Sudan Protests & Excessive State Violence

In recent weeks large protests have broken out across the Sudanese capital Khartoum, with at least 210 activists killed in clashes with security forces last week. The protests are said to be sparked by the removal of fuel subsidies in a nation already crippled by extreme poverty, but Sudanese activists say the people are ‘fed up’ with the Government of President Omar al-Bashir.

On Saturday I was sent the following footage clearly showing excessive violence being conducted by Sudanese security forces against unarmed civilians.

The events in the video occur in the Shambat area of Khartoum, the images at the bottom of this post of an injured woman are from a separate incident which occurred within a state security ‘house’, also in Khartoum. Both events occurred on October 4, 2013.

Activism is met with strong oppression by Sudan’s highly religious government and human rights are routinely denied.

I was recently introduced to an activist from Khartoum who is keenly informing me about Sudanese politics, culture and the history and ongoing developments of these protests.

This friend tells me women are systematically oppressed via both religious extremism and cultural systems, which often prevent them from making important life decisions for themselves. I heard about the use of political Islam to coerce people into accepting poverty and to paint local resistance to corruption as Western anti-Islamic meddling in Sudanese politics.

Many Sudanese people have had enough, but how long these protesters can continue to march in the face of government violence remains to be seen.

Woman abused in security housing, Khartoum, Sudan, October 4 2013.

If you would like to learn more about ongoing events in Sudan, check out the #SudanRevolts and #Abena tags on twitter and here’s a few materials to get you started:

Why is Rawa resisting? – by Rawa, Sudanese PhD student.

7 Things You Need To Know About #SudanRevolts – by Akshaya Kumar.

Sudan Revolts: Internet Blackouts and Dead Protesters On The Streets – by Raven Rakia.

President Bashir’s Final War – by Magdi El Gizouli

WikiLeaks cables: Sudanese President ‘stashed $9bn in UK banks’ – by Afua Hirsch

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