Sunday, December 23, 2018

Sudan protests and the Arab Media is afraid to say it : The protests-o-phobia

For the fourth day in a row, the Sudanese people continue to protest in various Sudanese cities against Omar El-Bashir regime and up till this moment there is no proper media coverage in the Arab world.

At least 20 people are reportedly killed while dozens are injured and arrested including at least 14 opposition activists and politicians in the past four days.
Umm Ruwaba-protest in Sudan
A photo from reportedly from protest earlier morning
from Sudanese city "Umm Ruwaba" in Kurdufan "Twitter" 
The study in universities and schools have been suspended till further notice and certain newspapers are confiscated.
The Sudanese officials just like any Arab officials say that those protesters are pushed by foreign agents to destabilize the stability of the country.
All that has been happening and even Al-Jazeera News TV channel “Arabic service” which raises real questions about its editorial policies.
This is not the first time it happens, there were protests in Morocco from a couple of months ago and they were ignored.

Needless to say, the Sudanese official news agencies as well Qatari news agencies spoke on Saturday about how Prince of Qatar Tamim offered financial help to Sudanese President Omar El-Bashir or in other words to bail him and the regime out of that financial crisis hitting Sudan.

By the Bahraini foreign ministry issued a statement on Saturday affirms its solidarity with “Republic of Sudan, expressing its appreciation for the Sudanese efforts and endeavors under the leadership of its President, Omar Al Bashir to promote security, peace, and development and provide all means of progress and prosperity for the brotherly Sudanese people”.
So we got something the Gulf agrees on something at last: Let’s ignore the Sudanese people’s protests and support officially convicted war criminal Omar El-Bashir.

Not surprisingly, Egyptian media is ignoring the whole situation despite the fact this is El-Bashir we are speaking about who is the best buddy with both Qatar and Turkey, who got support from Islamists above them the Muslim Brotherhood.

Again there is a fear that those protesters caused by economic woes just like in France will give some thoughts, especially we are days away from the 8th anniversary of the 25th January revolution.

On Saturday, the Egyptian security prevented a group of Sudanese people from protesting in front of their embassy in Cairo and honestly I am not surprised at all.

Sudanese protesters in Cairo
Sudanese protesters in Cairo were dispersed as soon as they gathered
at their embassy in Cairo "Revolutionary Socialists"
Pro-regime supporters on social media on Twitter tell the Sudanese not to protest because it will get worse !!! I do not know if those people got the memo that Sudan hit rock bottom for real in time of El-Bashir.

I will not speak about direct news coverage from Sudan.
To be fair, there is no proper direct free press in Sudan nor proper foreign press or media coverage as El-Bashir managed to create this true media iron curtain in the country.
I know personally 4 reporters who work for an international news agency that there were subjected to detention and deportation for only doing their job and reporting about small protests and political meetings of opposition parties in the country.
Two of them were beaten before being deported so some journalists and news agencies play it safe there.

The internet currently is down and social media networks are blocked in several Sudanese states because Arab dictatorships do not learn that this won’t stop angry protesters.
That move makes the people angrier and more determinant to scream as loud as they can “Down with the regime”
I won’t be surprised to know that the Gulf states will bail out El-Bashir with his huge multi-billion funds and loans.

I do not know how any bailout would help the regime in Sudan when the US dollar reaches to 60 and 70 Sudanese pound thanks to the devaluation !!
In June 2018, Sudan’s inflation rate reached 63.87%.
In 2017, Sudan was the fourth country in the world with a high inflation rate !! “I know Egypt was in the same list
The direct cause of those angry protests that increase per day are economic, no one can deny this.
The lack of fuel, bread and basic commodities in the Sudanese states.
One Look to the reported Sudanese state budget one will take a glimpse of how the current mindset of the Sudanese regime must change ASAP if it wants to survive.

According to Sudanese news reports, 814.6 million Sudanese pounds are allocated to Presidency expenses “I have to give them credit for mentioning it like that” while 351.3 million Sudanese pounds are allocated to the President’s security “a convicted war criminal wanted internationally needs protection”.

There are also 14.1 billion Sudanese pounds allocated to defense ministry while 10.2 billion Sudanese pounds allocated to security apparatus and 8.7 billion Sudanese pounds are allocated to security quick intervention.

The ministry of interior has got 7 billion Sudanese pounds whereas the ministry of irrigation and electricity got only 5 billion Sudanese pounds and the ministry of health got only two billion.

The parliament got in a total of 923 million Sudanese pound allocations from the state budget
Someone needs austerity measures ASAP.

This wave of protests started this time from the city of Atbara , the centre of railways in Sudan. The city has got a long history when it comes to protests and labor movement as far as I understand.
Nevertheless, I see this wave of protests is leaderless.

The Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamist factions are trying to join this wave as they usual do giving up on El-Bashir after a long support and unholy union of 30 years. Sudan’s El-Bashir is another perfect example when you mix corruption with militarism using religion to make it acceptable.

I am not a Sudanese but I believe the Sudanese people had enough of Islamists for real just like they have had enough of El-Bashir for 30 years after his coup “supported by Islamists”.

It is worth to mention that just like in Egypt , a bunch of Sudanese pro-regime parties want to amend the current Sudanese constitution to all the president to run for another Presidential term !!

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