By Oisin Challen Flynn and Anne Alexander
Tens of thousands of protesters converged on Sudan’s ministry of Defence on Saturday 6 April, demanding that the army step in to remove dictator Omar el-Bashir from power. In a dramatic escalation of the mass movement which has gripped the country with regular demonstrations since December 2018, protesters camped out in the streets around the Ministry on Sunday and Monday, despite attempts by the police to break up the sit-in. According to Sara Abdelgalil, spokeswoman for the Sudan Professionals Association, a soldier was killed while trying to protect protesters from the police attack.
News that the protesters had reached the Ministry of Defence was greeted with cheers on a major rally organised by Sudanese activists in London on Saturday – although chants against military rule were also echoed by many in the crowd. Thousands of Sudanese from across the UK had marched from the Sudanese Embassy to Downing Street to hear speeches and hand in a petition.
Sami, a Sudanese youth movement activist, told Middle East Solidarity that the UK protest was part of a globally-coordinated series of demonstrations in solidarity with the movement in Sudan. “Our goal and aim was to get one million people, and I think we are going to get more than one million people,” he said. “They have used this law just to suppress people even more. They go into peoples houses and abuse them, but it is not actually stopping the protests. The government is shaking. They declared state of emergency because they are actually shaking and they will fall.”
Sudanese activists welcomed the fall of Bouteflika in Algeria, he added. “The people of Sudan are very happy for the Algerians. We are hoping like them, to get rid of the current government and put a temporary government in place to organise everything until we have a fair and just election. We want a better Sudan, we are not really just looking to get rid of the government. The people at the moment don’t want anyone associated with the previous government, or associated with any party that was ruling with the previous government to be coming forward for this election.”
What you can do:
- Sign the petition to the UK parliament calling on the government to condemn the repression of the uprising: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/236102
- Sign the solidarity statement here
- Pass a resolution in solidarity with the movement in Sudan in your trade union branch or student union. Download a model motion here [sudan_solidarity_modelmotion]
- Call on your MP to show their support for the protesters’ demands for democratic change in Sudan.
- Take a picture in solidarity with the Sudanese uprising using this sign [sudan_solidarity_poster] and share on social media using the hashtag #تسقط_بسPlease mention @MENAsolidarity so we can share further. Follow reports from Sudan on #SudanUprising and #SudanProtests.
- Join protests and solidarity actions called by Sudanese community organisations in the UK – demonstrate in London, 1pm, Trafalgar Square, every Saturday