Mass street protests that defied brutal repression have forced the resignation of Sudan’s prime minister Abdalla Hamdok.
Hamdok announced he was stepping down on Sunday—the same day that security forces killed three people during the latest round of big demonstrations.
Hamdok’s fall signals the end of his sell-out deal in November with general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who led the military coup that removed him a month earlier.
There is no longer supposedly democratic camouflage to cover the reality of directly repressive rule.
The central reason Hamdok had to go was because he had become a puppet without any mass support.
The US, Britain, Saudi Arabia and the United Nations all backed Hamdok in the hope he could blunt the anger against the generals. But most of the pro-democracy forces saw through him.
Ever since the coup on 25 October last year, people have courageously joined mass street protests—risking their lives every time they march. Security forces have killed at least 57 protesters since the coup.
The police and army fired tear gas at tens of thousands of protesters trying to march towards the presidential palace in Khartoum on Thursday of last week. They killed at least four people.
Sudanese activist Zeinab said, “The police are cruel. They deliberately fire tear gas canisters at people to try to injure or kill them. It is heroic that there are still protests.”
In the last few days, there have been more and more reports of the arrest and disappearance of leading members of the grassroots resistance committees.
These are the locally-based groups that have provided the momentum for the resistance. They have organised alternative networks that deliver services, organise for the demonstrations and defy the authorities’ control of the streets.
Sudanese activist Shada told Socialist Worker, “The committees are the heartbeat of the revolution. The generals want to end the movement and that is why they target these activists.”
Soldiers also tried to crush resistance on 25 December, when tens of thousands took to the streets.
But protesters still got near the presidential palace that day.
The resistance now has to break completely from any reliance on the “international community” or those who want compromises with the military. The anti-coup forces have to become more militant and to pose an alternative centre of power to al-Burhan and the generals.
Widespread strikes, linked to the mass demonstrations, can be the way for the resistance committees to take control into their own hands.
The liberal anti-coup groups, such as the Forces for Freedom and Change, cannot offer a way forward. They seek to constrain the resistance within the confines of mainstream methods and elite agreements.
The victory over Hamdok has to be a launchpad for more resistance.
The islands’ royals live in luxury
Workers’ are fighting back for better pay and conditions