How did Sudanese generals betray our generation

The protesters have been holding up signs: “Against military rule”

In our series of letters from African writers, former BBC reporter Mohanad Hashim (Mohanad Hashim), who returned to live in Sudan after the 2019 revolution, said that after the army’s recent seizure of power, many people’s hopes were dashed .

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I was supposed to fly back to Khartoum this week to continue my duties as a staff member of the Sudanese National Broadcasting Corporation (SNBC)-I started working for the National Broadcasting Corporation in August last year.

I have been in exile since I was 19, and I had the opportunity to work in Sudan without long-term leader Omar al-Bashir. My dream came true-fulfilling my deep desire to help build my childhood home.

But the coup d’état last month threw my life into chaos.

It happened when I was on vacation in London to visit my family-now I find that I don’t have a job, and my country is in turmoil because the military government is trying to consolidate its power in the face of increasing resistance from the pro-democracy movement. control.

“Editorially, all efforts to change decades of tradition have been overthrown: SNBC has once again become the mouthpiece of the regime”, source: Mohanad Hashim, source description: Sudanese reporter, photo: Mohanad Hashim

There is a general sense of betrayal among the people I try to talk to in my hometown.

Many Sudanese remember the massacre that took place at the sit-in protest site outside the capital army headquarters on June 3, 2019.

Thousands of people gathered to demand that the military transfer power to civilians-after weeks of massive protests against President Bashir, the generals deposed President Bashir two months ago.

But on that day in June, security forces opened fire on the protesters and at least 87 people were killed.

Two years have passed, and the feeling of injustice lingers-this coup is regarded as the second time that the commander-in-chief of the army, General Abdul Fatah Burhan, broke his promise and betrayed the people.

Sudanese demonstrators took to the streets of the capital, Khartoum, demanding that the government transition to civil rule-October 21, 2021

Four days before the coup, millions of people marched across the country in support of the transition to full civil rule

Many people I know are angry at what the top military leaders see as brazen and selfish.

Although this takeover is not unexpected — there have been tensions between military and civilian leaders who have been sharing power since August 2019 — but the timing is bold and seen as an insult.

Pause or laugh

Just four days before the coup, millions of people across the country marched in support of civil rule-which occupies a prominent place in the national broadcasting company.

But on the morning of October 25, an armed force took over SNBC’s office in Omdurman, a city across the Nile from Khartoum, and played patriotic music.

Former generals and security officials defended the move on television, saying that these measures were meant to save the revolution and correct its path.

SNBC's Baytna morning show

Working hard to ensure that all voices and opinions are heard on SNBC

In the next few days, two officials were in charge of the National Broadcasting Corporation. A brigadier general is in charge of the television department, and a colonel is in charge of the radio.

Then Ibrahim al-Buzaee, the former SNBC director of the Bashir era, was reinstated.

My colleagues told me that the loyal supporters of Bashir’s old ruling party, the National Congress, were also brought back.

They were known for their Islamist tendencies and were expelled from the company by the committee responsible for dismantling Bashir’s regime.

Some staff have been suspended-accused of loyalty to the government of the expelled civilian prime minister Abdullah Hamdok, who is still under house arrest.

Others said that they were insulted and ridiculed for supporting so-called secular elements, a label used by voices supporting the coup to criticize Mr. Hamdock and his civilian cabinet members.

An anti-coup protester in Omdurman held a placard that read the Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok, who was under house arrest, and read:

Protesters want Abdullah Hamdok, who is under house arrest, to resume his post as prime minister

In the editorial, all efforts to change the decades-long tradition were cancelled: SNBC once again became the mouthpiece of the regime.

Watching Sudanese TV these days, you won’t notice any difference from the tone of Bashir’s time.

A new studio equipped with an LED video wall-funded by the American Agency for International Assistance to promote open media and encourage diverse views-is now used by the insurgents to spread their propaganda.

The voice of resistance

I participated in the effort to attract fresh creative talents from Sudan to cooperate and open the door of the national broadcasting company so that it can reflect a new Sudan.

SBNC new studio with LED video wall

SNBC’s state-of-the-art studio is funded by USAid

But after weeks of Internet blockades, the suppression and arrest of journalists, the closure of newspapers and FM stations, the suspension of BBC and RFI local FM broadcasting, and the enactment of laws to curb the freedom of anti-coup d’etat, this dream seemed lost.

However, the democracy activists did not give up.

Near Omdurman, where I am, young volunteers manage the local service committee to ensure the supply of necessities such as bread, sugar and cooking gas.

Sudanese protesters erected a roadblock on a street in the Sudanese capital Khartoum-October 30, 2021

The neighborhood committee is organizing an anti-coup demonstration

It was these resistance committees that became the organizers of the democratic movement and mobilized the residents of their area.

They arranged mass demonstrations, neighbourhood rallies, night vigils and erected barricades to counter the army.

People under 30 make up about 65% of the Sudanese population-despite trying to keep them silent, most of them still want their voices to be heard.

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A composite image showing the BBC Africa logo and a man reading on a smartphone.



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