A Long Day of Protests in the Sudan: Three Deaths and the Tactics Used by Activists

Posted: January 20, 2019 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

January 17, 2019

By Vania Gulston, New York City, USA

A Long Day of Protests in Sudan: Three Deaths, and the Exploration of Other Tactics by Activists

Sunday, January 20, 2019 (PW) — This day of protests in Sudan was a long one. A young 16-year-old boy named Mohamed Alebaid  was shot dead by security forces. Twenty-five year old medical doctor—Babiker Abdalhameed–died after being shot in his chest.

He stepped outside a house where he had been caring for an injured protester in order to tell the security forces to stop throwing tear gas inside of homes, and, according to a friend who asked to remain anonymous, the security forces responded by shooting him dead.

Hundreds of protesters began to gather outside of Royal Care Hospital in Khartoum. According to reports, they chanted, sang songs, and talked about the next stage of what has become one of the biggest and longest protests in Sudanese modern history.

A little after 2:30am in the morning, a member of a social media group chat, solicits tents.

“Tents, tents, tents That’s what we need for tomorrow. Please if you can bring some tents, just bring them up to Royal Care.”

Another member wonders if the plan is to turn the streets in front of Royal Care into a Sudanese Tahir Square. “Yes that’s the plan, “ is the response back by one of the members in the chat.

About 40 minutes later, a member of the chat writes, “Wallahi it’s indescribable! Everyone side by side, standing with one another in solidarity!“

“They are still coming from everywhere,” another member in the group chat responds.

Just a few hours later, the gathering is broken up  by security forces who lobbed cannisters of tear gas at them, sending protesters to seek refuge inside of the Royal Care Hospital.

One of the chat members checked in at 7:29am with,  “We are still stuck in Royal Care.”    People are “stuck in the hospital now, Dawoud explains, because security forces soon surrounded the hospital and were said to be arresting anyone who left it.

A friend of Dr. Babiker recounts the days events during a phone interview. In explaining the poor coverage of the protests in Sudan by Sudanese and foreign media he says, “We have been covering the story for ourselves via social media.”

Sudanese-American hip hop artist Ramey Dawoud wrote days earlier in the group chat, “Dr. John Henrik Clarke told us that as Africans we have no friends. We need to believe this. The international community will come to our aid to remove Bashir and install another puppet in place.”

The sentiment is echoed in the statements of two other members in the chat:

“The level of conspiracy against this uprising is shocking. We have no friends. Know this.”

And young Sudanese radio producer active in the protests questions the international community’s silence. He writes after a series of videos and photos documenting the attacks on peacefully protesting civilians by security forces,

“What’s more disturbing is the world is silent against INHUMANE treatment of civilians.”.

In the early hours of the morning, activists learned of another death of a Sudanese man—Muawia Bashir Khalil Yousif.  The day before, “he was keeping some protesters safe in his house and they raided the house and shot him,” according to Duha El Mardi, a human rights activist based in Canada.

Dr. Babiker’s friend said a popular chant of the protest marches is “silmia, silmia, “ which means “peaceably, peaceably.  ” He explains that it is an effort to  make clear to the world the protestors’ commitment to non-violence.

Instead of raising fists in air, protestors are often seen raising up cell phones to gain clearer shots of the uprising  that—because of the lack of national and international media coverage—they are largely broadcasting to the world themselves via social media.

But sadly, the world doesn’t seem to be watching. Not even the CIA, which has the biggest office in the Middle East right inside of Khartoum.

Vania Gulston is a freelance journalist and teacher living in New York City.

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

  1. Vania Gulston says:

    Hi. I wrote this article. I am not sure how you received the texts. If I sent them, it was a profound oversight on my part. Would you please redact the last names and phone numbers so that people are not in danger. This is very important! Thank you.


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