Politics

Suffering in Sudan: the facts

Sudan is in turmoil but the media are on the outside looking in.

In the last ten days at least 124 people have been killed by regime forces in Sudan. These horrific events have been posted across social media but not reported on by news outlets as there is a media blackout for journalists within the country.

Current events can be traced back to December 2018 when Omar Al-Bashir, Sudan’s president for the past 30 years, ordered his government to make cuts to bread and fuel and prevented people from taking money out.

These cuts were to try and prevent an economic crisis but have made it increasingly difficult for people to live, causing outrage which led to protests in the capital, Khartoum.

Although the protests were initially because of the cuts, they turned into demands to remove Omar Al-Bashir as president.

The citizens only wanted a civilian government, but have faced violence from the protests. Finally in April, Bashir had been overthrown and since the government has been controlled by a military council.

It is made up of seven generals who assumed power; essentially a military transitional government that would stay in control until an election could be held. It was agreed that it would take three years, as having the same president for 30 years has left the government and political network a mess.

The three years are vital to disassemble everything and start afresh. However, the military government in charge are saying there could be elections in as little as nine months.

Related image
The death toll among civilians has risen. Credit: ABC / Reuters – Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

Former British ambassador to Sudan Rosalind Marsden has said an election in nine months would “simply pave the way for much of the old regime to come back into power.”

Citizens continued to protest under the military government and the armed forces reacted exactly how it was expected they would, with sexual assault and violence.

The UN has removed all non-essential workers from Sudan after military forces took fire at a protest camp that killed a dozen people. A spokesperson for the UN explained they are only moving staff temporarily for their safety.

Whilst, the African Union has suspended Sudan from its membership until a civilian led transitional authority is established.

As the situation continues to escalate, there a lot of stories across spreading across social media but with a reporting blackout, it is difficult for news outlets to justly fact check these claims. 

 

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