Sudan’s Time is Coming

October 8, 2019

In July, after months of protests, the Sudanese military transitional government and civilian protesters finally reached an agreement. 

“I think Sudanese [people]–both in Sudan and Sudanese living in America–have to be proud of the people of Sudan [for]…standing up for a better future, for a more equitable, more just, democratic future,” McMullen said.

An evolution of the agreement made in early August set forth a series of steps to transition Sudan to democracy. The New York Times wrote that the head of Sudan’s governing military council said that this deal was “‘what the Sudanese people have been waiting for since the independence’ from Britain in 1956.”

The Times also reported that some provisions of the August resolution included a new 20-member transitional government.

Elbadri said that she wished that the United States would provide more support for revolutions and protests for democracy in countries like Sudan.

“While the rest of the world is looking to the future, the United States continues to look to the past and right now I feel like that’s doing more harm than good. The rest of the world is changing,” Elbadri said. “If the international community would like to help countries like Sudan, the international community needs to have a consistent, continuing discussion about international issues. A lot of these problems are happening right now.” 

Mohamed, now a student at the University of Toronto, has many hopes for the future of her country. 

“[The resolution] is definitely a step in the right direction and the fact that there are women involved in the cabinet as well really reflects the social change they hope to see to as well so I’m very, very excited,” Mohamed said. “Socially, I hope women are more politically represented, and I think we’re getting there.”

She said that she has learned a great deal from being involved in the protests.

“This whole situation made me realize how important it is to be aware of your country’s political situation. It’s so easy to be blinded by things that are said in the media or actions that are done in public, so we don’t see the groups that are marginalized or oppressed and we ignore the injustices happening because it doesn’t affect us, but it does. We need to learn to hold governments accountable, because when there’s no one watching and no one listening to what they’re doing because they aren’t directly affected, they can do whatever they want and you can be the next family or social demographic that’s affected by it,” Mohamed said. “Political changes and actions happen so subtly and slowly, we don’t even notice it so we have to stay mindful and pay attention. Before this whole situation happened, I didn’t pay much attention to what was happening in Darfur or South Sudan because it wasn’t affecting me, but then I started seeing the stories I’ve been ignoring on the street in front of my house.”

Mohamed also expressed a hope that the conflict that has in the past been caused by Sudan’s diversity is eradicated in the face of this newfound national unity.

“I hope there is better treatment of the South Sudanese people now, because the problems we’ve started facing six months ago are issues they’ve been combatting for decades, before Bashir’s regime even came into power,” Mohamed said. “I really hope there’s no more tribal or regional segregation/conflict. These protests taught us the importance of coming together as a whole country. People drove in from all corners to participate and that was the only reason we could succeed, so I hope injustices committed in places like Darfur or Nuba Mountains are never allowed, overlooked, or promoted again. We’re one country and we proved that we shouldn’t forget what these protests taught us.”

Despite all the social strides that she anticipates for Sudan in the aftermath of the resolution, Mohamed believes that there is still work to be done.

“I hope people don’t forget the reason they started protesting in the first place. There were some very real social and economic factors that drove people to protest. This change can be very exciting but I hope people see efforts towards the change they want…before they settle for a cabinet just because it isn’t the military rule we’ve always recognized,” said Mohamed.

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