Civil Disobedience in Sudan
By Taha Jaafar
Nov.27.2016 was the first day of civil disobedience in Sudan. Groups of activists in the social media, mainly Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp besides websites such as alrakoba.net and sudaneseonline.com, started calling for a three day strike 27-29 Nov.2016.
The first day was a success were the Sudanese people in Khartoum and other cities such as Wad Medani and Atbara just stayed at home, mainly workers in private sector and some of the workers in public sectors, many private schools and universities gave three days off for workers and students to participate in the strike. Reports from the press said the banks in Khartoum have only done less than 20% of their routine daily transactions, Khartoum Financial centre ( stock market) reported a loss 280 million USD in the first day.
Sudanese opposition chose the strike to avoid mass killing similar to the one that took place in Sep. 2013 demonstrations, as more than 300 protesters were shot dead by government-run militia, which is known as People’s Security service, a secret organization that is completely made of Muslim brotherhood members, also known as Sudan Islamic movement. The victims of mass killing operations of Sep. 2013 or their families did not find justice until today as the Islamic government of Khartoum is denying its responsibility about that and blamed militant oppositions groups in Darfur, Nuba mountains and South Blue Nile. Everyone knows that those groups are only active in the regions mentioned before but not in Khartoum where the mass killing took place. And their role is mainly to defend the Sudanese in Darfur, Nuba mountains and Southern Blue Nile from government offensive air strikes and land troops and Janjaweed militia attacks. Sudanese Military opposition mainly use their courage in that sincere human effort where they function in bad conditions, lack of logistics and absence of regional or international support. The presences of African Union and UN Peacekeeping forces and international human organizations have been useless as Khartoum regime controls their activities and limits their role in ways that enable it to practice genocide.
That’s beside the known brutality of government against peaceful demonstrators which resulted in making peaceful opposition groups go to the choice of Civil Disobedience which was tried before in the overthrowing of militarily regime in Oct 1964 and in Mar-Apr 1985 and succeeded in bringing democratic governments through public elections. Now the chance of trade union strikes is not in consideration because the ruling Islamic military regime dismissed trade union activists and leaders from work in public sectors such as Sudan Railway, River Transport, public works, educations and health sectors and forced private institution to dismiss trade union activists and any political party members specially communists. This dismissal started immediately after the pro-Islamic coup of June 30. 1989 and is still on. The same happened in the army and police forces. Any Sudanese who is not a member or a supporter of the Islamic movement was dismissed.
Opposition groups are hoping for the occurrence of a crackdown in the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Police Force to stop the secret Islamic militia “People’s Security “ and the Janjawid from mass killing of the demonstrators. Opposition military forces of the revolutionary Darfurians, SPLA in Nuba mountains and in Southern Blue Nile are located in remote places too far from big urban centers and Khartoum. Lack of logistics prevents them from deploying forces to protect peaceful demonstrators.
International support is badly needed by now to stop the government from afflicting brutal massacres as the ones that happened in Sep. 2013. International silence about the mass killing of 300 civilians in the streets of Khartoum was met with deep frustrations as the Sudanese people found themselves alone in front of ISIS-like brutality.