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Crackdown on peaceful protests against bread hike deserves strongest condemnation

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The Peaceful Sudanese Public Display of Discontent on Price Hikes has been suppressed by Excessive violence and arbitrary arrests

Civil Rights Denial and Suppression by Excessive Violence in the (NCP) ruled Sudan

By Mahmoud A Suleiman

The martyrs are more generous and greater than us. The detainees are nobler than us, and the demonstrators inside Sudan are greater than those who are abroad, but in each of them there is a lot of goodness and blessing. Their interest in the affairs of the homeland and their interest in patriotism are unquestionable! With these positive and enthusing statements which were echoed by Sudanese patriots one open this article which comes against the backdrop of the raging popular demonstrations that took place all over Sudan starting from the City of El Geneina in the far west of the Darfur region where there were angry dissents against the regime of the National Congress Party (NCP) which systematically planned to the daily living of the Sudanese citizen unbearable by depriving them of the basics of living, including the lifting subsidies on the loaf of bread and other goods and commodities. In the town of Geneina in the war-torn region of Darfur, a student was killed during a similar protest. It was unclear how he was killed. "In the incidents that occurred in Geneina, one student was killed and six other people were wounded," Fadalelmola Al-Haj, Governor of West Darfur of which Geneina is the capital, said in a statement. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-5243885/Sudan-protesters-burn-tyres-bread-price-rise.html

The demonstrations spread from the City of Wad Medani in the Central region of Sudan as far as Kordofan, Eastern Sudan, Northern region cities and towns and of course in the Three Towns Capital of Sudan Khartoum, the seat of the (NCP) regime.. In the Capital Khartoum, the genocidal criminal, fugitive from the international justice, Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir unleashed his tools of repression and killing the infamous cloned former Janjaweed militias, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Border Guards Force and as well as the security elements in the so-called National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) and riot police who beat the unarmed peaceful protesters with batons and tear gas. Moreover, the regime arrested arbitrarily the Political Opposition Leaders among them the prominent figures in the Sudanese Congress Party, the Sudanese Communist Party, and a number of journalists, activists, University students and human rights organizations figures.

On its fierce crackdown the Sudanese security forces arrested the Secretary-General of the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) Mohammed Khatib in the early hours of the day after the success of the opposition party in the organization of peaceful demonstrations in Khartoum, in conjunction with the continued calls for other demonstrations, in protest against the budget of 2018, and rejection of the wave of high prices. Khatib was expected to be among other political leaders to present a speech to the crowd called by the Sudanese opposition yesterday in the field of a private school in the City of Omdurman. The Communist Party leader Siddiqui Kaballow was also arrested from his home in Khartoum. Last week, the Sudanese security forces arrested Sudanese Congress Party (SCP) leader Omer al-Digair and former party leader Ibrahim al-Sheikh at the start of the protests, after the doubling the price of bread.

Furthermore, National Security and Intelligence Service (NISS) issued instructions to the newspaper editors not to publish any news or comments related to the demonstrations in Khartoum on Tuesday (April 16, 2018). Arrests and closure of major streets and panic in the middle of the security authorities continued. The gang of the ruling regime flooded the popular fields with sewage water to make holding rallies and the starting demonstrations from it difficult. However and despite the criminal practices of the ruling regime the raging demonstrations continued condemning the abject failures and corruption of the putschist dictatorial regime of the Hippocratic Muslim Brotherhood Movement and demanded its departure and leave Sudan to its patriotic people. Earlier on Sunday 14 January 2018, security agents seized the print runs of six newspapers after they criticised the government over the rising cost of bread. “No reason was given for confiscating copies of our newspaper, but I think it was due to our transparent coverage of the food price rise," said Hanadi Al-Sidiq, editor of Akhbar Al-Watan which saw its entire run seized along with Al-Tayar, Al-Mustagilla, Al-Karar, Al-Midan and Al-Assayha newspapers. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-5243885/Sudan-protesters-burn-tyres-bread-price-rise.html

The events of the Sudanese protests in Khartoum against rising bread prices and of other basic commodities have been addressed by local and the international media outlets. The Gulf Times and AFP in Khartoum made a statement that Protest in Sudan against rising bread prices. Anti-government protests erupted after the cost of a 50-kilo sack of flour jumped from 167 ($9) to 450 Sudanese pounds ($25).Moreover, the media also referred to previous similar events such as the protests that were held in late 2016 after the government cut fuel subsidies. As well the authorities cracked down on those protests to prevent a repeat of the deadly unrest that followed an earlier round of subsidy cuts in 2013. Dozens (more than 200 ) of people were killed in September 2013 when security forces crushed large street demonstrations, drawing international condemnation. http://www.gulf-times.com/story/578307/Sudanese-protest-in-Khartoum-against-rising-bread-

The Times of Israel’s Daily Edition said reporting on the September 2013 crackdown on demonstrators by the (NCP) regime in Khartoum : (The mood in the capital was tense and schools were closed as residents prepared for more potential violence and protests expected on Friday, particularly after worshippers flood out of mosques following weekly Islamic prayer.

Violent protests erupted in Sudan on Monday when President Omar al-Bashir’s government decided to lift subsidies, nearly doubling prices on fuel products.

A gallon (3.8 liters) of diesel sprang from eight Sudanese pounds ($1.81) to 14 pounds ($3.18) after subsidies were lifted this week. A gallon of gasoline that was 12 pounds rose to 21, while a canister of cooking gas that was 14 pounds is now 25. One US dollar is about 4.40 Sudanese pounds.

Hospital officials and activists said at least 30 have been killed since in street violence, mostly in Khartoum. They spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to talk to the media.

Protesters torched 20 gas stations in Khartoum and elsewhere, and set fire to several police stations. Stores were looted in several parts of the city. Police fired tear gas in some places.

The Change Now youth movement said security forces killed the demonstrators by firing randomly into crowds, including at two funerals of slain protesters in Khartoum Wednesday night.

“The government deployed large security forces to suppress the protests,” spokesman Amgad Farid said by telephone. “Whatever the scale of the crackdown, people will not stop,” he added.

Farid, also a member of an umbrella group called the Youth Union for Revolution, said protesters’ demands had once been purely political and economic but had escalated since the killings.

“The president must step down and the government must resign,” he said, referring to al-Bashir, who has ruled over Sudan for more than two decades. “Now, the demands are retribution for the killings and bloodshed.”

An activist in Khartoum’s flashpoint Omdurman district said it had been emptied of residents, who fled either out of fear or in preparation of Friday’s protests. Violence appeared to hit a lull on Thursday with no deaths immediately reported.

The activist said there were no attacks on gas stations where the army was deployed. He said people are hesitant to engage the military but see the police as their adversary. Long lines stretched outside gas stations and people are upset, but they are calling on the army to side with the protesters.

A resident in Khartoum said Internet had been restored by late afternoon in the capital. The US-based Renesys, a company that monitors the worldwide state of the Internet also said Thursday that the Internet had been restored after almost 24 hours of total blackout.

Last year, an attempt by the government to cut subsidies sparked similar protests but they were quelled by a heavy crackdown on protesters, activists and journalists.

Sudan lost most of its main oil-producing territory when South Sudan broke off and became an independent state in 2011.

The latest riots first began in the state of Gezira, south of Khartoum, and in some places turned into a call for the ouster of al-Bashir.

Al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court on allegations linked to the conflict in Sudan’s western region of Darfur where an estimated 300,000 people have died since 2003 due to fighting between government-backed tribes and rebels
https://www.timesofisrael.com/signup/?utm_source=toi-articles&utm_medium=middle-link&utm_campaign=signup-buttons

Nevertheless, protests in Khartoum and Omdurman continued on Wednesday 17 January 20918 despite the fact reported above in which the Security authorities in their quest to preempt public crowd they drowned the public park (Maidan Ahliya) in Omdurman with sewage water, the resistance forces achieved a qualitative breakthrough in response to the implementation of the protests called for by the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) in the state of Khartoum which was a success.

Tyrants during their arrogance and their state of drunkenness forget totally the fact that the public can erupt and rise up to put an end to their regime as it happened previously in October 21 1964 and in April 1985 ousting the military regimes of Generals Ibrahim Abboud and Jaffar Muhammad Nimeiri respectively in the case of Sudan. The National Congress Party (NCP)/National Islamic Front (NIF) regime in Khartoum is no exception. The diehard loyalists of the (NCP) regime have been quoted as saying boastfully that nobody can oust them and that they would continue ruling Sudan unabatedly and unchallenged as long as their coming in 1098 was through the barrel of the gun –aka military coup d’état. Worse than that statement, there are reports attributed to some of those hardliners of the ruling regime saying that they will only hand power over to Jesus the Christ, peace be upon him! Obviously, we distance ourselves from such unsayable saying and we ask Allah for forgiveness from those rumors. And seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan.

The Sudanese opposition, both civil and armed, such as the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), has affirmed its total rejection the war budget provided by the ruling regime of the National Congress Party (NCP). Moreover, (JEM) full support for the peaceful protests and declares the presence of its members among the demonstrators at the heart of peaceful demonstrations in which the Sudanese people express their rejection of the insane rise of goods and basic services as a natural result of the failure of the regime to implement rule of law, justice and good governance. All the components of the opposition in the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) expressed their Condemnation of the ruthless policies of the regime that does not put the suffering of the Sudanese people into consideration and the necessities of their life as priority. These demonstrations also express the Sudanese people’s categorical rejection of the war budget on the people and starvation adopted by the regime.

On another development, the Umma National Party (UNP) issued a statement on the arrest of the Secretary-general of the Party, Sarah Nugdalla, by the security services of the corrupt regime. They arrested this afternoon the brave fighter Princess Sara Nugdalla, Secretary General of the National Umma Party from her home in Wad Nubawi neighbourhood in Omdurman, in an escalating step of the regime, to join the list of the detainees of the party and the Sudanese political forces and the revolutionaries and rebels from the masses of our great people. https://www.hurriyatsudan.com/?p=235505 And In response to this unjustified arbitrary measure, the (NUP) emphasized the following and said:

First: The arrest of the activist Sara, confirms the fear of the (NCP) regime of this boldness and courageous positions in preserving the right and resist tyranny and arbitrariness. And
Secondly the (NUP) condemned the targeting of Party leaders and cadres by the regime’s organs, and stresses that the march of struggle and resistance will not stop, but stirs more candles for freedom, dignity and steadfastness. Thirdly: The (UNP) warned the regime and its security apparatus against the consequences of this step. The party said they hold the responsibility of the safety of the Ustaz Sara Nugdalla and her comrades in the regime’s detention centers. They stressed the immediate release of all political prisoners. And fourthly the Party appealed to all its bases and the masses of the party and the Sudanese people to continue the struggle and resistance against this regime until it falls and is relegated to its final resting place. The (NUP) chanted their eternal slogan God is great and thankfully Praise is to Allah. Earlier, sayed al-Sadiq al-Mahdi appealed to the Sudanese regular forces not to attack demonstrators, and he also called on the Sudanese citizens to come out and demonstrate until the overthrow of the regime. Imam al-Sadiq al-Mahdi also launched a violent attack on the (NCP) government because of the repression of the peaceful demonstration at the public field – al-Ahliya Midan.

The members of the Syndicate of Sudanese Doctors appealed to their colleagues in the Syndicate of Sudanese Doctors to take the time of the initiative and call the original trade unions which include Sudanese Workers Union along with all the professional unions of engineers, lawyers, University professors, universities, teachers under the Slogan: Revolution until victory. We pay Salutation and support to the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) in its leadership and membership along with thanks to the enthusiasm, in which all the political parties both civil and armed participated in the struggle against this repressive ailing regime.

Let our people live free in dignity, prosperity and honour. Revolution until victory, the fire of anger will not be extinguished.
Here, it is timely to quote the Revolutionary Tunisian Poet Abulgasim al-Shabby who said in his famous Poem (The will of life):

• “If, one day, a people desire to live, then fate will answer their call.
And their night will then begin to fade, and their chains break and fall.
For he who is not embraced by a passion for life will dissipate into thin air,
At least that is what all creation has told me and what its hidden spirits declare…”
Translated by Elliott Colla

• If the people will to live Providence is destined to Favourably respond
And night is destined to fold And the chains are certain to be broken
And he who has not embraced the love of life will evaporate in its atmosphere and disappear.

Translated by As’ad Abu Khalil

• Should the people one day truly aspire to life / then fate must needs respond / the night must needs shine forth / and the shackles must needs break / Those who are not embraced by life’s yearning / shall evaporate in her air and vanish

And, from over at Meedan, a translation from a contributor called “Yankee John”:

https://arablit.org/2011/01/16/two-translations-of-abu-al-qasim-al-shabis-if-the-people-wanted-life-one-day/

The ruling regime of the National Congress Party (NCP) in its resort to extremes of violence against peaceful demonstrators who are protesting the unlimited rise in the prices of essential commodities such Bread as an example of a situation that requires condemnation in the strongest terms. The slogans of citizens during their protest against the rise in prices of essential goods was “peaceful and peaceful demonstration against the haramiya which means in English is burglars/robbers or thieves.

Dr. Mahmoud A. Suleiman is an author, columnist and a blogger. His blog is http://thussudan.wordpress.com/



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