On the heels of popular revolutions that swept desolate regimes out of power in Tunis and then Egypt, Sudanese youth frustrated by the current situation in country tried to follow suit. Despite numerous attempts to organize and stage protests, most groups around the country were met with very violent suppression of their activities and these efforts failed to garner large-scale support. Sudan and the Sudanese people are no strangers to popular revolutions. The will of the people triumphed twice to overthrow dictatorial regimes and put in place governments that are more representative of the people. Two popular revolutions later….. and youth are in the midst of plotting a third. Questions that come to mind is that after 2 successful revolutions, what has the country learned? and why has this third attempt been a relative flop?
From my limited spectrum, it seems to me that the ruling regime took in a lot of lessons, while the people have quickly forgotten. The current regime dutifully did their homework on how best to weaken the opposition. As a result within their reign, organizations that were hotbeds for resistance were quickly dismantled including worker’s unions and academic institutions. This led to a mass exodus of people from the country currently living in the diaspora. Fast forward to today, the government is just as technologically savvy as the opposition. They have cleverly infiltrated social media resistance groups and carefully followed every step of the process. Although this aided in quickly dismantling the physical protests that took place, there are other factors that have led to the breakdown of this movement.
It seems that the primary reason for this lackluster initiative is the lack in numbers. The vast majority of the population is apathetic. Their view is “better the devil you know” after decades of living under the rule of the current government, many are fearful that the next wave of “leaders” will be more brutal and more corrupt. So they would rather have a government they have grown to expect disappointment wrapped in bits and pieces of piecemeal relief (a road here, a hospital there, etc). The political and economic situation of the country is as weak and uncertain as ever, and those who weren’t swayed to join protestors in the streets would argue that now is not the time….there are too many variables and the average citizens is trying to figure out how to put food on the table with the various austerity measures that have been put in place. To add to this equation, the current government has a genuinely strong supporters who believe in their “cause”.
What lies ahead for Sudan or the 2 Sudans that will emerge in the coming months, no one can foretell. All one can hope for is that the political leadership has an ounce of pragmatism to steer the nation to more stable grounds.