Seven months of hope in Sudan

The drums, the beats, the rhythm, the silence and the shouts and cries. They are marching forward with pride as if they hear the call of Martin Luther King: ‘How long? Not long, because…his truth is marching on.’ Spartans by soul, ancient Sudanese by spirit. A new generation: a new breed. ‘How do you stand this horrible tear gas?’: their nonchalant response: ‘We got used to it.’ They are beyond courage and resilience. Their passion cannot be captured by words. Consistent commitment for seven months and counting. Tear gas,rubber bullets, live ammunition, water hoses, dogs and barbed wire could not crush their quest for freedom.

A young man who was injured eight times is still willing to protest and sacrifice his life for a new Sudan. Since the coup of 25 October 2021, the security forces have killed some of his dearest friends. He feels no fear but steely determination to maintain their legacy of bravery and courage. Asim from the Mayo area, a very popular and natural leader who was killed on the 31 st of March, wrote on his Facebook page: ‘It is much better to die with your dignity than die frightened and humiliated.’

A protestor in front of security forces in Khartoum during a protests on 17 March 2022@private A young woman in her twenties woke up on the first day of the coup in the early hours of the morning. She was overwhelmed by feelings of something being wrong. The last message she received was of speculation and rumours of a military coup. She noticed that she had no access to the internet or phone services. That morning, she walked to the main road in Khartoum’s North-Al Haj Yousif district wearing only slippers and dressed casually in a traditional Sudanese toub. Without the internet or phone services, she could think only of finding ways to resist the darkness.

The crowd began to assemble in her area and started to chant revolutionary slogans and songs. She walked with them for more than 15 km. They crossed the bridge to Khartoum. They walked to the army headquarters and arrived at 10 in the morning. There, she shined like Joan of Arc. Fearless and heroic, standing a metre away from rows of armed men from the security forces, she led the chant: a chant that represented her inner conviction. She wanted to bring down the entire military council and stop the coup. As she faced these
security forces, she cared about nothing but chanting and expressing her disapproval of the coup. Suddenly, she heard the sound of guns cocked (charged), prepared for shooting. After that, she did not recognise anything except for the sound of live ammunition and the smell of tear gas. The security forces attacked the demonstrators, beating them with whips and sticks, and the crowds scattered as they fled from the beatings and brutal attacks.

She fell to the ground and could hear only footsteps over her head. She was unable to move or call for help as she drifted in and out of consciousness. She injured her leg, knees and feet and had minor injuries to her hands due to the fall. Some protestors rescued her and provided her with medical treatment in a nearby hospital. Then, she went home. Arriving at around eight in the evening, she burst into tears. She felt crushed and stayed home for three weeks, unable to walk or move. Six months later, her spirit still alive, her unassuming

mannerism deceives you into underestimating her, but that is her strength. ‘No fear. Nothing will unnerve me anymore’ she said.

A grieving mother displays a remarkable generosity of spirit. She lost her son last January but still believes that justice is not about prosecuting low-ranking soldiers or officers and sentencing them to death. Instead, she wants to sentence to death the ugliness in the country — the cruelty, injustice, suppression and dictatorship — but not the killers of her

Since October 2021, the country has been in turmoil. However, this new generation is planting new seeds, and they will watch them grow into tall trees of freedom, peace and justice — maybe not in our lifetime, but for a generation to come. A Kinder future will fulfil some of their hopes and dreams.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on these blogs are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Sudanese Human Rights Monitor (SHRM).

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