KHARTOUM, SUDAN – Demonstrations in parts of Sudan against the rising food prices and against the incumbent President Omar al-Bashir continue to surge into the fifth day today. Protests have been increasing in violence and so far according to news24.com, 22 people have been killed and many more injured.
The protest began Wednesday over bread price hikes went from one Sudanese pound to 3 Sudanese pounds which is equivalent to about 6 US cents. People cannot even withdraw their own money from the ATMs. Daily, there are more and more shortages and price hikes. As you can see the economic and living conditions for Sudanese people are crumbling and gives reason to why these protests are occurring.
The protests are also calling for the immediate resignation of the 74 year old autocratic ruler Omar al-Bashir. Bashir has been in power since 1989 ever since overthrowing the democratically elected but unproductive regime of Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi. Bashir’s regime has been plagued with nothing but unrest and turmoil. He has been issued arrest warrants by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on two separate occasions in 2009 and in 2010. These two warrants were issued for war crimes and genocide during the War in Darfur that’s still ongoing to this day.
This protest has picked up and gained traction on social media. With the hashtag “#Civil_disobedience_in_Sudan” popping up all over Twitter with images and updates about the situation on ground. More and more people are joining in the protests in Sudan as well. Doctors, in accordance with other professions, have promised to stop working altogether in Sudan come Monday if demands by the people are not met. Chants have been heard in Atbara, a city close to the capital Khartoum, where people are screaming “the people want the fall of the regime”. Omar al-Bashir is not a well-liked leader.
Similar to the events that led to the Arab Spring in 2011, these incidents are foreshadowing a coup d’état to me. The coup could be bloody or it could be bloodless. Since al-Bashir has used force against protesters before and would likely use it again, I don’t think it will be bloodless. He’s even preparing to seek a new term in 2020. A man who is almost 80 years old. The people of Sudan are obviously tired of living in a country with a deteriorating economy, lack of resources, and a government unwilling to take any steps to correct the problems facing the nation.
The military have come out in support of the Sudanese president which is not surprising because he led the military coup in 1989 as a Brigadier in the Sudanese Army. This alarms me because now there are clearly two sides that want two different things. Hopefully, the violence does not escalate and Sudan can reach peace without more bloodshed but even to me, that sounds like wishful thinking.
Do not simplify the crisis in #Sudan as high prices for bread. For 30 years the ruling party has allowed every part of the country to deteriorate. Citizens can not even withdraw their own hard-earned money from the bank or ATM. #Civil_disobedience_in_Sudan #مدن_السـودان_تنتفض https://t.co/oib0UlcHqn
— Israa Nour (@HeartofAfrikaa) December 22, 2018
— shaimaa khalil BBC (@Shaimaakhalil) December 23, 2018