By Osman El-Hassan
February 12, 2011 — The Sudanese government welcomed the revolutionary change in Egypt which led to the fall of Hosni Mubarak’s regime under the pressure of the people who took the streets in an unprecedented manner. The departure of the Egyptian president after continued protests during 18 days comes at the heels of Tunisian revolt and the overthrow of Ben Ali’s regime.
In both cases, the Arab revolution is motivated by demands for freedom and social justice and aiming directly at corruption. Youth immolated themselves to express the mounting distress, and despair as the jobless young men and women realize they have no future in their country where the repressive regimes demolished any perspective for peaceful political change. The political parties became dysfunctional because they are weakened by autocratic regimes.
However, reading the different statements released by the Sudanese presidency and the ruling party yesterday one can see an attempt to absorb the impact of revolutionary atmosphere in the region and steer it to another direction.
All the organs of the Sudanese regime spoke about the diminishing clout of Egypt in the Middle East and said its absence led to the lack of solidarity in the Arab and Islamic World. According to the official propaganda, Egypt’s alliance with the United States and Israel paved the way for the disintegration of the Arab world and the decadence of the region.
That is the reason of the collective fury which led to the radical change in Tunisia and Egypt, according to the Sudanese official, but there is no talk about hunger or oppression. This kind of argument makes one recall statements and remarks by government and National Congress Party (NCP) officials saying that the recent demonstrations in Sudan calling for freedom, democracy and protesting soaring food prices were organized by “agents” based outside the country.
Nonetheless, the detention of dozens of protesters proves the opposite.
The truth should be pointed out that the Sudanese regime which controls the country since more than twenty years crushed the opposition through brutal means, committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the South only to repeat it later in Darfur and confiscated freedoms in the country. Another truth to be said, this regime since its inception on 30 June 1989 seeks the recognition and the normalization of relations with the international community. Ironically, it was Mubarak who sought international support to Bashir’s regime in its early days.
No such naive explanation or claims to impose an Islamic state in the country will prevent Sudanese from uprising and put an end to this injustice. Sudan’s history is rich with two precedent experiences in 1964 and 1985.
The virtue of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolution is that they showed the world that change can be done without political parties and this is the main source of fear for Khartoum.