UPDATED: More arrests of Sudanese teachers as generals try to tighten grip on the state

Sudanese activists hold a solidarity rally in protest at attacks on teachers – picture December Revolution Ombada via Facebook

While Western governments talk in behind-the-scenes negotations about the importance of democracy, Sudan’s generals are attempting to tighten their grip on the state, carrying out mass arrests of teachers and attacking protests organised by the independent teachers’ union, the Sudanese Teachers’ Committee (STC). According to the latest information another 13 teachers from South Darfur were reported as arrested on 10 November by the STC Facebook page. They include the president and vice-president of the local STC committee, Hashim Abdallah Zakaria and Shams-al-Din Mohamed Salah.

This brings to at least 100 the numbers of teachers arrested by the military authorities since Sunday, following a violent attack on a teachers’ protest outside the Education Ministry where at least 87 were detained.

According to the STC, the coup leaders are pushing ahead with appointing their supporters to key positions in the education system, while forcing out of their posts those opposing military rule. In a post on Facebook accompanying an image of one of the military decrees issued by General al-Burhan, head of the Military Council and the leader of the coup, the STC commented: “Al-Burhan appoints and dismisses whoever he wants, just like Pharoah he wants to be “our lord and master.”” The letter relieves the current General Director of Assessment and Examinations at the Ministry of Education of his post and replaces him with a military appointee.

Trade unionists in Britain are mobilising solidarity with the Sudanese Teachers’ Committee and other trade unions and resistance committees in Sudan, International Solidarity Officers of the National Education Union (NEU) passed this resolution at their meeting on 11 November:

The NEU London ISO network extends our solidarity to the Sudanese Teachers Committee, and the Sudanese people and trade unionists in their strikes and protests against the military coup.  Teachers are at the forefront of the movement through their affiliation to the Sudanese Professionals Association that brought an end to Al Bashir’s dictatorship. Teachers are now being attacked. Over 100 have been arrested since Sunday 7th November. We demand their release and support the demands of the movement against the military coup

NEU International Solidarity Officers’ network

Despite these attacks resistance across Sudan is continuing, with another round of mass protests planned for Saturday 13 November across Sudan. Resistance committees and independent unions are continuing to mobilise their members in street protests and strikes rejecting the military coup under the slogan: ‘No negotiations – no participation – no legitimacy’, calling for a complete break with military rule, rather than compromises which would return to civilian-military ‘power-sharing.’

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