The holy month of Ramadan starts tomorrow and thousands of protesters in Sudan will be fasting in front of the army headquarters in capital city Khartoum.
Criticizing the ruling military council for its recent comment not to accept a civilian-majority power sharing council, the protesters vowed to continue their mass sit-in outside military HQ even in the month of Ramadan.
Earlier, a top military council official said transitional supreme council could not be dominated by civilians.
Meanwhile, talks between the opposition leader and military are in deadlock phase and protesters are accusing the seven-member transitional military council for not understanding civilian government.
The council is currently being led by Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan. He has agreed with protesters that next government will be comprised of not well-known politicians and technocrats.
President Omar al-Bashir was oust by military on April 11. He ruled for thirty years.
Sudan: The World’s Forgotten Conflict
It began almost thirty years ago, and while in terms of displaced people, deaths, and lost property it exceeds many other global conflicts, the situation in Sudan receives too little public attention. The carnage in Sudan is referenced and described various times at this site. Sadly it took an in-country visit for the US government to take note of the severe misery there.
Sudan is a familiar trouble spot in Africa. Since the days of “Lord Kitchener’s army”, the ethnic groups comprising the somewhat artificial country battled to control territory, culture, ethnic superiority, and everything else that affects and divides the peoples of Sudan.
It would be simpler to count the number of years of peace Sudan enjoyed since the nineteenth century began than to examine the years of bitter conflict that consistently plague the country. Sudan often is described as “a country that lacks a government more frequently than it has a government”. Although that situation somewhat changed during the last fifteen years under the leadership of General Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s place in world affairs cannot be underscored. Events there and their potential impact on the “war on terror” are increasingly disturbing. Anyone who has not tracked the repeated emergence and breakdown of presumptive order there should grapple with the finer points of the chaos now before events overtake the dispensation of knowledge, and ignorance leads to drastic blunders.
The true cause of Sudan’s crises is lost to comprehension. The tools to achieve triumph are of more immediate concern. First the magnitude of the problems: Estimates project that during the last fifteen years of near-constant civil strife, approximately 5.5 million people were killed, and approximately two million more are displaced. Rape and torture of women are regular occurrances. Any male child age nine or older who does not join one of the irregular militias or organized forces is deemed to be less than fully masculine and is forced into service or is executed in the presence of his parents if he has any surviving. The concept of military training is non-existent; Sudan is the scene of guerrilla warfare at its purest.
With no serious training and no clear reason to fight, what motivates the multiple factions to prolong their struggle? Simply described, the general chaos in Sudan makes it a prime location to breed support for radical Islam. In the tradition of Afghanistan, Somalia, Iran, and Yemen, Sudan is vulnerable to the rhetoric from any source of influence that might promise a way to peace or a way to glory. It is well known that UBL & Co. spent several years in Sudan helping the Arab factions against the southern Dinka peoples before relocating to Afghanistan to help the Taliban. While UBL & Co. may or may not be in Sudan now, promoters of radical philosophies of Islam are there and actively seek recruits for al-Qaeda. These recruits regularly harrass the stability of the ruling military junta and to some extent try to infiltrate the government. It is very probable that Sudan could be the next Afghanistan unless adequate support is given the more secular participants in Khartoum. General al-Bashir made serious attempts to confront the radical Islamists, but an all-out effort by him at this time might jeopardize the very tenuous – or untenable – pact that keeps him in power.
The Plight of The Sudanese
A summary of the plight of Sudanese children being used as mercenaries.
In a world where many Americans can’t imagine going more than a few hours without food, there are children starving every single day. In a world where many Americans can’t imagine going a month without precious things such as the Internet, the Sudanese carry everything they own on their backs. In a world where many American children play cops and robbers with pretend guns, Sudanese children kill just to survive another night. There is a wide cultural gap that can no longer be ignored between Africa and the rest of the world.
A video was earlier released by a charity called “Invisible Children.” The video was made by a group of amateur documentarians, who decided to journey to Africa on a whim. The video chronicles their journey through Sudan and the neighboring countries. On their journey, they encountered heartbreaking poverty and heard heartbreaking stories.
The Sudanese society has been torn to pieces by the Civil War that has ravaged the republic for many years. Sudanese rebels act out against the government. Hundreds of civilians and soldiers have been killed. Now, children have been used as mercenaries. The Sudanese rebels have abducted many children. They are the perfect soldiers.
The children are desensitized to war and suffering by witnessing gruesome murders and being run like dogs. If the children do not do as they are told, they are killed. The situation in Sudan has become so severe, children are afraid to even sleep in their own homes. Families will walk for miles to find a safe place to sleep. Throughout the documentary, children state that if they stay home, the rebels will abduct them. One child, a refugee, even said that he wished he had died when the rebels came.
The video continues with each scene continuing to be more and more devastating. One of the saddest things remains that this movie depicts real life situations. This movie isn’t just a story designed to tug at the viewer’s heartstrings. This movie is real life.
The Civil War in Sudan began with the first shot fired in 1983. It has been linked to differences between the many diverse people living in Sudan, including Christians, Muslims, Arabs, and Africans. The collapse of industrialization in Sudan has also led to many of the problems that the nation currently faces, such as extreme poverty and an astronomical crime rate. The collapse of industrialization led to exploitation of many natural resources. When the profit from these resources went mainly to Northern elitists in Sudan, conflict was created. This is just one of the many reasons that conflict in Sudan began to escalate. Today, it seems any hope for peace is a fool’s hope. In the meantime, thousands are living in fear and dying every day.
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