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Resistance returns to the streets of Sudan

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Despite repression, Sudanese people came out in huge numbers last week to oppose Abdel Fattah al-Burhan's reign
Issue 2790
Revolutionaries march through the streets across Sudan. (@ResistCommittee on Twitter)

Revolutionaries march through the streets across Sudan. (@ResistCommittee on Twitter)

Tens of thousands of people marched in Sudan on Sunday in the latest show of defiance against the military regime.

The police and army met them with tear gas and bullets. “Mohamed Yousif Ismail has been killed during the attacks by the security forces on today’s pro-democracy protests in Khartoum,” the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors posted on social media.

The ruling authorities have killed at least 79 people since protests began last year. As well as Khartoum and its twin city Omdurman, protesters came out in large numbers in Port Sudan, the western Darfur region, El-Obeid and Madani.

Sudanese people have been ­fighting back bravely for 100 days since general Abdel Fattah al‑Burhan seized power on 25 October.

The coup ended a supposed ­transition towards democracy. It also put an end to a fake ­“power‑­sharing deal” between the military and ­civilian leaders that had been negotiated after a popular uprising deposed dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, which organises groups such as engineers, teachers, doctors and lecturers, remains defiant. It said Sunday’s demonstrations were “not the end”.

“We will not leave the streets until the fall of the coup regime, achieving a democratic state, and holding to account all the murderers and those who committed crimes against the people,” it said.

But courage and determination alone will not defeat the ruthless regime. The grassroots resistance ­committees are the key to ­breaking the present impasse. Rooted in localities, they organise for the ­protests but also offer a rudimentary alternative to running aspects of day to day life.

They are the power that ­composes an alternative government to the generals and their supporters. That has to be linked to building strikes in the best organised sections of workers—telecom, transport, finance, port workers and public services such as hospitals, schools and universities.

The stakes are very high. The junta has announced a ­counter-terrorism force to deal with the “security ­challenges” posed by the protests.

But there is another pressing danger from false friends of the revolutionaries. The United Nations (UN) and the Western powers continue to seek ways to blunt real resistance.

The UN is holding talks with ­various pro-coup and anti-coup elites to seek a compromise that will leave the relations of power essentially unchanged.

The Sovereign Council, formed by al-Burhan after the coup with himself as chair, has welcomed the UN-led dialogue. So have Britain, the United States, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

The liberal Forces for Freedom and Change, one of the anti-coup groups, has also said it would join consultations “to restore the ­democratic transition”.

Such talks are a trap. Revolution until victory means building independent power from below.

Putin unworried by Johnson’s threats

Desperate Boris Johnson wants to turn attention away from his scandals towards a possible war in Ukraine.

The prime minister toured the media this week, saying he has “ordered our armed forces to prepare to deploy across Europe next week”.

However, Britain was only able to offer a further 900 troops to a Nato mission in neighbouring Estonia. This is unlikely to worry president Putin in the Kremlin.

All Nato powers are keen to rattle their sabres at Russia, but none is keen to get troops on the ground.

The sheer size of Putin’s army, backed with nuclear weapons, means a shooting war could become very dangerous very quickly. That’s why both the US and European partners are preparing economic sanctions designed to hit key figures in the Russian regime, and the billionaire oligarchs that support it.

Here Johnson is again caught out. The City of London is a primary destination for Russian “businessmen” and their vast funds—earning the financial centre the nickname “Londongrad”.

The US warned Britain last week that what it called Russian “dirty money” threatened the effectiveness of any sanctions.

An estimated £1.5 billion of British property is bought with suspect funds from Russia. A fair chunk of that wealth has ended up in Conservative Party coffers. So while Johnson talks tough, bribery persists.

Yuri Prasad

New president represents demand for change

Xiomara Castro was elected president of Honduras last week. Soon after, she tweeted that her government could “transform 12 years of tears and pain into joy”.

She beat the National Party candidate Nasry Asfura by a good margin. With most of the votes counted, she received over 53 percent of the vote.

The results came despite the European Union finding that the National Party had used state media to try and boost votes.

Castro is a member of the broadly left Libre Party. She is the country’s first president, not to be a member of the Liberal or National Party.

She promised to cut corruption out of the government that has been rife in the Central American country in her inauguration speech. She also vowed to give one million of the poorest people free electricity and to fight poverty.

Ordinary people in Honduras have voted for a change from the parties that have ruled the country for decades.

They must be ready to organise to make sure Castro delivers everything she’s promised.

Sophie Squire

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