Last night, I spoke with two friends in Khartoum, and I asked both about the situation in Sudan after what we have been hearing in the news. Mainly because I learned to be skeptical about the media in general and also because it’s customized news when you hear it from friends – Both of them however, gave me different answers.
You see one of them has been working for a government owned company (like many companies in Sudan) and since he landed that job, success has been such a good friend of his with promotions usually falling on his lap a little too easy. In my opinion every individual has an unquestionable right to choose how to build their life, and given my friend’s credentials since he was a hard worker and an A student from school days, I always think he deserves it. He is just (as far as I know) fixing electric equipment in some hospitals, and that surely wouldn’t harm anyone. In the end of the day, whenever we spoke, he expressed his frustration with the government and how he thinks things should change in Sudan. Since he was frustrated like myself with the government and lack of change, I would always think there is nothing to worry about when it comes to our friendship and it’s okay if we disagree once in a while. You probably guessed he was the one to tell me that everything is ok and all that I hear in the news is bullox. He also said that the Sudanese people are out of willpower already, they have no more courage left and that it’s too late to do anything. “They are too hungry to do anything” said he.
A little surprised even though I shouldn’t be, from hearing such discouraging statements, I thought it was strongly biased. It hit me that moment, that it’s not easy to betray the hand that feeds you very well when you were really in need, even if you had to make a couple of shortcuts. I can’t blame him, for he simply can’t see the bigger and better picture. He is just a little blind. You see, the problem is, there are many like my blind pal over here. People like him for sure will delay the change a little longer. Short term day to day thinkers, leaving Sudan an immature country depending on the international community to take care of its basic human rights.
The other friend, obviously, told me what I want to hear. He confirmed that there has been an incline in the conflicts and protests taking place in Khartoum for the last 3 days, one that is slightly more ensuring that things are going to change drastically and very soon for Sudan.
The Sudanese president announced their intention to impose austerity measures and shrink the size of the government by 50% in a hopeless attempt to fix what was damaged, hence multiplying the suffering of the people with higher taxes and simply impossible to afford food and basics.
Since the events of the arab spring began, I expressed my jealousy that Khartoum didn’t make a move, even though we knew it wasn’t yet the time given the readiness of the people at that time, whilst some would call it absolute fear, and that’s partially true. However, now we know that it’s not just fear, it was more of giving the benefit of the doubt, over and over again.
The result, I happily announce, is people raging angry.
As much as it worries a lot of us to think of all the people who could lose their lives in these brutal street battles with the monsters. We remain hopeful nonetheless.
More on this to come.
Love to you all. Love to Sudan.
- Sudan’s President Omar Al Bashir Announces Drastic Cuts in Government Staff (voanews.com)
- Protests in Khartoum (sahelblog.wordpress.com)
- Sudan police attack student demo against food prices (dailystar.com.lb)
- Sudan: Protests Erupt Over Austerity Measures (nytimes.com)