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