‘Stop killing peo­ple in Su­dan’: March against the Bashir regime

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - NEWS - Gi­u­lia Ma­gri

Shouts of protest could be heard at the en­trance to Val­letta yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, as mem­bers of the Su­danese com­mu­nity in Malta or­gan­ised a small demon­stra­tion to raise aware­ness of the regime of Pres­i­dent Omar Has­san al-Bashir.

De­cem­ber has seen protests erupt in sev­eral Su­danese ci­ties, in­clud­ing At­bara and Khartoum, as anger mounts over in­creased fuel and bread prices and the mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor­ship which has ruled the coun­try for al­most three decades.

Chant­ing in English and Ara­bic, the crowd which gath­ered in Val­letta called for jus­tice for those killed by mil­i­tary po­lice in a crack­down on such protests. Young chil­dren could be seen car­ry­ing ban­ners read­ing ‘Do not kill the in­no­cent’ and ‘Protest till vic­tory’.

Mo­hamed Ibrahim, pres­i­dent of the Su­danese Mi­grant As­so­ci­a­tion – Malta, chanted along­side other demon­stra­tors to high­light the plight of pro­tes­tors in Su­dan, who he said faced im­pris­on­ment or death: “The peo­ple of Su­dan, whether young or old, hope to end 30 years of bru­tal dic­ta­tor­ship. Pres­i­dent al-Bashir needs to be ar­rested for the crimes against hu­man­ity car­ried out by his regime. We stand here as a com­mu­nity in Malta as we are truly grate­ful and want to show you what is hap­pen­ing back in our mother coun­try, where peo­ple are be­ing killed for protest­ing.”

An­other speaker spoke of the strug­gle to flee Su­dan and the thou­sands who have died in their at­tempt to cross the Mediter­ranean. “2019 will fi­nally bring hope and peace to Su­dan and other coun­tries fac­ing tur­moil,” she said, adding that Su­danese po­lice were ar­rest­ing peo­ple on the streets, in their homes and at uni­ver­si­ties. “Peo­ple all around the world must re­flect on what is hap­pen­ing in Su­dan right now and help its peo­ple.”

Pres­i­dent al-Bashir has been in power since a mil­i­tary coup in 1989, and through­out his dic­ta­tor­ship has brought in­sta­bil­ity, cor­rup­tion and eco­nomic mis­man­age­ment to Su­dan. The coun­try has seen nu­mer­ous protests through­out the years, with the de­ci­sion to end fuel and wheat sub­si­dies spark­ing the lat­est unrest. Clips on­line show pro­tes­tors chant­ing “Bring down the regime!” and wounded peo­ple as au­thor­i­ties try to con­trol the un­armed pro­tes­tors with tear gas and live am­mu­ni­tion.

At a time when peo­ple may be dis­tracted by fes­tive cheer and con­sumerism, the Su­danese com­mu­nity in Malta hopes to shed light on the tur­moil and vi­o­lence tak­ing place in their coun­try. They hope that through their peace­ful march, peo­ple will unite against cor­rup­tion and dic­ta­tor­ship.

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