February 8, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir has called on his supporters to use Facebook in order to overcome groups that are opposed to his rule.
Bashir made the call during his visit to North Kordofan state on Tuesday where he inaugurated a power plant.
Sudan official news agency (SUNA) cited Bashir as instructing authorities to pay more attention towards extending electricity to the countryside so that the younger citizens can use computers and internet to combat opposition through social networking sites such as Facebook.
This is the first call of its kind by an Arab president since a wave of revolts spread across the Middle East leading to the downfall of the 23-years old regime in Tunisia and forced the Egyptian government to loosen its grip on the power and make unprecedented concessions.
In both instances, Facebook and Twitter were among Internet social networking services used by protesters to share information and coordinate activities. Mobilization for similar uprisings are underway in other Arab states such as Yemen, Algeria, Libya and Syria.
This week Syria lifted its long-standing ban on Facebook and YouTube in an apparent bid to stave off any potential unrest.
Sudanese youths attempted to stage mass demonstrations using the same tools last month but has met with little success as anti-riot police quickly managed to quell the protests and jailed dozens of the demonstrators.
Shortly afterwards a senior official at the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) headed by Bashir revealed that they have been closely monitoring and analyzing anti-regime Facebook pages and reached a conclusion that it has limited participation consisting mostly of users stationed abroad.
Sudanese officials have insisted that revolts in Tunisia and Egypt cannot be repeated in Sudan because of the freedoms and openness enjoyed by citizens in the country.