What exactly is happening in Sudan?

Reports emerge of the country's military council brutally handling the protesters, having opened fire and killing innocent bystanders

By Maha Ali

KARACHI: Sudan has been facing a crisis ever since their 30-year reigning dictator Omar al Bashir was overthrown in April. The military stepped in with promise of transitioning towards a democratic system which has proven to be unfulfilled as Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) scrapped all agreements made with protesters.

They initiated that elections will be re-held within nine months, which, according to protesters, would not be sufficient time to ensure that fair elections will be held and certainly not enough time to remove the political network that Bashir has within the government.

Aljazeera reported that the TMC has now been brutally handling the protesters, having opened fire on them, killing innocent bystanders. The statistics behind the actual number of deaths is unclear due to the fact that the military has blocked all networks (mobile and internet), revoked all foreign journalists’ licenses and have caused a communication block-out. Bodies are not being accurately counted and more so, people are being reported as missing with no trace to them due to lack of communication access.

News reports confirm that the people of Sudan feel as though their rights are being hindered and the TMC is employing similar tactics as Bashir to rule Sudan. An example of this is the control they have over the media, with protesters being shot in the streets and musicians playing on television to cover up the truth of the situation.

The past week has illustrated the power of social media; thousands of people are now posting about what Sudan is actually facing. Celebrities such as Rihanna have taken to Instagram to spread awareness about the crisis.

Rihanna’s Instagram story screenshot.

Other influencers such as Wizkid and Davido reposted Rihanna’s Instagram story as well. Pakistani actress Mahira Khan tweeted:

“Why is barely any international news channel giving this proper coverage? It’s heartbreaking to read about what’s happening in #Sudan and so is the indifference towards it.”

The brutal crackdown by the military is being brought to light by the solidarity of social media users being identified as the hashtag “BlueforSudan.” Twitter and Instagram users are changing their profile pictures to shades of blue in remembrance of a protester (whose favorite color was blue) that died while protecting two women from harm. News reports suggest this man has been identified as Mohammed Mattar (26), an engineer and graduate from Brunel University who was brutally shot by Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on June 3, 2019.

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