Down with the military regime!
Bring to justice those who order and carry out killings!
For a civilian government of revolutionary organisations!
There is no ‘peaceful’ road in Sudan
For a revolutionary party of the workers and oppressed
18 June 2019
The Sudanese military was forced to remove Omar al-Bashir to save the regime. The so-called Transitional Military Council (TMC) is now trying to defeat the Sudanese uprising using a two fold approach. Alongside ‘negotiations’ with various political forces, such as the Alliance for Freedom and Change they are using terror. The various militia and ‘security’ forces based on the thugs used by the al-Bashir regime to carry our genocide are raping, killing and using violence to destroy the street occupations and put down the revolution.
The TMC had pledged not to fire a single bullet at the Sudanese people, to protect the protesters and not to disperse the occupation. But they ordered the 3 June attack on the mass occupation in Khartoum and after initial denials, later admitted they were involved in the massacre of peaceful protesters in front of the General Command building .
The revolutionary masses are not defeated but the military forces in Sudan including the TMC will not negotiate away their power or their immense privileges. They will not peacefully give up their power. Everything depends on the working class and people extending their struggle and building their organisations against the TMC including organising their armed defence and preventing the further economic destruction of the country. To carry out such a programme there is an urgent need for a revolutionary party.
Murderous attack on the occupation
From dawn on 3 June until 4 June the occupation outside the Military HQ was violently destroyed on orders of the TMC. According to the Sudanese Doctors Union Central Committee, more than 100 were killed and up to 700 injured in the attack which took place on the 30th day of Ramadan. The Sudanese members of Justice for Sudan in the UK say the tarmac turned from black to red with the blood of the occupation martyrs.
The attack was mainly carried out by the Janjaweed militia of Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, better known as “Himmedti,” which was rebranded as the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) under Omar al-Bashir, alongside the security forces of the National Security and Intelligence Service (NISS). It is estimated that 50,000 Janjaweed has been deployed to quash insurgencies across Sudan. Some of the 30,000 fighting in Yemen returned recently to join the RSF.
These “former” regime militias killed civilians, burnt the occupation, raided homes, looted property, and robbed citizens. In addition to forcing civilians to lift barricades from public streets they carried out many beatings and acts of humiliation. They then surrounded hospitals to stop the injured getting treatment.
While the militia killers roamed the streets in order to make attacks using trucks mounted with heavy machine guns, the TMC did nothing – these thugs are in effect part of the military and under their orders, organising from a five-floor headquarters in Khartoum. They are drawn from the genocidal forces that killed half a million people in Darfur, Nuba mountains and Kordofan in service to the al-Bashir regime.
The RSF have armed trucks at intersections and bridges or fill the streets with long convoys manned by fighters brandishing sniper rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.
Before the attacks the Chair of the TMC and his deputy obtained support for their actions from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt. The aim is obvious – to stay in power and to do that they have to defeat the revolution. The new regime is the same as the old. It will be Omar al-Bashir Mark Two, unless the masses defeat and overthrow the TMC and the regime.
The masses respond
In response to this massacre on 9 June the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) called for a general strike and civil disobedience. On the 11 June during a second day of the civil disobedience campaign there were large-scale responses by the Sudanese people in the cities of Sudan and its various states in Darfur, Kordofan, El Gezira, Sennar, Blue Nile, Kassala, El Gedaref, the Red Sea, the River Nile and the Northern state.
After the Khartoum occupation was dispersed protesters spread their opposition through the country. Barricades built from bricks and metal scavenged from the roads they blocked have been a symbol of Sudan’s protest movement, called for by the SPA.
Most government departments and institutions in El Gedaref state closed, ports, buses and banks in Port Sudan had little movement, while in Zain Telecom all work stopped.[i]
But hundreds of employees of the Sudanese government, commercial banks, and oil companies have been arbitrarily dismissed, suspended, relocated and warned for participating in the campaign of civil disobedience and general strike.
In Darfur there had been an increase in human rights abuses in Darfur and attacks on protesters forming their own occupations in Darfur’s main cities and camp in solidarity with Khartoum. Reports suggest 163 civilians in Darfur had been detained for protests and at least 47 people have been killed over the past three months.
Military admit the attack
On 13 June press conference, Maj Gen Yasir El Ata of the TMC, claimed that “the sit-in of the Sudanese protesters in front of the headquarters of the Army General Command was a provocation to the armed forces”.[ii] At their 14 June press conference and through their spokesman Shams al-Din al-Kabbashi, the TMC explicitly admitted that they ordered the attack. Since early June the TMC has cut internet services to try to prevent the world seeing images of the attacks and learning about what happened.
Around 14 June the Janjaweed militias continued their barbaric assault on the University of Khartoum, a centre of opposition of staff and students. The centre was looted, vandalised, and the university facilities such as the clinic and laboratories were destroyed in a systematic manner. The School of Administrative Sciences was burnt and left in ruins.
“We thought this might happen,” said Alaa Salah, 22, the woman dressed in white who led chants from atop a car and brought the world’s attention to Sudan’s revolution. “For years Hemeti killed and burned in Darfur. Now Darfur has come to Khartoum.” [iii]
All those who carried out the attacks and who ordered the attacks must be brought to justice. How can any negotiations continue with these murderers in the high command?
Military ownership of Sudan
Under al-Bashir, General Hamdan (Hemeti) and the army generals became business tycoons who cornered entire sections of the economy. “This is not just about power; it’s about money,” says Suliman Baldo of the Enough Project, “…army commanders and Hemeti are up to their necks in corrupt proceeds — that’s why they have zero tolerance for civilian rule in Sudan.” War has made the likes of Hemeti rich, with interests in gold mining, construction and even a limousine hire company. His patrons include crown prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman.
So, the regime merged the military with ownership of many sections of the capitalist economy, who also sold part of that ownership to many foreign multi-nationals and did their bidding in de-industrialising Sudan and destroying workers’ strongholds.
Today, after the destruction of the occupation the lesson is clear: the TMC is not going to give up power peacefully.
Discontent emerged in the armed forces and opposed armed attacks on civilians. When the Janjaweed attacked to defend Omar al-Bashir they were defeated by the lower and middle orders in the armed forces. Afterwards the lower orders had their weapons removed by the military command. In response they decided to raid the military warehouses to re-arm but when they arrived all weapons had been removed by the Janjaweed. The middle orders were arrested, and the lower orders moved to other parts of Sudan.
When the second murderous attack took place in June it was reported by Middle East Eye that dozens of Sudanese officers from the police and military have been arrested and a having refused orders to use violence against protesters. A Security source said:
“Most of these officers refused to participate in the massacre and dispersal” of occupation they said, referring to the killing of more than 100 protesters when Sudanese security forces cracked down on a two-month protest for civilian rule outside the country’s military headquarters on 3 June.”[iv]
The revolution must arm
The central aim of the military is to remain in power and maintain its privileges. A leadership that does not start from this understanding will waste the energy of the revolution in fruitless negotiations.
Many workers and people have given their lives in the struggle. They must not have died in vain.
The masses, lead by the working class, have the power to paralyse Sudanese capitalism with their actions. All those who want to create full democracy in Sudan can only do so by developing a leadership that will find the ways to arm the revolution and mobilise the masses against the capitalist control of the Sudanese economy. The revolution can arm itself by combining the neighbourhood resistance committees with the lower orders of the army who want to defend the revolution.
The civilian government must be composed of all the revolutionary organisations that refuse to compromise with the genocidist military. As workers’ and neighbour committees are electing leaderships for their own organisations, that can be spread across Sudan and be the basis of a civilian government that includes the fighting forces in Darfur and elsewhere.
Forces inside the Alliance of Freedom and Change (AFC) betray
The AFC organised a committee of 12 people to negotiate with the military council after Omar al-Bashir was removed.
Among the members of the committee were Omar al-Dukair, head of the Sudanese Congress Party, Maryam al-Sadiq, deputy head of the Umma Party, and Mohammad Naji al-Asam from the SPA.
The leadership of this alliance committee betrayed the revolution in a number of ways. Those like the Umma Party agreed to a military/civilian government. Justice for Sudan activists explained a number of political forces knew that the military were preparing an attack. When the TMC decided to attack the occupation the “Force Call” group were told one day before and began to withdraw their people from the occupation.
The Umma Party for example removed tents and their members evacuated. Umma Party’s leader was Sadiq as-Siddiq. He had started a militia in 1987 to carry out attacks in Darfur! The Umma Party is a religious party, the leader is assigned by “god”. It became very big in the 1980s. And has consistently betrayed the Sudanese struggle over many years.
The central mistake of these ‘leaders’ was in thinking that the military was willing to negotiate handing over power and trying to convince the masses that this is so. The history of all the revolutions in Sudan – and elsewhere – points in the opposite direction. It is not possible to defeat the military by ‘uniting’ behind the leadership of such an alliance and in reality there is no alliance.
Sudanese Communist Party
The Sudanese Communist Party that has helped bring the masses onto the streets, helped rebuild the unions and build the occupations (some of their members were injured on 3 June). The SCP want the downfall of the military and a civilian government without the military. But it has given political support to the AFC and they accepted the proposal to have a civilian government without elections for four years. They fight the “reactionary” capitalists interwoven with the military, but they support the democratic bourgeoisie. To this end they also accepted the idea of unity behind the Alliance, and that the Alliance should negotiate with the military.
They say in a recent statement that,
“The mission and initiative of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, the neighbouring country, is to achieve a breakthrough in the impasse in the leadership to continue negotiations between the Transitional Military Council and the forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change and proposed the distribution of powers in the Council of sovereignty between 8 civilians and 7 military (full military council) and the presidency between the two, initiated by the army in the first half of the transition period AND Certainly, efforts will continue to force negotiations again….the Communist Party of Sudan appreciates and supports what has been presented by the forces of freedom and change, of conditions in terms of the resumption of negotiations with the Transitional Military Council.”
This is a capitulation. They praise negotiations with the military by the Ethiopian government and talk only of the end of parasitic capitalism not capitalism in general. Theirs is a programme for a democratic bourgeois revolution. But as previous revolutions have shown the possibility of winning all the democratic demands of the revolution can only exist after the creation of a workers’ government. In the 1917 revolution Bolsheviks under Lenin had in its programme that only a workers’ government can guarantee the fullest workers and mass democracy.
To succeed, grow and become international the Sudanese revolution needs a revolutionary party urgently. Such a party has to pose the necessity to arm the masses, bring to justice the military and militia killers who plan and order the attacks, to overthrow the TMC and not replace it with a joint government, or think that it will step down.
There’s no way of winning peacefully. Only by arming the revolution, calling the lower military ranks to join the people against the military regime, and building the workers’ and people’s councils that can, and have to, emerge from all the existing struggle organisations of the revolution will there be any chance of success. The complete overthrow of capitalism has to be the ultimate aim.
That is why we say to all revolutionaries in Sudan including those inside the SCP: do not have any confidence in the Communist Party of Sudan or such leaderships that say the military can be defeated in a peaceful way. Such leaderships are carrying out a shameful capitulation that can only end in defeat.
A future government to advance the revolution can only be composed of the forces of the revolution that are against sharing power with the military in any form. The AFC is a broken force, and cannot seriously be called an alliance, unless it is for the purpose of curtailing the revolution.
The struggle is not only about power and the military it is about capitalism. At the top ranks, generals of all stripes are joined by powerful, shared economic interests.
The revolution cannot succeed on the basis of private and foreign ownership of Sudanese resources, Sudan belongs to the Sudanese. The power of the revolution comes from the organisations that have been created.
The revolution was driven forward by all the actions of the mass struggle beginning with the neighbourhood committees, the committees of resistance, the forces of the occupation that only fight for a civilian government and for no compromise with the military, the growing unions that increased or developed from December, the organisations of women, the lower and middle orders of the army that defended the occupation and who refuse to fire on demonstrators, the resistance forces in Darfur and elsewhere.
Those who call only for a peaceful solution do not consider the armed forces the revolution is facing in the army, Janjaweed and NISS, or their international support from the regimes Middle East, and no doubt waiting in the wings Iran, Russia and China. While the USA and EU publicly state that they want a civilian government, by that they mean a civilian bourgeois government that is more open to direct exploitation from the West.
On the other hand, the working class in manufacturing and transport industries, state workers, health workers, education workers, students, mass organisations of women etc have shown where the real power lies. It is in the millions of workers and oppressed who have risked their lives and been raped, tortured and killed that demand fundamental change.
The programme of the revolution has to include full nationalisation of all Sudanese resources in the hands of the masses and controlled by them, and can build on the port workers strikes against privatisation. And this must be backed by building the armed defences of the masses. No civilian capitalist government will arm the masses, and it is the masses that are the only force that can defeat the Janjaweed, the TMC and capitalism.