Sudanese revolution; dangers, strikes, and growth
The fight for real change has only just begun
By Martin Ralph (ISL-Britain)
In the Khartoum occupation, a Sudanese Professional Association speaker says, “The military is only trying to rebrand itself, to show another face. It is an extension of the same old rotting regime.”
The alliance of forces that made the “Declaration of freedom and change” which is part of the Sudanese revolution is reported to have made an agreement on 28 April, with the military government to create a joint military and civilian government to rule Sudan.
It means the revolution is in great danger. Omar Al-Bashir was removed but the regime remains. It is the pro-bourgeois forces inside the Sudanese democratic revolution that has betrayed the demands of the revolution that includes an end not only to Omar Al-Bashir but an end to the regime.
But strikes, occupations and huge marches, some of which are also called by the same alliance, show the great contradictions. The revolution is in danger from inside but growing and increasing its demands throughout Sudan, however, attacks by security forces continue in various parts of the country including armed clashes and rapes in the countryside. The old regime is kicking back.
Our Sudanese friends and revolutionaries say that the agreement is being debated between the parties of the “Declaration of freedom and change”. But it is the SPA which keeps clearly to the demand: keep the occupation until the end of the regime.
The Sudanese revolution continues to grow
2 May. The third day of the open-ended strike of workers at government-owned SEEN Flour Company in the Red Sea state demands increased wages and working conditions. Workers see this as part of the revolution.
The SEEN company provides flour in the state and to the private Sayga and Weta companies.
At the same time masses of Port Sudan in the Red Sea state have made more marches to the occupation in front of the General Staff after the statements made by the military council.
Amin Sinada, a journalist told Radio Dabanga that the protesters expressed their anger and rejection of the Transitional Military Council’s statement and extended the barricades for a long distance inside the city.
Most of the speeches call for handing power to a civilian government and that the occupation will continue until there is a civilian government and all demands are met.
Occupations and marches
In the fourth week of the Sudanese occupation in Khartoum and outside military centres in many states, hundreds of thousands of people participated in the March of Millions for Freedom and Change in various parts of Sudan, and these millions are calling for a response to the demands of the revolution.
In El Gedaref, Port Sudan, Suakin, Senga, El Obeid, Zalingei, and El Azaza in El Gezira state and other towns in the states saw marches in response to the call by the Forces of Freedom and Change.
The capital Khartoum witnessed multiple marches. Demonstrators chanted slogans in front of the Central Bank of Sudan, denouncing the widespread corruption in the country, and continued their march, together with huge crowds coming from other directions towards the occupation.
Demands of the marches in the Northern State were for the suspension of the construction of Kajbar and Dal dams, hold accountable all those who have contributed to such failed projects, the abolition of all land expropriation decisions issued at the national and state level and the restoration of land rights to the people immediately.
They also demanded the opening of the land and investments portfolio that existed under the old government and the return of rights to owners, holding the corrupt accountable, bringing them to trial and the confiscation of the unlawfully acquired land.
What happens in Darfur is also a key point
The genocide in Darfur killed an estimated 500,000, those killings were organised through the regime, not just the president or a “rogue” part of the army. Resolving all the land and ownership questions, and bringing all those who participated in killings and land grabs to justice is essential.
On 2 May, people in Mershing in South Darfur staged a demonstration in front of the army unit in Menawashi to demand that the TMC hand over power to civilian leadership, prosecute those involved in committing abuses and crimes against citizens and stop the National Congress Party in the locality.
Maj Gen Abdelkhalig Badawi, the acting governor of West Darfur received a memorandum from the Sudanese Professionals Association and forces of Freedom and Change from the Tendelti administrative unit in El Geneina.
The memorandum highlighted the demands of the revolutionaries in Khartoum in addition to providing services to the area and stopping the land procedures. It also called for the creation of an environment conducive to the return of displaced people and the refugees to their villages and the prosecution of the figures of the former regime in the locality, stressing the need to dissolve their organisations and put their headquarters and resources under the command of the armed forces in Tendelti.
Lawyers condemn African Union and Egyptian dictator
On the 26 April, 55 lawyers representing 12 legal aid organisations said, “We call on Sudan Military Council, Sudan Legal and Law enforcement institutions, the national army, regional actors and the international community to respect the Human Rights of Sudanese people and take their just demands for civil government seriously.”
On 15 April, the African Union Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC) issued a communique condemning and rejecting the seizure of power by the Sudanese military. The communique demanded that the Sudanese military hand over power to a transitional civilian-led political authority by 30 April 2019 and that if it fails to do so, the AU-PSC will automatically suspend Sudan’s membership in the AU. But the AU-PSC did not suspend Sudan’s membership in the AU and decided to give the Transitional Military Council (TMC) two months to hand over power to a civilian authority.
On 23 April, the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, is also currently the Chair of the African Union and head of the military government in Egypt overturned that 15 April decision because he supports and maintains strong ties with the current leadership of the TMC.
The African Union, through its unprincipled actions, has undermined its legitimacy in the eyes of the Sudanese (and African) people.
The revolution demands the overturn of the regime
No solution can be made on behalf of the Sudanese masses without their direct participation and control. The revolution demands the end of the regime which means all of its elements the armed forces, all the security forces, the business structures, the nationalities – all has to change and end impunity. A government change is not a regime change.
If any section of the genocidists, the corrupt or any other part of the old regime remains intact, the forces who want to keep the workers and peasants out of running their own country will find a way to rebuild and overturn the gains and destroy the revolution.
The armed attacks continue in Darfur. On 3 May two girls were raped by the Popular Defence Force (PDF). No further investigation has been conducted by the police. There are incidents of assault in the city of Nyala (the capital of Kordofan).
According to reports from our Sudanese friends, Nyala witnessed a heated confrontation between the police and the army and there was the firing of gunshots in the air and the police forces used tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters from their camp. This occupation demands the government to improve the conditions of the camp. They said “we condemn the violence of security forces against the rebels in Nyala and Zalingei. We demand the military council makes an urgent investigation and trial of the aggressors of the unarmed rebels“.
And they called for the continued peaceful revolutionary movement in the capital and the states “until the victory of the revolution is completed by establishing a civil transitional authority.”
From a new video of interviews shot inside the occupation:
This is a grassroots revolution. It is not over,
The capital is exploding with energy,
The same old repressive forces remain in place,
We demand the end of Omar Al-Bashir and the regime but only he fell,
We want to ban racism and tribalism,
We will not leave the streets until we have our demands,
We want a civilian government.
The revolution is growing, its demands are growing and will continue to do so. As workers rebuild their organisations and unions their independence is paramount. They can put an end to the super and overexploitation in the factories, on the land and the mines some of which are owned by Sudanese military forces or other dictatorships or big businesses in the Middle East and North Africa.
Everywhere as the masses are rising the youth and workers should link with the lower orders of the army who defend the revolution and set up self-defence groups. It must become part of the programme that is being developed in the strikes, occupations, and marches.
No trust in those who say let’s form a military/civilian government!
Build a civilian government based on all the groups of the revolution from all the Sudanese States and protected by their own self-defence.