Since October 25th, the Sudanese revolution, which brought down the regime of Omar Hassan al-Bashir in 2019, has been living a rebirth. The catalyst has been the coup d’état of October 25th, 2021 in which the military tried once more to seize full control of the state. The powerful social movements that made the December Revolution, as the 2018-2019 uprising is called, were ready to confront the coup, and resistance to it- from strikes, to marches of millions, barricade-building and other acts of civil disobedience- has been fierce.
This second wave of the uprising was led by the neighborhood resistance committees- the grassroots committees which played an key role in 2019 by mobilizing and organizing communities across the country. The committees have only gotten stronger in the two years of “transition”, following a power-sharing deal in 2019 between the political opposition parties and the military. When the military attempting to seize full control of the state in October, the resistance committees emerged as leaders- driving popular opinion and organizing efforts. They along with the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), the union that led the first wave of the uprising, as well as the Sudanese Communist Party and others, have adopted the slogan “No to negotiation, No to compromise, No to partnership”. Meanwhile, the civilian Prime Minister has entered negations with the military to return to a pre-coup status quo that is widely rejected.
What is often missing from discussions of this moment of revolutionary potential in Sudan is the economic realities in which it is embedded. Sudan is one of the richest countries on the African continent in terms of natural resources, from land, to gold and minerals. And yet it ranks as one of the poorest countries in the world. The effects of climate disaster can be also been seen clearly in the country and official figures indicate that about half of the population lives below the poverty line. To give an example from the gold sector of the wide-scale looting of the country, Sudan is listed as the third largest producer of gold in Africa, yet it was estimated in 2019 that between 70 to 80% of the country’s gold is smuggled out, mostly to the United Arab Emirates and from there, to world markets. Not only are these resources ones that should be used to eliminate racial, gender, regional and other inequalities and historical injustices in the country, but workers in the mining sector work under highly unsafe and exploitative conditions. A related tragedy is the environmental havoc the mining sector has wreaked in the already suffering communities where the mines are located. As for the abundant arable land, Sudan was long been marketed by dictatorships and the World Bank as the “food basket of the region”. Land grabbing and commercial farming by Gulf countries and others is rampant while privatization by the government has destroyed rural livelihoods and left an already food insecure country in a vicious cycle of famines and droughts. The vast majority of the national budget has traditionally gone to “defense and security”- as much as 75% under al-Bashir. ***
Organized by the Alliance of Middle Eastern and North African Socialists, SudanUprising Germany, Internationalism from Below, The Tempest Magazine, and The Global Prison Abolitionist Coalition
Bios: Mohamed Salah is Sudanese researcher and activist, who is affiliated to the Alliance of Demand-based organizations. He is a graduate of Chemistry from University of Khartoum and has published the book The Price of Gold, which sheds light on the communities affected by gold-mining in Sudan.
Shadia Abdel-Moneim is a Sudanese feminist and political activist, a fierce defender of human rights, especially of women. She is the political secretary of the Sudan Communist Party in german and one of the founders of a number of associations and initiatives, and resistance bodies to the al-Bashir regime throughout the 30 years of his bloody military-Islamist regime in Sudan. She worked closely with a number of women’s groups in conflict areas for peace and justice. Today, after the revolution, she is struggling with groups of Sudanese activists inside Sudan and in the diaspora in order to achieve the slogans of the revolution and establish a better reality for Sudanese women.
Rabab ElNaiem is a Sudanese activist and member of the Sudanese Workers Alliance for the Restoration of Trade Unions. She is co-founder of Ta.marbouta, a feminist podcast that discusses topics from our daily lives and their intersections with capitalism, colonialism and other systems of oppression, in an attempt to dismantle, question and rethink the social structures and institutions that surround our struggle towards liberation.
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