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Articles and Analysies الصفحة العربية Last Updated: Feb 14, 2011 - 10:32:11 AM

Conquering our fear, we still have proud and admirable tradition of civil resistance in Sudan by Ahmed Elzobier

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Conquering our fear, we still have proud and admirable tradition of
civil resistance in Sudan.

"The struggle of a Man against Power is the Struggle of Memory against
Milan Kundera

The dignified practice of peaceful and non violent resistance has
traditionally been practiced in Sudan specially in the North namely
during October/1964 uprising against Abud regime, and April/1985
against Nimury regime,  these powerful methods such as (symbolic
protests, hunger strikes, specific and general strikes, civil
disobedience, political non cooperation, public demonstrations, social
boycotts) have contributed to the downfall of these two regimes, the
NIF aware of such history and traditions they have sacked thousands of
people from the civil services and universities and the health service
and professional union activist such as  medical doctors engineers
etc, banned political parties any  dissent have been treated harshly
by imprisonment and torture, their only solution to Southern Sudan
rebels is more war and a holy war this time, many of the political
active elites left the country in mass exodus in the early 1990s  to
neighboring countries and to the gulf and to Europe and North American
this have created a vacuum, and the country have lost millions of its
highly trained, well educated  citizen, and who ever left behind
inside Sudan have no energy or political ability or resist the evil
that landed on the country, NIF lust for blood and violence is well
documented even before they took power, during ordinary students union
elections in 1960s 1970s and 1980s they have introduce physical
violence into the students environment.

Their trade mark after they took power by force is to challenge the
Sudanese opposition and Omar El Bashier famously been quoted saying
"We took power by force and whoever want to take it back he should use
force" the irresponsible president acting as school bully, however his
call has being heeded by the war in the eastern front initiated by SAF
(Sudanese Alliance Forces) led by ex-Sudanese army commander named
Abdel Aziz Khalid in the early 1990s, and the war intensified in the
south, and spread to the Nuba Mountain, and southern Blue Nile, during
those days the regime genocidal nature have become apparent to all,
and his war by proxy strategy or according to Alex Da Waal  "Counter
insurgency on the cheap" have become part of the regime military
vision  to repress rebellious and their constituency.

John Donne an English Poet (1572-1631) wrote 400 years ago this
heartfelt appeal for humanity "Any man's death diminishes me, because
I am involved in Mankind; And therefore  never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee………." In all press releases from the
news and media outlet around the world have this amazing detachment
specially when they casually informing the readers about the number of
people died in the Sudan civil war (South/North) and Nuba mountain
exceeding 2 millions and the number of IDPs around 4 millions the
largest IDPs in the world, then the tragedy of Darfur start the number
of people died increased exponentially in few months from 30000 to
70000 according to the UN in December 2004, by march 2005 the number
jumped to 180,000.00 according to the United Nations' top emergency
relief official Jan Egeland, then to 450,000 according to Dr. Eric
Reeves (28 April 2006), and most  NGOs use 400,000 figures. Sudan
becomes country of map full of dead innocent people spreading all over
the land, while the statisticians still counting our dead not  a
single voice cried so loud as John Donne did 400 years because we have
all been diminished to nothingness by  the number of people died in
our country.
Given the length and the magnitude of the suffering in the country not
many Sudanese ventured to document the tragedy. However, Munier Shiekh
Aldeen a Nuba mountain political activist documented the atrocities in
the Nuba Mountain during the early 1990s, its one of the rare books
written by Sudanese that has been able to capture the scale of the
suffering of the Nuba people the book tilted "Those who immersed in
the nation blood" published in London 2000/2001.

No doubts the nature of the regime itself have invited and attracted
violence from the oppressed people of  the Sudan, as Dr Shafiea Khider
a highly regarded Sudanese Communist party member noted in a political
forum organized by SCP in London two years ago he inquired "Why we
only expected  revolt against this regime to come from the urban area
and the capital city Khartoum?" according to him the dynamic of change
is coming from the rural and the marginalized area of Sudan this time,
this considered to be a huge departure from the SCP political  gospel
of the 1980s about the role of "Modern forces and political change in
Sudan" which is technically means (City dwellers and its political
activist) this type of politics have informed the political tactics of
many of the main opposition parties in northern Sudan specially from
the left, however some of these peaceful tactics have become obsolete
by the very pathological nature of the regime,  as if NIF regime
echoing O'Brien  in George Orwell 1984 novel sentiment when he said
"Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a
dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the
revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of
persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The
object of power is power…………………. Power is tearing human minds to
pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own

It could be argued that NIF project of civilizing the whole country is
master plan borrowed from a discredited secular dictators manuals
and their holy manifesto once again reiterating O'Brien thoughts
"……………….There will be no laughter, except for the laugh of triumph
over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no
science." they successfully managed as (all totalitarian regime around
the globe do) to install fear, apathy among the citizen of the
country, but the reverse of such psychological state of mind possible
and this the time to defeat our fear, Alfred Taban (Khartoum Monitor
editor on 30 May 2006) commenting "Sudan is the only country in the
world that has toppled two notorious military dictatorships in popular
uprisings and is in the process of defrocking the third".

Sudan government after long years in the political wilderness
regionally and internationally, have gain for the first time since
1989 a partial legitimacy through the signing of the CPA, but the
pariah state in real term have not changed but conveniently
camouflaged its true colors under the international pressure, but
discreetly kept its draconian security and the notorious public order
laws intact. and still control through shady secretive companies run
via security forces the economics of this country, accoridng to
insider have clear understanding about the monopoly of the security
forces on the economy of Sudan in all sectors specially the OIL sector
"No body should kid them self this country run by the NIF and its
security force period"

Civil resistance is not necessary out of context or dated, Sudan today
is in desperate needs for such practice, the late political visionary
El Kahtim Adlan commenting on the CPA agreement between GoS and SPLM
he stressed that northern Sudanese opposition parties should give
credit to the SPLM that have taken at least %50 from the NIF power,
what left is up the northern political parties and civil societies to
struggle in Khartoum and other major northern cities in the country to
resist oppression and to reveres the specter of tyranny and demand the
implementation of their constitutional rights that have been illegally
taken away from them in June/1989.

The CPA and the interim Constitution have obvious human rights
provisions, however the Government of Sudan as mentioned in Amnesty
International 2006 report still violate basic human rights and
according to the report "Hundreds of political prisoners continued to
be held arbitrarily in Khartoum. Arbitrary arrests, incommunicado
detention, torture and restrictions on freedom of expression
persisted, aimed in particular at human rights defenders, student
activists and internally displaced people in and around Khartoum."

The recent interim constitution tackles range of issues including
Education and according to article (44.2) "The State shall provide
free primary education" where the opposite occurring today and
millions of poor families burden by their children education fees.
In health sector the situation even worth, although the interim
constitution stated in article (19) the following "The State shall
promote public health and provide basic medical services and
facilities" then article (46) confirm the above "All citizens shall
have equal access to public health care and basic medical services"
given all the above provisions enshrined in the constitution, the
reality for most of the Sudanese is grim and hideous, the Sudan Health
Service is in  dismal state suffering from unprecedented brain drain
and the service have lost more than %60 of its highly train doctors,
then the problem compounded by a cruel privatization policy
administered by GoS through the 1990s rendered many elementary and
basic health treatment beyond the financial means of the majority  of
the population, according to WHO report (2004) the expenditure of the
Government of Sudan in relation to the GDP is 0.8% consider to be one
of the lowest in the world.

Issues related to un constitutional laws such as Security forces law
and the notorious Public Order Law where women in the northern Sudan
continued to be harassed and ill-treated by this Law which restricts
women's freedom of movement, behavior and dress, because its
contradicting article (32) in the interim Constitution confirming
"Equal rights of men and women to the enjoyment of all civil and
political rights and all social, cultural and economic rights,
including the right of equal pay for equal work, shall be ensured"

Ordinary Sudanese people are willing to fight the injustice that they
have endured under the NIF regime, its encouraging news that young people of
New Sudan from 9 political organization represents (The North , South,
East, and western Sudan) get together in Khartoum on the 21/05/2006
united against division; oppression; marginalization; for democracy,
respect for cultural and ethnic  diversity, women rights human rights
and the unity of the country and they are determined to undo the
damage that have been done to the country, these young Sudanese they
need inspiration and hope and dream to guide them through these
difficult times to reverse the tyranny that have ruled their country
for so long.



This article was published in July 2006, now republished in the wake of events in Tunisia and Cairo.

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