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Statement on the 5th Anniversary of Sudan’s People’s Revolution

D 5 janvier 2024     H 05:00     A MENA     C 0 messages

On the fifth anniversary of the Sudanese revolution of 2018, we, the undersigned, stand united in our solidarity with the Sudanese people, whose unwavering determination against the oppressive forces of dictatorship has inspired millions worldwide. Our hearts go out to the workers, students, women, and men who have and are still courageously fighting for freedom, peace, and justice, carrying on a legacy of resistance that can be traced back to Sudan’s struggle for independence from British colonial rule in 1956.

The seeds of this revolution were sown on December 6, 2018, when a small spark of discontent erupted in the town of Mairno, ignited by the skyrocketing bread prices. This spark quickly fanned into a wildfire of resistance, sweeping across Sudan, fuelled by the deep-seated grievances of the Sudanese people against decades of oppression and suppression under the military rule of Omar Albashir.

The courage of women, their leadership in the heart of the protests, was instrumental in driving the revolution forward. Strikes, strategic general strikes, and daily marches converged, culminating in the ousting of Omar Albashir and his ministers in April 2019. Sit-ins sprang up outside military command centres in over 14 states. Within these spaces, professors educated, revolutionaries deliberated, and music bands echoed the anthems of the revolution, bearing witness to the birth of a new Sudan. However, the generals, unable to tolerate the flames of revolution, orchestrated brutal attacks on these sanctuaries, committing heinous crimes against humanity.

The formation of a Transitional Government which included the same generals who were trying to crush the revolution did not stop the popular mobilisation. Through thousands of Resistance Committees, independent trade unions and demand-based campaigns, ordinary people continued to articulate a collective vision of a democratic Sudan built on the principles of social justice and equality.

October 2021 saw a coup by the leaders of the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces militia against the civilian politicians who had joined the Transitional Government. This coup was unequivocally rejected by the Resistance Committees and trade unions who continued to mobilise protests and strikes rejecting military rule. The two coup leaders then turned on each other, launching a war on April 15, 2023. This brutal conflict has claimed countless lives, displaced millions, and ravaged Sudan’s infrastructure. Amidst the visible destruction, this war symbolises a deeper battle – a war against the revolution’s core mission to dismantle an exploitative regime that serves local and international capitalism.

The war against the revolution involves not just internal forces but also external actors. Regional powers, the UK, USA, Russia, and Europe, play insidious roles in perpetuating the conflict, sustaining oppressive regimes for their geopolitical interests, including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Israel all of which have supported one or other of two warring generals. They exploit Sudan’s resources, contributing to the suffering of its people. The struggle against these external forces is intertwined with the battle against domestic oppression.

The attitude of the Western governments towards people impacted by the war in Sudan also betrays the depth of their racism. The British government along with EU governments benefitted from the rise of the Rapid Support Forces’ militia and used it as a proxy “border guard” to deter “illegal migration” to Europe from Sudan. Western governments also legitimised the Sudanese Armed Forces and RSF leaders’ role in the coup by urging civilian forces to negotiate with them. Yet these governments have blocked people fleeing the war in Sudan which they themselves helped to instigate, from finding safety within their borders, and continue to stoke up racism against refugees.

The global impact of the Sudanese revolution is profound, reverberating with lessons for the world’s working class and beyond. The struggle against imperialism and global capitalism is not a solitary endeavour confined to Sudan’s borders ; it is a shared battle. The world witnesses as Sudanese workers and pensioners remain unpaid since the beginning of the war, women and children face rape and exploitation, and revolutionaries face targeted violence, assassinations, torture and abductions, yet they resolutely persevere in their fight.

We stand with Sudanese activists, inside and outside Sudan, as they continue the struggle for democracy, social justice and liberation and pledge to mobilise against racism and scapegoating of refugees fleeing war and oppression.

Freedom, peace, and justice ; revolution is the choice of the people.
We will not back down. We have demands.

Signatories :

Middle East and North Africa Solidarity Network (MENA Solidarity)

Sudanese Lawyers Democratic Front

Sudan Doctors’ Union - UK

Sudanese Engineers Union in UK & Ireland