A Grim History in the Making: Sudan News and Commentary, January 2018
Eric Reeves | January 28, 2018 | https://wp.me/p45rOG-2ch
Herewith I’ve provided a month’s worth of day-by-day news and commentary on events throughout Sudan. January 2018 is likely to be recorded as the moment in which popular protests and widespread anger and disgust with the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party regime had finally grown to the point where demonstrations were impossible to suppress—or the moment in which the repressive power of the regime was so conspicuous, so unrestrained and potentially deadly, that Sudanese felt they had been forced to wait for the inevitable collapse of the Sudanese economy—and the corresponding massive, chaotic, unorganized, and inevitably deadly political collapse of the regime.
This is the inevitable future point, in other words, in which even the most ruthless survivalism finds itself unable to pay the army or security forces, and they too turn against the men who have governed as self-enriching tyrants for 29 years.
To the extent that European countries and the U.S. are engaged in various forms of rapprochement and offer economic assistance to the regime; to the extent that rich Arab states continue to provide hard currency to a regime that can’t afford even with this assistance to import sufficient food or medicine; to the extent that the African Union simply refuses to see the regime for what it is; and to the extent the UN Security Council continues to be emblematic of massive institutional failure—to the extent that all these realities prolong the agony of the people of Sudan, they have brought upon these most consequential international actors the deepest opprobrium. History will be thoroughly unforgiving.
A day-by-day recording of events in Sudan for January 2018, primarily via Tweets ( @SudanReeves ) see | https://wp.me/p45rOG-2ch
Jan 28, 2018: #Sudan: In its lust for #gold & foreign exchange currency (Forex), the brutal Khartoum regime will impose any hardship, any suffering on people who have the misfortune of living near mining operations using the extremely toxic chemical #cyanide to extract gold—“domestic colonization”:
Jan 27, 2018: #Sudan: Human Rights Watch (annual report) makes clear just how viciously abusive & violent the #Khartoum regime is; benign assessments of this ruthless cabal appear even more appallingly cynical. Suggestions of “democratic transformation” under NIF/NCP are utterly preposterous:
Jan 26, 2018: #Sudan continues to suffer terribly from the consequences of disastrous NIF/NCP regime economic policies, esp. the 2018 budget. Medicines are now not available—or available only to wealthy and those connected to regime. More protests are inevitable as more people die needlessly:
Jan 25, 2018: #Sudan/ese Journalist Amal #Habani remains imprisoned, with no formal charges against her; she’s been allowed no lawyer. Her case has been taken up by Reporters Without Borders; which in its current index of press freedom worldwide, rates Khartoum NIF/NCP regime as 174 out of 180:
Jan 24, 2018: NIF/NCP regime continues to reveal it has no understanding of fundamentals of economics, treating symptoms rather than the disease: underlying failures of the #Sudan/ese economy. Ordinary Sudanese will suffer most from this gross ignorance: more shortages, more hyper-inflation—
Jan 23, 2018: Former colonial ruler of #Sudan, Great #Britain, has now fully abandoned the people of #Darfur, supporting without evident qualification the Khartoum regime’s brutal “disarmament campaign” in Darfur, ignoring the violence that attends this campaign | https://wp.me/s45rOG-8436
Jan 22, 2018: While all of #Sudan confronts the effects of the disastrous 2018 budget, causing catastrophic increases in basic commodities, the marginalized populations suffer disproportionately: #Khartoum’s humanitarian embargo on #Nuba Mts. and Blue Nile; intolerable insecurity in #Darfur:
Jan 21, 2018: #Sudan’s Fateful Moment: Will surging protests grow to become countrywide and bring down the hated NIF/NCP regime? Or will we see an even bloodier repeat of September 2013? The answer to the question will daily become clearer in the streets of #Khartoum | https://wp.me/p45rOG-2bZ
Jan 21, 2018: Protests continue in #Sudan, increasing danger of a massive, brutal crackdown by security forces of al-#Bashir regime. No meaningful public pressure from international actors of consequence—including UN, AU, U.S., EU, Arab League nations—means Khartoum feels it has “green light”:
Jan 20, 2018: International Reporting on #Sudan Finally Finds Its Voice Following Arrest of Western Journalists: https://wp.me/p45rOG-2bV — New York Times offers first Western news reporting on recent developments in Sudan; comes only with Khartoum’s arrest of journalists for Reuters, AFP, & BBC.
Jan 20, 2018: The ongoing economic and consequent political crisis in #Sudan inevitably works to make #Darfur more invisible. But the violence, especially at the hands of Rapid Support Forces, continues, including sexual violence against girls and rampant use of torture. Their agony continues:
Jan 19, 2018: #Sudan: The continuing arrests of journalists from Reuters, AFP, and the BBC suggest that so far the Khartoum regime is feeling no pressure from the international community to halt mounting repressive measures against legitimate protests of catastrophic price hikes and shortages:
Jan 19, 2018: #Sudan: Protests in Khartoum and Omdurman continue, despite severe repression, arrests of activists and political opposition leaders. Will the regime crack down harder on protestors? Will further demonstrations be suppressed by “shoot to kill” orders as was the case in Sept 2013?
Jan 18, 2018: It’s long past time for #Sudan/ese political parties to do important soul-searching about the meaning of regime’s so-called “National Dialogue”—a farce for the benefit of the international community, and which the regime has never believed in, declaring it a “political maneuver”:
Jan 18, 2018: #Sudan: Demonstrations will collapse under combined pressures of savage regime repression and news invisibility. At least three reporters for international news organizations were arrested during Tuesday’s protests: Reuters, BBC, and AFP: UK and France must demand their release:
Jan 17, 2018: #Sudan: Of one thing we may be sure: the #Khartoum regime will do all it can to silence reporting on demonstrations against massive price increases precipitated by the disastrous 2018 budget, a perfect reflection of misguided priorities that have defined the regime for 28 years:Jan 17, 2018: #Sudan: First day of organized demonstrations in #Khartoum saw over 100 arrests & many injuries; Ahmed Mohamed Ahmed, pharmacist, reported as “killed in detention”; use of social media vastly improved over Sept 2013. The real tests lie ahead, as regime prepares to crush protests:
Jan 16, 2018: #Sudan: The names of 106 Sudanese political detainees, including the 29 arrested in connection with today’s (January 16, 2018) demonstrations in Khartoum (as of 1pm EST, January 16, 2018) | https://wp.me/p45rOG-2bT | video of security force beatings at |
Jan 16, 2018: #Sudan: All too predictably, the NIF/NCP regime’s response to peaceful protests against savage price hikes has become increasingly violent. Today’s demonstration in Khartoum and the brutal response has been captured on video & circulated by social media | http://bit.ly/2DiL3ox
Jan 15, 2018: Against a backdrop of continuing, catastrophic rises in prices for basic commodities, a collapsing Sudanese Pound, and increasing repression, the Communist Party of #Sudan is holding a demonstration on Tuesday, January 16. It is the first critical test of popular resistance:
Jan 14, 2018: Destructive effects of Khartoum regime’s economic policies/2018 budget continue to ripple through the broader #Sudan/ese economy. More protests planned for January 16, perhaps the first test of organization among demonstrators. No real news coverage by international news outlets:
Jan 13, 2018: News coverage of protests over #Sudan’s catastrophic inflation, particularly for bread, finally begins to appear sporadically in non-Sudanese news outlets. But with exception of Al Jazeera, little detail or analysis. Yet (leaderless) protests continue, as do fatalities & arrests:Jan 12, 2018: The international community—including the UN, African Union, and UNAMID leadership—has shamefully turned a blind eye to the increasingly violent assaults on camps for displaced persons in #Darfur, a prelude to camp dismantling. Khartoum views this indifference as a “green light”:
Jan 11, 2018: Unrelenting Violence in Darfur: Recent Reporting by Radio Dabanga (Jan. 11, 2018) | https://wp.me/s45rOG-8415 Violence, including sexual violence, by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF)—which enjoy complete impunity—continues throughout #Darfur, defining its campaign of “disarmament”:
Jan 10, 2018: Notable Al Jazeera interview with 2 people in #Khartoum/#Sudan: an economist and student activist; some notable errors of fact by Al Jazeera, but powerful footage/commentary http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestory/2018/01/anger-rising-price-bread-sudan-180109182616845.html …
Jan 9, 2018: Sudan’s economic catastrophe has brought the country to the brink of chaos, violence, and massive shortages of food and medicine: a compendium of very recent reports and commentary | January 9, 2018 | https://wp.me/p45rOG-2by
Jan 9, 2018: As protests increase throughout #Sudan, news reporting of popular outrage over catastrophic price hikes also increases; the regime is determined to continue with present policy of ever-greater censorship. “Red lines” are becoming more restrictive, more crushing of news reporting:
Jan 8, 2018: First person killed in demonstrations sweeping #Sudan, protesting outrageous price hikes in basic food commodities. Others injured, and new parts of the country are protesting the inevitable results of catastrophic economic policies and decades of kleptocracy by ruthless regime:
Jan 8, 2018: The Guardian (UK) gives hope that cruel xenophobia may still have a cost in places like Belgium. Still, it seems unlikely that Theo Franken of nationalist N-VA party will be held accountable for forcible repatriation of scores of men to #Sudan, w/ assistance of the regime’s NISS:
Jan 7, 2018: Protests continue in #Sudan and seemed destined to grow rapidly; only the most severe repressive measures can stop demonstrations against catastrophic inflation let loose by 2018 budget—proposed by the regime, but accepted by the slavish Parliament. Injuries are already reported.
Jan 6, 2018: Sudden, massive increases in the price of flour—thus bread—will inevitably lead to additional civil society outrage and unrest in #Sudan; protests of yesterday are only the first of what will likely exceed those of Sept 2013; an extremely violent response by regime is inevitable:
Jan 5, 2018: Nothing in this revealing article is truly new. Having worked on dozens of #Sudan/ese asylum cases in Europe in recent years, I’ve seen growing determination to rid the continent of African immigrants, even those who have been imprisoned/tortured in Sudan https://wp.me/p45rOG-2bh
Jan 4, 2018: #Sudan’s economy continues to show signs of rapid deterioration, with growing civil unrest inevitable—this will be met with savage repression. Yet there are no warnings to NIF/NCP regime to refrain from the kind of violence seen in Sept ’13, when “shoot to kill” orders were given:Jan 3, 2018: In #Sudan’s fertile regions, 1,000 acres of farmland might feed 2,000 – 3,000 people for a year. In a country where well over 2 million people suffer from Acute Malnutrition, it is tragic that so much land can be lost because this cruel regime refuses to invest in infrastructure:
Jan 2, 2018: Snapshots of unseen suffering in #Darfur: As comprehensive as Radio Dabanga is, much of what could be known about humanitarian conditions in Darfur is relegated to near invisibility by #UN and intimidated INGOs. As a first example, a recent report from Foro Baranga, West Darfur:
Jan 2, 2018: Given green light by U.S. and int’l community, Khartoum regime proceeds with immensely destructive agricultural policies: crushing farmers’ unions, selling/leasing farmlands to foreign entities to generate cash, abandoning the Gezira Scheme. #Sudan will pay the price for decades:
Jan 1, 2018: The NIF/NCP regime in Khartoum is resorting to “smoke and mirrors” economics in a desperate effort to conceal the magnitude of #Sudan’s accelerating economic crisis. Preposterous claims, revealing a total lack of comprehension of economic fundamentals, are the order of the day:Dec 31, 2018: Khartoum regime prepares for massive protests over disastrous 2018 budget. Politicians throughout #Sudan see clearly the real reasons for regime declaring of “states of emergency”—excuses for violent repression that will likely spread soon to other regions beyond those reported: