We call upon British parliamentarians to add their voices to this condemnation as well as to support the upholding of Sudan’s democratic process. There must be no accommodation nor leeway afforded to this wholly illegitimate military administration by the international community, including Britain and the US. And, while horrified by the reports of the violence unleashed upon those who have attempted to peacefully resist the coup, Liberation wholeheartedly supports the calls made by groups like the Sudanese Professionals Association for people to take to the streets and defy the military usurpers in a campaign of civil disobedience. We encourage all progressives to do the same… The Sudanese people must not be abandoned to this their most recent of dark nights!
Liberation unequivocally condemns the military coup and unleashed repression in Sudan
Liberation (formerly the Movement for Colonial Freedom) has followed with concern the alarming news emerging today from Sudan of an apparent military coup which has ousted Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and the civilian politician contingent from the country’s governing transitional council, and has led to scores of arrests as well as a violent crackdown on the streets of the capital, Khartoum.
The news of these worrying developments began to be communicated out of Sudan by progressive activists within the country in the early morning of Monday October 25, 2021, after military forces moved to seize the Sudanese Radio and Television broadcasting headquarters and abducted Prime Minister Hamdok to an unknown location after he apparently refused to sign a statement endorsing the military’s takeover. Several other civilian cabinet ministers and pro-government politicians were also arrested as word continued to be relayed out by the Information Ministry, which had not yet fallen to the insurrectionists, amidst an internet shutdown in the country. Tanks were witnessed surrounding the Prime Minister’s residence and his fate, as well as that of several others, remains unclear.
The military, alongside units of the notorious Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia, have deployed throughout Khartoum, with reinforcements reportedly arriving from all over Sudan, closing down bridges and main thoroughfares as well as moving on the addresses of known civilian pro-government figures.
Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the military head of the hitherto power-sharing transitional ruling council, has taken to the airwaves to dissolve the government and declare a state of emergency. Progressive politicians and activists have signalled their alarm and warned of an imminent onslaught and wave of bloody repression by the military.
Today’s events follow weeks of turmoil – reportedly including several thwarted attempts at a military takeover – as well as significant demonstrations and large public shows of support for the civilian representatives of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, full implementation of the scheduled democratic transition, and against the renewed threat of military rule. Only days ago, huge demonstrations took place in Khartoum to mark the anniversary of the Glorious Sudanese Popular Revolution on October 21, 1964. Against this febrile backdrop, civilian members of the country’s transitional Sovereign Council were becoming increasingly agitated by the seeming intransigence of their military counterparts despite the clearly laid down and mandated schedule for transition to civilian rule and the holding of elections by 2023, as well as the issue of the handover of the former tyrant, al-Bashir, to the International Criminal Court to stand trial on account of crimes against humanity committed during his rule. And, then there is the curious timing of this coup just days after al-Burhan gave his assurances to Hamdok that the military would adhere to and honour the scheduled transfer of power in Sudan, in the presence of visiting US special envoy, Jeffrey Feltman.
Unfortunately, Sudan is a country that has borne the brunt of British colonialism and Imperialism’s mal designs. That significant era of brutal subjugation at the hands of the British Empire, along with the continued considerable geostrategic interests in controlling Sudan’s future course, has left the country with a perpetually weak infrastructure and acutely vulnerable to instability, Islamic fundamentalism, and tyranny. The result has been an almost constant cycle of despotism and military coups during the country’s recent history.
And, developments like those witnessed today serve only to benefit the same aforementioned malign interests. The only forces that stand to gain from the halting of the democratic transition process in Sudan are those of reaction in the country and wider region, as well as Imperialism led by the US and Britain.
This article was originally published on Liberation’s website