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A Turning Point for Sudan

Woman protester dressed in all white leading the crowd in a chant while standing on top of a car.

Photo Credit: Lana H. Haroun (via Twitter)

The people of Sudan rose up because they had a vision of their country’s future -- one of peace, freedom and justice. And youth, and especially young women, have been the leading force driving the four-month protest to call for an end to the regime of Omar al-Bashir.

The more that I’ve heard from our local contacts, the more inspired I have been. I heard of protest songs honoring the legacies of Sudan’s foremothers, women who struggled as freedom fighters through the ages. I heard from older activists who had confronted dictatorships of decades past and who found renewed hope in the youth organizing surging forward today.

Today, 30 years after seizing power in a military coup, Bashir was deposed as president, by yet another military coup. This historic moment is a testament to the power of people’s organizing to build pressure to confront oppression and demand change.

Local organizers have recognized immediately that this is a turning point -- but that their struggle must continue. The people of Sudan haven’t yet achieved their aims of democracy and civilian government. The new military ruler has also been linked to severe rights violations, has suspended the constitution and imposed a curfew.

Sudanese activists are determined to keep up their protests. Here’s what I heard from one of them, a message I’m sharing anonymously to protect their safety.

I have been demonstrating at the Army headquarters for the last six days, with thousands of other people of Sudan. The majority are youth.

Islamists are trying to steal the revolution, using their people in the army. We all are refusing to accept the head of the army, as he is one of the worst. We all agree to keep protesting, and we demand real change.

MADRE has long supported the work of women organizing in Sudan, to sustain healthy communities, to educate their girls and to demand their rights. Grassroots organizing like this will be the foundation of a future democratic Sudan, and now more than ever, women’s leadership is needed. Thank you for your support that makes it possible.

With hope,

Yifat Susskind Signature

Yifat

Executive Director, MADRE

April 11, 2019