The world recently saw Sudanese rising up against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who has been in power for three decades. They want a democratic and responsible government elected by the people. As put by the coalition of professional unions in the Associated Press (December 27, 2018) the Sudanese people “... have crossed the point of no return on the path of change.” While the Sudan Tribune (December 28, 2018) observes that the Sudanese popular uprising is inevitably victorious, nobody can exactly interpret the writing on the wall.
Should Sudanese wait for the West to come to their aid or just press on? Chances are that the latter is the option due to the fact that they seem to have become sick and tired of indignity. The Washington Post (January 6, 2019) cites one protestor, Aseel Abdo saying: “I feel like we’ve been living without dignity. People are standing in endless lines for bread—the elderly and even children. I have girlfriends who would spend the night at the petrol station waiting to fill up their cars.” This anger speaks volumes as to where Sudan is heading as Bashir’s grip on power hangs in balance.
To gauge what should be expected out of this standoff, we need to know the force behind the uprising. As oft-aired, when the price of bread shot up, Sudanese found that, apart from having no hope, the regime had no alternative whatsoever. Instead of bringing the price of bread and other essentials down, the cash-strapped government invented imaginative enemies to appease the Sudanese. The government seems not to get it as Bashir seems hell-bent to cling unto power.
Is it the right time to start writing a dirge for Bashir or just give him more time to try his old tricks to address new challenges? Again, why hasn't the West chipped like they did in Libya? Is it because Sudan is a black man's country? As for the African Union, why is it silent while Bashir's repression is claiming the tens of the lives of innocent people?
By Nkwazi Mhango