality Movement (JEM), and the al-Bashir government.
The rebels alleged the government of oppressing Darfur’s non-Arab population and carried out militaristic actions. In response, the government carried out mass atrocities under the aegis of ethnic cleansing against the non-Arab population.
In 2009, the International Criminal Court in the Hague issued an arrest warrant for al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. However, the ruling government, the African Union, and the League of Arab States refused to recognise the decision and al-Bashir continued in power.
The president Overthrown
The present unrest in Sudan finds its roots in December 2018, when the al-Bashir regime introduced austerity measures to avoid an economic collapse. Under it, they imposed subsidy cuts on basic necessities like bread and fuel. This led to mass protests by the Sudanese people.
According to reports from Amnesty International, the protest was largely led by Doctors, Journalists, Teachers, and other professionals, and was one of the largest waves of protest since al-Bashir came to power 30 years ago.
The government responded with violence. In their use of excessive force at least 45 were killed, hundreds injured, and thousands were arrested.
The protests reached a tipping point on April 6, this year, when the protesters occupied the square in front of the government headquarters, demanding that al-Bashir resigns.
After four days, the president was overthrown in a military coup led by his own generals.
The Present Crisis
Following al-Bashir’s ousting, a military council assumed control to oversee the transition of power to the civilian bodies.
Soon, there were demands that the council makes way for the civilian bodies immediately so that they can conduct elections. The council and the opposition agreed to a three-year transition period towards democracy, but the talks broke down in May.
According to BBC reports, demonstrators argued that al-Bashir’s regime is so deeply entrenched that a long transition is needed to dismantle his political network and allow fair elections.
The two sides agreed on the structure of a new government – including a sovereign council, a cabinet and a legislative body.
But the military leaders scrapped all of these agreements on 3 June and said fresh elections would be held within nine months.
The council’s head said they had decided to “stop negotiating with the Alliance for Freedom and Change and cancel what had been agreed on”.
On the same day, the protester’s organised a peaceful sit-in in Khartoum. The military council then carried out indiscriminate violence to dispel the protestors.
A protestor, Mohamed Hashim Mattar was allegedly shot dead in the military crackdown on the peaceful sit-in of June 3.
To honour his death, his family and friends began posting his favourite colour, a particular shade of blue, on their social media profiles.
It was soon picked up as a symbol of Sudanese unity, with social media users and businesses changing their logos and layouts to the same colour in support of those who died in the unrest.
The hashtag has since become a rallying point for Sudanese activists on social media to remember Mattar and to make a broader point about the situation.
Through the tag, activists are calling on western media and government to exert pressure on the current Sudanese government and military forces, which have been accused of human rights abuses and war crimes.
A series of blue artworks symbolising the ongoing protests in Sudan has flooded the social media.
The protest has now escalated into mass civil disobedience movement which has led to the shut down the Sudanese Capital. The death toll continues to rise across Sudan, as protestors are being met with violence everyday.
— Mohamed Abdelstar (@M_Abdelstar_12) June 13, 2019
Written by : Samarth Kashyap (Intern)
Edited by : Shweta Kothari