Sudan: When Guns Fail to Silence Voices

In September, a coup was botched in Sudan as the military made an attempt to overthrow the Abdallah Hamdok-led government. It had all the imprints of potential trouble.

The coup protagonists would come again, and this time, with a more pinpoint strategy for seizing power. Their success on the second attempt has dipped Sudan in a quagmire that raises questions about true democracy and unity across Africa. 

October 25th – the military had gotten at the helm of affairs again, to the chagrin of Sudanese locals who’d been here before. The last time they had the military in power, they had only bile to taste and would do everything to avoid a repeat of such bitter times. Protesters trooped to the streets to challenge the coup but were met with guns and battery. Seven protesters were killed and more than one hundred were badly wounded, for refusing an order they described as disorderly. 

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, mastermind of the coup cited in-fighting between the military and civilian officials as reason for the military intervention. He’s yet to admit it’s a coup but it’s only an approach aimed at watering down on the destruction in the country. He said the kerfuffle of their leaders threatens the stability of the country, yet he chose the path of a coup, which has only dipped Sudan into greater mess. Their current state is anarchical, to be fair in description. 

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“The armed forces will continue completing the democratic transition until the handover of the country’s leadership to a civilian, elected government,” al-Burhan said, but he only deemed it fit few months to the transition the people of Sudan had been waiting for. The citizens smelled foul play and opted to fight the military takeover. 

Their chants of “The people are stronger, stronger,” and: “Retreat is not an option!” were met with revolving guns and weaponry, but they stayed defiant to fight for what they believed their country needed. 

Phone lines were scuttled as the people are disrupted from organising against the new military government particularly in the capital Khartoum, and the cities of Bhari and Omdurman.

The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, a group playing an active part in the protest confirmed that the; “The coup forces heavily used live bullets in different areas of the capital and there are tens of gunshot injuries, some of them in serious condition.”
Sudanese are fighting against overlords, warlords, the military, militias and people whose general response to problems are blazing guns and bloodshed. A nation steeped in a history of violence deserves some peace and the military takeover threatens this to the core. 

The United Nations Peacekeeping force made an exit earlier this year, thirteen years after they first arrived the country. They claimed the country can now protect itself but if recent events are anything to go by, that’s a wrongly timed decision and a misjudgment. Protesters are still calling for true freedom in their country but their chants, songs and calls have been met with gunshots. 

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Detained Prime Minister, Hamdok may have failed to convince even himself that Sudan was on the right path, but the approach employed to oust him from government only puts the country in a worse state. 

On Wednesday, November 17th, more than 14 people were shot dead for protesting. Hundreds of others were wounded for standing up for what they believe in. As it stands, the death toll is at more than 38, but the voices haven’t gone a decibel lower. They’re louder and clearer than ever. 

Bustling young men and middle-aged women, seeking to leave a noteworthy future for their kids were singing and protesting on the streets of Khartoum when they were met with teargas. Some of them were shot dead. The Police also joined in battering locals, many of whom are defiant, irrepressible and relentless in stating their cause.

The international community has roundly condemned the Sudan military and has put a halt on the support it should give. General Burhan, at the centre of it, declared a state of emergency and took a transition in progress off course. This, to the rest of the world is intentional and condemnable. 

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The Sudan military has chosen guns and the people have nothing but their voices and have been resolute about their demands and desires. Bloodshed has been the greatest negative so far and people’s lives have become sacrifice. The longer it goes for Sudan, the worse it becomes and African unity, so vocally celebrated, and verbally flexed, is tilting towards a mere gift of tongues, no thanks to the African Union’s inactions.

The people of Sudan will be remembered for not leaving their country in the hands of people they don’t trust, and fighting to make times better, even by paying the ultimate sacrifice. They’ll be dubbed heroes, in a manner typical in Africa, but they’re victims of the absence of common respect for human rights and human lives that has continuously pegged this continent back wards.



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