SUDAN IS EXPLODING IN PROTESTS: Continuing Updates, December 26, 2018
Eric Reeves | December 26, 2018 | https://wp.me/p45rOG-2kH
[First posted December 20, 2018, 10:45 EST (to be updated as events warrant; previous updates at | https://wp.me/p45rOG-2kh ]
• The response of the “Troika” to Khartoum’s ruthless suppression of demonstrations against the brutal tyranny of the present regime smacks far too much of “moral equivalence,” would have us believe that “all parties” are somehow equally to blame—disgraceful. #Sudan #SudanProtests
§ Troika calls on Sudan Government, protestors for restraint during demonstrations | Radio Dabanga, December 25, 2018 | WASHINGTON / OSLO / LONDON / OTTAWA
The international community has called on the Sudan government and opposition forces for restraint during the ongoing protests that have occurred across Sudan for the past week. Amnesty International said on Monday that it has “credible reports that 37 protesters have been shot dead by the security forces” thus far.
The Troika (the USA, Norway and the United Kingdom and Canada) has issued a joint statement expressing “concern about the violence occurring during recent protests in Sudan, including credible reports of the use of live fire by the government of Sudan and of multiple deaths during several protests.” The Troika statement reaffirms “the right of the Sudanese people to peacefully protest to express their legitimate grievances.”
“We urge all to avoid the use of violence or destruction of property. We also urge the government of Sudan to respond to demonstrations appropriately, through uniformed police acting in accordance with Sudanese and international human rights law, including the right to freedoms of peaceful assembly, association, and expression – and to avoid the use of live fire on protestors, arbitrary detention, and censorship of the media.”
The Troika statement says that the international community expects the government of Sudan to implement measures to investigate cases in which abuse of force has occurred, and that the Troika welcomes the assurances provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in this regard.
Amnesty International says it has credible reports that 37 protesters have been shot dead by the security forces in five days of anti-government demonstrations that have rocked the country. “With further protest planned tomorrow, the fact that the security forces are using lethal force so indiscriminately against unarmed protesters is extremely troubling,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s deputy director for East Africa, the Great Lakes and the Horn. “With dozens already dead, the government must rein in this deadly use of force and prevent more unnecessary bloodshed. Instead of trying to stop people from demonstrating, the authorities should be focusing on ending longstanding repression of human rights and resolving the economic crisis that have collectively precipitated these protests.”
• Any well-trained sniper with a good rifle can shoot accurately enough to target a head in close urban quarters. The number of disturbing images of head wounds suggests snipers have been given “shoot to kill” orders (as in Sept 2013). Who is giving the orders?
• There is very substantial photographic evidence of snipers in position; the thrid photo indicates either a sniper rifle with tripod, or a larger caliber weapon. But the strategic positions assumed by snipers likely means they already have their general orders.
• Statement Made on Behalf of Rapid Support Forces commander Lt-General Mohammed Hamdan Doglo, more commonly known as “Hemeti” (afternoon of December 25, 2018)
Eric Reeves | December 25, 2018 (17:30 EST) | https://wp.me/p45rOG-2kF
Earlier today (December 25, 2018) Rapid Support Forces (RSF) commander Lt-General Mohammed Hamdan Doglo (more commonly known as “Hemeti”) made a provocative declaration to his troops, stationed about 15 miles south of Khartoum, implying that he and the RSF would soon be the power to reckon with in Sudan. By late in the day his tune had changed quite a bit, judging from the release by Rapid Support Forces spokesman. Perhaps Hemeti ran into more opposition than he had reckoned on in the midst of the massive civilian uprising in Khartoum and elsewhere, and the release reflects a backdown from this morning’s insubordination.
The power configuration of the police, the Rapid Support Forces, the Sudan Armed Forces, and the National Intelligence Services is unclear at this point—and political divisions within the regime itself are largely opaque. There is tremendous pressure on President Omar al-Bashir coming from a number of directions, and it is difficult to see how he survives the present crisis. The question, of course, is whether the people of Sudan will seem themselves represented in a new configuration of political power—or whether we will simply have the face of a new tyranny.
Here is a synoptic/paraphrased rendering of the second RSF statement of today, which must have originated with Hemeti (original Arabic text follows):
Statement of Rapid Support Forces commander Lt-General Mohammed Hamdan Doglo [more commonly known as “Hemeti”], by way of Rapid Support Forces spokesman Al Swarmi Khaled Saad:
Afternoon of December 25, 2018
[all information/comments in square brackets [ ] have been added; Arabic original text below]
Rapid Support Forces spokesman [as of a few days ago] Al Swarmi Khaled Saad [former chief spokesman for the Sudan Armed Forces] issued a statement this afternoon on behalf of Lt-General Mohammed Hamdan Doglo [more commonly known as “Hemeti”], who spoke himself this morning from an area some 22 kilometers south of Khartoum [panoramic video of Hemeti and assembled forces is widely available on social media].
Al Swarmi Khaled Saad declared that the Rapid Support Forces assembled there [several thousand, according to a UN security alert] had returned from the Darfur region and Libyan border areas. He noted that Hemeti used the occasion to meet with representatives of the police, the security forces, and the army—and amidst a “large crowd of people,” stressed the “cohesion and cooperation” of his “Special Forces” with the regular forces in the performance of all tasks. Hemeti described RSF personnel as “martyrs” and “heroes” who were only returning to their barracks.
Hemeti emphasized that his return, and that of his RSF forces, was “pre-programmed,” and that while the RSF does not surrender any of its autonomy, it is “inseparable” from the SAF leadership and does not work without it. He urged non-commissioned offices to comply fully with discipline in military action and in “dealings with civil society” and in “public places.”
He again emphasized the close relationship with the “top leadership forces” of the SAF. Hemeti was given a briefing on present conditions, and he declared that the present crisis must have a solution; he strongly criticized those who had caused the crisis.
#عميد/الصوارمي خالد سعد الناطق الرسمي باسم قوات الدعم السريع .. قوات الدعم السريع تستقبل الكتيبة الخاصة .. قوات الدعم السريع هي قوة لا تنفصل عن #القوات_المسلحة بحال من الأحوال وأنها لا تعمل دون إذن القيادة العليا إستقبلت قوات #الدعمالسريع صباح اليوم الثلاثاء الخامس والعشرين من ديسمبر الجاري بمنطقة #طيبةالحسناب جنوب الخرطوم الكتيبة #الخاصة العائدة من منطقة دارفور . وكان على رأس المستقبلين #الفريق محمد حمدان دقلو قائد قوات #الدعمالسريع ، والفريق الركن #محمد منتي عنجر نائب رئيس أركان القوات البرية للإدارة ممثلا #للقواتالمسلحة والفريق #شرطة عبد الله عمر علي ممثلا #لقواتالشرطة ، والفريق #أمن عبد العزيز عبد الله بخيت ممثلا #لجهازالأمن . وقد تحدث في اللقاء ممثلوا #القواتالمسلحة #والشرطة #والأمن وحشد كبير من المواطنين الذين تجمهروا ، مرحبين بعودة القوات الخاصة بعد أدائها مهامها بنجاح في المناطق الحدودية . مؤكدين تلاحم القوات النظامية وتماسكها وتعاونها على أداء كافة المهام الموكلة إليها . هذا وقد خاطب اللقاء الفريق محمد حمدان دقلو حيث شكر القوة الخاصة على استبسالها وترحم على أرواح الشهداء ووصفهم بأنهم أبطال فدوا الوطن بأرواحهم فاستحقوا منا الدعاء لأرواحهم الطاهرة . وأكد الفريق محمد حمدان أن الكتيبة الخاصة ما جاءت لتتعامل مع مستجدات الأحداث الراهنة ، وإنما خطة عودتها هي برنامج مسبق ، وأنها قد عادت فقط إلى ثكناتها . هذا وقد أكد سيادة الفريق على أن قوات الدعم السريع هي قوة لا تنفصل عن #القواتالمسلحة بحال من الأحوال وأنها لا تعمل دون إذن القيادة العليا حاثا الضباط وضباط الصف على الإلتزام التام بالإنضباط في العمل العسكري وفي التعامل المدني والأماكن العامة . كما أكد على التفاف قوات الدعم السريع حول قيادتها العليا مع بقية القوات النظامية . وتعرض سيادة الفريق محمد حمدان دقلو للوضع الراهن واصفاً إياه بالأزمة التي لا بد أن يكون لها حل . وانتقد بشدة الجهات التي تسببت في هذه الأزمة . #عميد_الصوارمي خالد سعد #الناطقالرسميباسمقوات #الدعمالسريع
• Desperate nonsense and lies from an increasingly fearful al-Bashir: will he be made the sacrifice to legitimate a “palace coup”? Does the army support him? Does he control NISS and the RSF? Does the army? Many unanswered questions as #Sudan’s crisis deepens.
§ Sudan’s Bashir says mercenaries and agents behind protests and sabotage | Sudan Tribune, December 25, 2018 (KHARTOUM)
Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir accused unnamed groups of exploiting the living hardship to carry out sabotage and vandalism and described them as “agents, mercenaries and traitors.” Many cities across Sudan have been protesting against difficult economic conditions in the country since last week, calling to overthrow the regime of President al-Bashir. Also, demonstrators in some towns have burned the premises of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP).
Speaking in a public meeting in Wad al-Haddad area of Al-Jazira State on Tuesday, al-Bashir called to cease protests and not give an opportunity to those who commit sabotage. He said the popular reception he received in the area was a decisive response to the rumour that he had been arrested and imprisoned and threatened to pursue those disseminating the rumours. [His reception was anything but welcoming! – ER]
The Sudanese admitted that Sudan is facing “economic problems caused by the siege imposed by the West because of its refusal to kneel” as he said, stressing his rejection of foreign pressure. He added that the war is waged against Sudan for its adherence to its religion and dignity, asserting that it “will not sell it for wheat or the dollar.”
The Sudanese Central Committee of Doctors reported that nine people were injured in the protests that broke out Tuesday in the capital, Khartoum, including one critical case. In a statement released on Tuesday evening, the doctors pointed to the use of live bullets against the demonstrators. The union which was among the professional groups that called for the demonstration underscored the high level of popular mobilisation saying that they “passed the point of no return.” President al-Bashir pledged that development projects in the state would be continued and called on the people of Al-Jazira State, whom he described as producers, to not pay attention to traitors and agents. [More empty promises and no specifics—ER]
The regime evidently remains convinced that with sufficient violent repression and arrests of political leaders it can still prevail, despite the underlying economic conditions that have generated the protests of the past week.
A mobile, tracked, and armored artillery piece (in effect, a tank) being transported in Khartoum
But the economy will continue to collapse, people will become even more desperate, and the present cycle will only repeat itself with yet greater violence:
§ More opposition leaders detained, sentenced in North Kordofan, South Darfur | Radio Dabanga, December 25, 2018 | EL OBEID / BURAM
On Friday, El Obeid Criminal Court sentenced the head of the opposition Sudanese Congress Party in North Kordofan, Hatim Mirghani, together with eight others to six months imprisonment under the State of Emergency. Agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) detained Mirghani on Sunday from Um Rawaba and moved him to the detention of the security apparatus in El Obeid with a number of detainees, on the same day Husseini Ahmed was arrested after addressing demonstrators in El Nahud in West Kordofan on Friday.
On Monday, NISS officers arrested Jamal Abakar, head of the State Council of the Sudanese Congress Party in in Babanusa, West Kordofan, after the protests against hunger, rise of prices, and demanding the departure of the regime.
On Monday evening, the security authorities in El Obeid arrested Osman Saleh, secretary of the Communist Party of North Kordofan as part of a large-scale arrest campaign in El Obeid involving 17 people, including 12 students from Kordofan University, two from the Communist Party and one from the Unionist Party.
Yesterday, Yousef El Hassani, president of the Farmers Union, and Adil Amin of the leadership of the National Umma Party were detained in El Gezira Aba, Mansour Obeid member of Rabak locality union and the headmaster of El Mustagabal schools were held in Rabak. Yesterday, the security in Ed Daein in East Darfur arrested lawyers Mohamed Abdallah and Abubakar Jabreldar.
An extraordinary gathering of “mercenaries”…
The Communist Party also condemned the security forces storming its headquarters in Khartoum and the arrest of Mohamed El Hassan, the political secretary of the party, as a clear violation of his right to practice his political work.
The political secretary of the party, Mohamed El Khateeb, told a press conference yesterday noon: “We reject the arrest of colleagues who are party members, asserting that they are acting as a peaceful act guaranteed by the Constitution.” He said the Communist Party would take all legal measures against the security apparatus.
The security services arrested seven people in Buram in South Darfur after demonstrations against the hunger and soaring prices on Sunday. A group of 10 civil and political forces in South Darfur said in a statement that “there is no escape from this tunnel only through the mobilisation, unification and the creation of a broad national front and the popular uprising.”
The statement appealed to the public “to sense the spirit of national responsibility to go out to the streets and demand the overthrow of the regime of poverty, hunger and disease, and to express our demands by peaceful means without resorting to the destruction of public and private property.”
The statement was signed by members of the Communist Party, the Baath parties, the Association of Displaced People and Refugees, Democratic Lawyers’ Union, Democratic Women’s Union, Artisans Association and the Democratic Students Front.
Similar arrests have been reported from across the country. On Saturday, security agents arrested 14 leaders of the National Consensus Forces (NCF, a coalition of Sudanese opposition parties) during a meeting of the coalition in Omdurman and transferred them to an unknown destination without releasing them so far.
§ Thousands of Sudanese take to streets of Khartoum asking al-Bashir to step down | Sudan Tribune | December 25, 2018 (KHARTOUM)
Thousands of protesters on Tuesday took to the streets of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum in a mass march to the Presidential Palace demanding that President Omer al-Bashir step down. The Sudanese Professional Association (SPA) on Monday called on the Sudanese to gather at Abu Jinzeer squire to march to the Presidential Palace to hand over a memo demanding President al-Bashir to step down. However, police and security forces cordoned off the Abu Jinzeer square since early morning hours on Tuesday forcing protestors to flood the streets in downtown Khartoum.
Protestors chanted slogans such as “Peaceful … Peaceful against the Thieves”, “Freedom, Peace, Justice … Revolution is the Choice of the People” and “The People Want to Bring Down the Regime”.
Security forces used excessive force attacking the peaceful protestors with tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition. Medical sources speaking to Sudan Tribune in Khartoum said 8 protesters were injured by fire bullets, pointing out that 4 of them are in critical condition.
Eyewitnesses said security elements wearing civilian clothes prevented the journalists from taking pictures, pointing that several journalists and TV correspondents have been beaten up and their mobile phones were confiscated.
Also, activists released videos on the social media showing protesters wounded by the bullets of the security forces and other videos of security agents in plain clothes shooting demonstrators. Tuesday’s march follows nearly a week of protests initially triggered by rising prices and shortages of bread and fuel but later escalated into calls for al-Bashir to step down. The protests over the past week have been met with a heavy security crackdown, with more than 37 protestors killed and dozens injured according to Amnesty International. Also, dozens of protesters and opposition leaders have been arrested since the beginning of the popular protests.
The Sudanese authorities have suspended school and universities classes in Khartoum and imposed emergency situation and curfew in a number of states.
§ Six injured as Sudan police disperse Khartoum crowds with tear gas, live fire | Radio Dabanga, December 25, 2018 | KHARTOUM
At least six people were injured as a result of police action in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum today. A heavy police and military presence prevented the marchers from reaching the Presidential Palace on the banks of the Nile, where they intended to hand a memorandum to President Omar Al Bashir.
From early this morning, convoys of troops in four-wheel-drive vehicles poured into downtown Khartoum in anticipation of the rally. As the morning progressed, crowds of people, some chanting slogans, converged on Abu Jinzir Square from several directions. When the mass attempted to move toward the Presidential Palace around midday, the police fired tear gas to disperse the marchers. At least six people were wounded by live bullets, according to a statement by the organisers. There have been no reports of fatalities, but casualty reports are still being confirmed.
In the periphery of the march and protest, security forces clamped-down on anyone attempting to report on the events. Many people were arrested (numbers are not yet clear) and several people attempting to make videos have had their phones confiscated. There are reports of at least one journalist injured during the day. The protest gathering lasted for more than five hours, as each time the tear gas cleared, more demonstrators surged forward.
“Committed to peacefulness”
Mohamed Abdelaziz, member of the secretariat of the Sudanese Professionals Association told Radio Dabanga earlier: “The rally is committed to peacefulness, while emphasizing the commitment of the Sudanese professional association to work peacefully in all its steps for change.” He called in the name of the association on everyone to raise banners, slogans, cheers and national flags to express the national unity towards the issue of regime ousting.
The widespread street protests have continued across Sudan for six consecutive days. On Monday, Port Sudan in the Red Sea state, El Managil in El Gezira and other parts of El Gezira, witnessed demonstrations demanding the overthrow of the regime and denouncing the poor economic situation amid the ongoing cash, fuel, bread and medicine crisis throughout Sudan. Yesterday, El Wihda, Salalab and El Imtidad districts in Port Sudan witnessed peaceful demonstrations. Witnesses told Radio Dabanga from Port Sudan that the police faced the demonstration with excessive violence using batons and tear gas.
The international community has called on the Sudan government and opposition forces for restraint during the ongoing protests. The Troika (the USA, Norway and the United Kingdom and Canada) has issued a joint statement expressing “concern about the violence occurring during recent protests in Sudan, including credible reports of the use of live fire by the government of Sudan and of multiple deaths during several protests.”
Amnesty International says it has credible reports that 37 protesters have been shot dead by the security forces in five days of anti-government demonstrations that have rocked the country. “With further protest planned tomorrow, the fact that the security forces are using lethal force so indiscriminately against unarmed protesters is extremely troubling,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s deputy director for East Africa, the Great Lakes and the Horn.
On the international level, yesterday the Sudanese demonstrated in Washington, The Hague and for the second day in Paris in front of the Sudanese embassy in solidarity with the internal movement demanding the overthrow of Al Bashir and his regime from power.
On Monday, dozens of Sudanese in the Netherlands marched through The Hague in solidarity with the protests and submitted a memorandum to the Dutch Foreign Ministry, pointing to the excessive violence with which the regime faced peaceful demonstrations and use of bullets in the face of peaceful demonstrators, resulting in dozens of deaths and injuries in Sudan. The demonstrators then carried out a sit-in outside the Sudanese embassy in The Hague.
• What should be clear to all is that the economic collapse in Sudan is now irreversible; whatever lull there may be in civil society actions, hyper-inflation has arrived and will wreak terrible havoc in the lives of ordinary Sudanese:
#Sudan #SudanUprising #SudanProtests
• Ongoing Tweets, Re-Tweets at @SudanReeves