Women’s football gains momentum in Sudan
*Sudanese female footballers have found their voice and are ready to take the sport to the next level.*
Translated from Dutch NOS TV:
The military regime in Sudan has closed all schools in the country indefinitely. With this, the regime responds to large-scale demonstrations by students in protest against the shooting of five people at a demonstration in the city of El Obeid, more than 400 kilometres southwest of the capital Khartoum. Four of them were students.
The protesters protested Monday about the increase in bread and fuel prices in Sudan, when snipers opened fire on the crowd. Dozens of people were injured.
The result was that in Khartoum and other cities hundreds of students, dressed in school uniforms and waving Sudanese flags, took to the streets yesterday. The authorities then closed all schools, from kindergartens to secondary schools, until further notice. In El Obeid the state of emergency has been declared and there is a curfew.
“The authorities are aware that the boiling point has been reached in the streets of Sudan,” says Africa correspondent Koert Lindijer. “It is not the first massacre in recent weeks. People are furious with the military and in particular the Rapid Support Forces militia. They have been made responsible for the massacre in El Obeid and demonstrators are now demanding that it be removed from Khartoum. With the schools closed, the authorities hope to get rid of the protest.”
UNICEF has protested to the regime and calls for an investigation into the events in the city. “No child should be buried in a school uniform”, says a statement from the UN children’s rights organization. The junta’s chief, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, condemned the shooting. “Shooting peaceful civilians is an unacceptable crime.”
Two weeks ago it was agreed that the generals would share power in Sudan with six civilians. There would be further talk about the political future yesterday, but that consultation was canceled by the opposition.
Even before Monday’s shooting, there was a lot of anger about the conclusions of an investigation into the bloody break up of a massive protest against the junta in Khartoum on 3 June. A camp of protesters was attacked there, according to doctors 127 people died. The soldiers and the public prosecutor claimed it was seventeen dead.
Tens of thousands of students and youth took to the streets this week, after Sudan’s armed forces opened fire on a youth rally over bread and fuel shortages in El-Obeid, the regional capital of North Kordofan, Monday. Six people were killed, including four school children, and more than 60 injured. The military junta has now closed down all the nation’s schools: here.
This 28 July 2019 South African TV video says about itself:
DISCUSSION: Calls mount for the release of journalist Sadiq al-Rizaigi
Sudan union of journalists is calling for the release of journalist Sadiq al-Rizaigi.
From daily News Line in Britain:
‘Free Sudanese journalist Sadiq Rizaigi now!’ – NUJ
30th July 2019
‘SUDANESE generals must free journalist Sadiq Rizaigi now!’ the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK and Ireland demanded yesterday joining calls from the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) for his immediate release.
Rizaigi is the head of the Sudanese Journalists Union (SJU). He was arrested and held by the Sudanese authorities on 24 July.
Anthony Bellanger, IFJ general secretary, said yesterday: ‘We demand transparency about the reasons for the arrest of our colleague Sadiq.
‘He must be immediately released and, in the event that charges are brought against him, he must have the right to a fair and transparent legal process.
‘We will not rest until Sadiq is free and the injustice stopped.’
Following an emergency meeting on 25 July the Sudanese Journalists Union issued the following statement:
‘The Sudanese Journalists Union (SJU) held an emergency meeting this Thursday morning, July 25 2019, to discuss the arrest of Sadiq Rizaigi, president of the SJU, president of the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ), chairman of the East African Journalists Association (EAJA), vice president of the Federation of Arab Journalists (FAJ).
‘We lost contact with the president of SJU since Wednesday afternoon, July 24 2019, and later it became clear that he was detained but we did not have any information on the reason for his arrest.
‘The executive office of the SJU demands the Transitional Military Council (TMC) immediately releases the president of the SJU and explains the reason for his arrest, and to present him with a prompt and fair trial if he is proved to warrant arrest and trial.
‘The executive office has formed a committee for immediate contact with the TMC and relevant authorities to know the circumstances of his arrest.
‘The executive office will remain in constant session to follow up the matter and to provide information to the public on a timely basis.
‘The executive office thanks the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ), the East African Journalists Association (EAJA) and the Federation of Arab Journalists (FAJ) who expressed deep concern over his arrest.’
UPDATE, 30 July 2019, from AFP news agency:
Detained senior editor freed in Sudan
Sadiq Al Rizaigi heads Sudanese Journalists’ Union
Khartoum: A top Sudanese editor who had been detained last week in the capital Khartoum was freed on Monday, a senior member of the journalists’ union that he heads said.
Rizaigi, who heads the Sudanese Journalists’ Union, has been freed, a member of the union’s board Osama Abdelmajid said.
“We still don’t know why he had been detained,” Abdelmajid said.
RSF ranks Sudan 175th out of 180 countries in its 2019 World Press Freedom Index.
This 12 July 2019 video says about itself:
Sudan‘s Livestream Massacre – Documentary – BBC Africa Eye
On June 3, 2019, there was a massacre on the streets of Sudan’s capital, Khartoum. This is the story of that massacre, told through the phone cameras of those who kept filming, even as they came under live fire.
BBC Africa Eye has now analysed more than 300 videos shot in Khartoum on June 3rd. Using these videos, we can bring you a shocking, street-level view of the violence that was inflicted on protesters that morning – and the first direct testimony from men who say they took part in this attack.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
Anger in Sudan about government report conclusions about mass slaughter
In the Sudanese capital Khartoum, hundreds of people took to the streets late last night. They protested against the results of a government investigation into the bloody crushing of a sit-in last month at the army headquarters.
Researchers who investigated the events on 3 June by order of the military regime say that 87 civilians died. According to the demonstrators, that number is far too low. They say there were 127 dead and they also disagree with the conclusion in the report that the perpetrators did not act on behalf of the government.
There have been demonstrations in Sudan for months. Why actually?
The protests were initially directed against President Bashir, who came to power in the early 1990s. An international arrest warrant has been running against Bashir for years because he is held responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Sudanese Darfur region.
Years ago, Western corporate media and corporate politicians used to call Sudan a dictatorship. However, ruling General al-Bashir came back into the NATO governments’ good books by helping the 2011 NATO war on Libya (which caused bloodbath after bloodbath with no end in sight, ruin of healthcare, sharp decline in women’s rights, rise of racism, torture of refugees and others, and the comeback of slavery 170 years after its abolition).
Al-Bashir continued to be in the self-styled Free World’s good books, by helping the European Union to stop refugees. And by helping United States President Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed in their bloody war against the civilians of Yemen. As long as Bashir continued to do that, Bashir killing his own people in Darfur and elsewhere did not matter to the NATO countries’ political establishment.
The army deposed Bashir in April this year, in a relatively bloodless coup. Since then, the protesters have been asking the army that has taken over power to make way for a transitional government awaiting free elections. Despite an agreement concluded earlier this month, there is still no prospect. The conversations will continue. …
The results of the investigation committee come a few weeks after a prominent BBC program. In the documentary Sudan’s Livestream Massacre it can be seen that paramilitaries, by order of the military rulers, open fire on the protesters in Khartoum.
The documentary makers of BBC Africa Eye have analyzed over 300 videos of protesters, made when the outburst of violence was in full swing. These images have only rarely emerged, because the military council regularly blocks the internet. The paramilitaries with ties to the military council deny that they were behind the violence.
This 28 July 2019 video is called Sudanese protesters reject findings of June 3 probe.
See also here.
This 13 June 2019 video says about itself:
Elsewhere, in Algeria, a modern day equivalent of “Let them eat cake” – Marie Antoinette’s infamous expression – but this time it involves a former Prime Minister… and yoghurt! Finally, Donald Trump misspelt Wales as “Whales” and Twitter went wild.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV, 14 June 2019:
Social media users turn their profile photos into a blue area to show their support for the demonstrators in Sudan. Via the hashtag #BlueforSudan, they call attention to the brutal suppression of protests in the country. More than a hundred people were killed.
Blue was the favourite colour of 26-year-old Mohamed Mattar. He was shot dead by soldiers on June 3 during demonstrations in the capital, Khartoum, trying to protect two women from an army attack.
After his death, his family and friends decided to change their profile photos on social media to blue. After a friend of Mattar, a Sudanese who lives in the USA and is an influencer on social media, also posted a message on her Instagram account to draw attention to the situation in Sudan, the action was increasingly followed.
View this post on Instagram
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
Eg, the American R&B singer Ne-Yo – with 3 million followers on Instagram – now has a blue profile photo.
Meanwhile, blue is the colour for all the victims who died in Sudan and a sign of solidarity with demonstrators. There have been protests in the country for five months. Initially, they were directed against President Bashir, but he was deposed by the army in April. Since then, the protesters want the army, which has now taken over power, to give way to a civilian government.
We beg for a different life
Sudanese Dutch people are happy with the #BlueforSudan promotion. Student and political activist Solafa Saad (28) has been living in the Netherlands for two years. Her family still lives in Khartoum and also participates in the demonstrations. She also has a blue profile photo on Facebook and Twitter.
“I hope that as a result of this action more attention will be paid to what is happening in Sudan. It is so incredibly cruel what is happening there. And so far there has been little media attention.”
She believes it is important that the young people who are now taking to the streets in Sudan are not alone. “Young people, women, they play such a big role in the demonstrations. They are so brave. We beg for a different life. That … the dictatorship comes to an end. We want radical change.”
Blue is the colour of the revolution
Abdulrazik Khamis also believes that the world should know what is going on in Sudan. In 2014 he fled from Darfur to the Netherlands. Khamis: “We want other countries to stop supporting the military regime and have a civilian government.”
To him, blue is the colour of the revolution, which is not yet finished. “We are only at the beginning, but we are continuing. And we are optimistic. Eventually, there will be a change.”
Tens of thousands protested in the capital Khartoum Sunday, demanding Sudan’s military junta hand power to a civilian-led government in a rally dubbed the “march of millions.” They were joined by thousands more in cities across the country seeking justice for the victims killed in the months-long movement for democracy: here.
This 29 May 2019 video says about itself:
Sudan strike: Pregnant woman killed at protest
On the second day of the strike in Sudan, protest leaders say they have the upper hand and are threatening more strikes if the Military Transitional Council doesn’t return to negotiating table. So far, the council hasn’t reacted to the protesters’ demands, accusing the protest movement of being infiltrated by what are described as ‘anti-Sudanese’ elements.
Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan reports from Khartoum.
From daily News Line in Britain:
Sudanese Military Attacking General Strike! UK Unions And Labour Must Aid Sudanese Workers
10th June 2019
THE SUDANESE military regime has once again shown its contempt for any real peace talks in the country, and its confidence that since it has the support of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the key allies of the western imperialist powers in the region, it can do anything it wants, and literally get away with mass murder.
No sooner had the Ethiopian Prime Minister left the country in a situation where the African Union had already suspended the Sudan, the military moved to attack the workers, and savagely beat and arrest Sudanese bank, airport and electricity workers early on Sunday morning, just ahead of the launching of a general strike that the trade unions had called.
The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) confirmed yesterday that workers were under heavy attack from the military regime of the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC). Pro-democracy campaigners had already said, before the Ahmed talks, that the military council could not be trusted, citing last Monday’s mass murder of up to 100 workers who were taking part in a sit-in strike in Khartoum.
However, offices and businesses, and workplaces across the the capital have now been occupied. There are also reports of gunfire as security forces seek to impose a reign of terror across the city. The protest leaders are now urging workers to stay at home and not to work and are saying that demonstrations are no longer possible because of the violent crackdown and savagery of the military.
However, the workers’ leaders are still insisting that the strike and occupation movement will only end when a civilian government replaces the military regime.
Meanwhile, the opposition politician Mohamed Esmat was detained on Friday as soon as his meeting with Ethiopia’s PM Ahmed concluded, his aides said. Ismail Jalab, a leader of the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) group, and his spokesman Mubarak Ardol were also arrested early on Saturday.
This was the immediate response of the military regime to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s attempt to bring the two sides back to the negotiating table.
On Wednesday, the SPLM-N said its deputy head, Yasir Arman, had already been arrested at his house in Khartoum. Esmat and Jalab are both leading members of the Alliance for Freedom and Change, an umbrella organisation of opposition figures, protest leaders and rebel groups. ‘This amounts to a practical response from the military council that effectively rejects the Ethiopian prime minister’s mediation effort’, Khalid Omar Yousef, an opposition alliance leader correctly said.
The TMC military are being emboldened because the US and UK’s allies in the region, that is Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt are demanding that the uprising be crushed and egging the Sudanese military on to commit bigger outrages to defeat the revolution in the Sudan, before it spreads to Libya, Egypt, the Arabian peninsula and the Gulf States.
The Gulf States are pouring billions of dollars into supplies for the Sudanese military so that it can confront the revolution. Opposition activists say the feared paramilitary unit, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), killed 108 people in the crackdown, with at least 40 bodies pulled from the River Nile in Khartoum last Tuesday. The RSF, formerly known as the Janjaweed militia, gained notoriety for brutal atrocities in the Darfur conflict in western Sudan in 2003.
A number of women arrested by the RSF said they were repeatedly beaten with sticks and threatened with execution. They said RSF troops told them to run for their lives, then opened fire. Other victims, they said, were forced to drink sewage water and were urinated on.
On Thursday, the African Union suspended Sudan’s membership ‘with immediate effect’ and warned of further action if power was not transferred to a civilian authority. The Sudanese workers and youth are showing immense courage with their determination to defeat the Sudanese military and to have a civilian government that can only rule as a workers’ government.
The powerful trade unions of the UK, the EU and the US cannot allow the Sudanese workers to fight alone against these massive odds and must give them full support. They must organise political strike actions to force the US and UK governments to stop arming Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States …
The trade unions must also demand that the UK Labour Party must pledge that it will stop selling arms to the Saudis and the Gulf states when it becomes the government and that it must recognise immediately the leadership of the Sudanese trade unions as the government of the Sudan. This is the way forward to win the workers’ struggle in the Sudan and to put an end to the reactionary feudal regimes in the Gulf.
This 9 June 2019 video says about itself:
Sudanese shops closed in Sudan’s Omdurman as strike begins | AFP
Shops are shuttered in the usually busy Sudanese area of Omdurman as protesters started a general strike nearly one week after security forces launched a crackdown on a long-running sit-in site.
By Niles Niemuth:
General strike against military regime brings Sudan to a standstill
10 June 2019
An indefinite nationwide general strike brought cities across Sudan to a virtual standstill Sunday, nearly one week after security forces launched a counterrevolutionary bloodbath with an assault on a mass sit-in outside the defense ministry headquarters in Khartoum. The Central Committee of Sudan Doctors estimates that 118 protestors have been killed, including four on Sunday, and a further 784 wounded since the crackdown began last Monday.
Tens of thousands of Sudanese have been regularly gathering for months outside the defense ministry and protesting across the country as part of the popular movement that began in December 2018 demanding the end of military rule and the transfer of power to a democratically elected government.
The Transitional Military Council (TMC) seized power in a coup on April 11, ousting President Omar al-Bashir after months of mass protests in an effort to preempt a revolutionary overthrow of the entire military regime, which has been in power for three decades.
Headed by the deputy of the TMC, Lieutenant General Hamdan “Hemedti” Dagalo, who aspires to take al-Bashir’s place as dictator, Rapid Support Force (RSF) paramilitary soldiers used live fire and stun grenades to disperse the sit-in on June 3.
Dozens of protestors were forced off or thrown from the Blue Nile bridge by the RSF, some reportedly with concrete blocks tied to their bodies to ensure that they drowned and their bodies were not found. The RSF, formed out of the notorious Janjaweed militia, deployed the same brutal tactics in the heart of Khartoum utilized to suppress rebellions in Darfur and the country’s east.
The rampage came in the wake of Dagalo’s visit with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia and trips by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of the TMC and Sudan’s de facto ruler, to Abu Dhabi and Cairo, where he received pointers on drowning a revolution in blood from Egyptian dictator General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
While the Trump administration has raised concerns about the instability caused by the military crackdown, with its support, the main allies of American imperialism in the Middle East have been and continue to be key financial and political backers of the military dictatorship in Sudan. In turn, the RSF has sent thousands of its members
including child soldiers
Outraged by the brutal RSF assault, millions across the country heeded the call of the Sudanese Professional Association (SPA) trade union for a movement of “civil disobedience” and “open political strike” against the ruling Transitional Military Council.
Photos and video posted on social media showed empty streets and shuttered markets in a number of state capitals across the country, from Damazin in Blue Nile to El Obeid in North Kurdufan, Wad Madani in Al Jazirah and Port Sudan on the Red Sea.
Metro Khartoum, an urban region with more than 5 million residents, was brought to a near standstill, with public transportation shut down and most stores, banks and offices closed.
A 20-year old protestor was shot and killed in Omdurman as security forces used tear gas and live fire to disperse demonstrations. Protestors erected barricades of bricks and tires in Khartoum North to blockade major roads and bridges. Travelers filled up the departure terminal up at Khartoum International Airport as most flights were cancelled.
“We blocked the streets to send a message to those trying to steal our revolution that they will fail,” Emad Ibrahim, 25, a protester from Khartoum North told the AFP. “It is a long road ahead for us, but after the sacrifice made by our brothers who have been killed, we believe that we will achieve our goal.”
The military sought to break the strike movement by blocking social media, cutting off mobile access to the internet and arresting “essential employees”, including bank executives and airport and electrical utility workers and forcing them to work at gunpoint.
Despite this effort at intimidation, workers and professionals expressed their determination to continue striking until the junta is gone. “We will not go back to work until the [SPA union] announces the end of the strike”, Ahmad al-Noor, a 46-year-old private food company employee told Reuters. “Sudan must be governed by a civilian government.”
“The roadblocks prevented me from reaching the market to buy vegetables,” vegetable vendor Hassan Abdelrahim told the AFP. “This will impact my income, but when I look at these youngsters who are on the streets since six months, I’m not angry even if I lose my income.”
A statement released by the SPA declared that the civil disobedience campaign would continue until “a civilian government announces itself in power on state television.” The SPA is part of the Forces for Declaration of Freedom and Change (FDFC) civilian popular opposition alliance, which has been engaged in talks with the TMC over a transfer of power.
The talks broke down last month over the question of whether a military or civilian figure would head a joint regime during a three-year transition period to prepare for new presidential elections.
An effort by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to revive talks between the TMC and the FDFC coalition was spurned by the military over the weekend, with the arrests of Mohamed Esmat, director of the Khartoum branch of the Central Bank of Sudan, and Ismail Jalab, secretary general of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North. Esmat and Jalab, leading representatives of the FDFC, were detained shortly after meeting with Ahmed. …
With the first day of the general strike, the working class has shown its collective strength. What is required now is the establishment of independent and democratic organs of working class struggle to mobilize the working masses in Sudan to take power, establish a workers’ government and seize the country’s immense wealth as part of an international struggle for socialism.
This 31 December 2018 video says about itself:
Saudi Arabia has been recruiting children from desperate families in the war-torn African nation to pad up its frontlines in the Yemen war, the New York Times reported. How credible are these reports of Sudanese child soldiers fighting in Yemen? Journalist Hussain Albukhaiti explains.
Translated from Carlijne Vos in Dutch daily De Volkskrant, 5 June 2019:
Already 60 dead in the crackdown on Sudan protests, led by new strongman Hemedti
The attacks with which Sudanese security forces have been trying to put an end to peaceful protests since Monday have already killed at least 60 people. The protesters reported this in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday. The crackdown was probably triggered by one man: General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, nicknamed Hemedti. Who is he?
As vice-president of the TMC (Transitional Military Council), Hemedti has emphatically come to the fore. Now, the 44-year-old general suddenly seems to have had enough of the civilian protests and has sent his paramilitarists, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). This militia, which was responsible for the war crimes in Darfur under their old name Janjaweed, is now being “loaned” to Saudi Arabia to fight against the Houthi rebels in Yemen
The Sudanese dictatorship does not just ‘loan’ Janjaweed gunmen, but also child soldiers to the Saudi regime’s bloody war on the people of Yemen.
The demonstrators hoped with their protest actions to force the military to agree to the establishment of a civilian government. …
Last week Hemedti suddenly called on the protesters to put an end to the sit-ins because they threatened order and security in Sudan. Hemedti had just returned from a visit to Saudi crown prince Bin Salman. Since then, there has been widespread speculation about a possible power grab by Hemedti. “Hemedti planned on becoming the number one man in Sudan. He has unlimited ambition”, an opposition member told The Guardian.
According to the Sudanese journalist and sympathizer of the protest organisation Sudanese Association for Professionals (SPA), Mohammed Abdelrahman, Hemedti’s actions are largely determined by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Emirates. These countries are not keen on the transfer of power to civilians – for fear of civilian uprisings in their own countries – and want the army to keep a firm grip. “Hemedti has received a lot of money from them in exchange for his militia support in Yemen. There is a lot of resistance within the opposition to the Sudanese involvement in Yemen, so Hemedti is now trying to silence them”, Abdelrahman, who lives in the Netherlands, says on the phone. “Moreover, there are also many Darfuris in the opposition, against which he has no chance when elections come.” …
The military transition council TMC announced Tuesday morning after the clash with the opposition to organize new elections in nine months. The Declaration of Forces of Freedom and Change (DFCF), the alliance of all protest parties, has rejected this proposal and calls for a general strike and “civil disobedience” until the transition council has handed over power. …
40 BODIES PULLED FROM NILE More than 40 bodies of people slain by Sudanese security forces were pulled from the Nile River in the capital of Khartoum, organizers of pro-democracy demonstrations said, and new clashes brought the death toll in three days of the ruling military’s crackdown to 108. [AP]
The counter-revolutionary bloodbath launched by the junta in Sudan’s capital Khartoum and its twin city Omdurman ongoing since Monday has killed some 100 people, including an eight-year old child, and injured hundreds more: here.