Massacre in Sudan: Revolutionaries vow to fight on despite deadly repression

The Party for Socialism and Liberation is outraged at the horrific massacre carried out on June 3 by forces loyal to the high command of the Sudanese armed forces against peaceful protesters conducting a sit-in in Khartoum outside army headquarters. It is now estimated that at least 100 people were killed in the attack. The camp constructed at the sit-in by thousands of protesters had served as the focal point for the ongoing uprising that overthrew long-time President Omar al-Bashir, but the struggle is now taking on new forms as opposition movements and parties call for massive, nationwide civil disobedience. 

The following statement was issued by the Sudanese Communist Party, which has played an important role helping to lead the rebellion. It was published just before the massacre on June 3, and addresses the key obstacles facing the revolutionary forces as they fight for the formation of a civilian-led transitional authority to rule the country until elections can be organized and the old regime fully uprooted. 

In the following short paragraphs, the Sudanese Communist Party – SCP tries to shed light on the complicated political situation in Sudan that has arisen since the takeover of power by the transitional military council – TMC. In doing so, we aim to clarify to the reader our party´s position and to outline the challenges facing our coalition with the Forces for the declaration of Freedom and Change – FDFC.

Initially and at the start when the TMC took over power we immediately recognized the council as the security committee of the previously ousted dictator Omar Al Bashir. As such, we refused to sit down with the council to negotiate anything but the immediate handover of all powers to the FDFC, the legitimate leaders and representatives of the millions of Sudanese who lead them through five months of non-violent protests to the triumph of defeating one of the world´s most notorious dictators with a horrid record of human rights violations.

However, shortly afterwards, the party had to submit to the wishes of a majority of its partners at the FDFC and accepted to sit down with the TMC to negotiate a handover of power based on terms of power sharing with the TMC. On our part we saw such a drastic change of position as costly in terms of meeting the aspirations of the millions of our people for a genuine change and not the least we had to endure the apparent and loud discontent of some of our loyal members, friends and sympathizers. However, as we were governed by the terms and rules of FDFC, we chose to move pragmatically and to take the position that ensures the unity of the opposition under the leadership of FDFC.

Through a lengthy and strenuous process, the FDFC have managed to reach a deal with the TMC regarding the duration of the interim government; the composition and terms of reference of both the ministerial and the legislative councils. However, the negotiations collapsed over the composition of the supreme council and who will be the president of the supreme council. Currently, at least officially, the negotiations have not been resumed between FDFC and TMC.

In the meantime, we have increasing concerns about the intentions, nature and impartiality of the TMC. In brief we are worried about the following:

  • In the short period of the TMC rule we have witnessed repeated, grave violations of human rights. And while we do not accuse the TMC of directly causing these violations, we certainly hold it responsible for failing to protect the safety and security of the people of Sudan. We also accuse the TMC of deliberately concealing the divide between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), the National Armed Forces and the Security Forces of the previous regime, which is still active and operating with apparent impunity. The outcome of this unclear situation of these different armed groups is the creation of a security vacuum whereby crimes and violations against human rights can go by un-accounted for and no one is held responsible. Below is a list of these incidents:
    • The demonstration in Kutoum- in Darfur 21 April 2019
    • The meeting in Qurtoba Hall in Khartoum 27 April 2019
    • The demonstration in Nyala- in Darfur 4 May 2019
    • The meeting in the Friendship Hall in Khartoum 8 May 2019
    • The national electricity company headquarters in Khartoum 12 May 2019
    • The Grand Sit-In Arena in Khartoum 13 May 2019
    • The Nile Avenue – Khartoum 29 May 2019
    • Buri – Khartoum 30 May 2019
  • The TMC has failed in exercising transparency, swiftness and effectiveness in closing the circle around remnants of the previous regime. We are troubled by the fact that the security forces loyal to the previous regime are operating freely and are terrorizing peaceful demonstrators. Besides there has not been any serious clamping down on the financial, or political institutions, or individuals that are loyal to the previous dictator. In fact, most of Sudan embassies and diplomatic personal loyal to the previous regime are operating freely around the globe seeking support and unlawful legitimacy for the TMC from the international community.
  • The TMC has single-handedly and through several decrees issued by General Abdul Fatah Burhan, given itself various outreaching powers including representing the nation internationally. As such, members of the TMC have been travelling in the region, visiting several countries, speaking in the name of our people and entering into shady deals and promises on behalf of the people of Sudan in addition to receiving financial and logistical support from some of these said countries, unlawfully. On the other hand, the TMC has virtually declared itself the legitimate government of Sudan and is acting as one.
  • The TMC is actively attempting to break the unity and patience of the people of Sudan and their voluntary leadership, the FDFC, by using several dubious methods including procrastinating the handover process; engaging all parties into lengthy, tedious and tiresome talks; taking shifty and inconsistent negotiations positions, etc.
  • The TMC has been both openly and discretely threatening the peaceful protesters from practicing their legal rights of going on strike and using civil disobedience to claim the instatement of civilian authority which is their aim.

The Sudanese Communist Party is also aware of the negative role and gross interference of some foreign governments and companies in the internal affairs of Sudan driven by their own interests that are in direct conflict with those of the people of Sudan who dream of a free, civilian, just and democratic Sudan, which respects all its neighboring countries and the international community based on mutual respect for sovereignty, and for nurturing mutual interests that are in line with peace and justice for our people and for other nations too.

The Sudanese Communist Party has also been receiving confirmed reports about the activities by the RSF and its leader Mohmed Hamdan Dagolo, both inside and outside the Sudan. Our reports confirm that RSF have been receiving financial, logistical and perhaps even military support from some foreign governments. Simultaneously, we have witnessed the systematic disarmament and marginalization of the National Sudanese Armed Forces. We view any plans to reinforce RSF especially at the expense of the National Armed Forces, as a direct threat to our peaceful revolution and a as means of aborting the dream millions of Sudanese young people have of a civilian authority in our country. It is a dangerous and irresponsible move that puts not just the Sudan, but the region as a whole on the verge of total chaos and civil war. The RSF are nothing more than militia thugs who have terrorised and murdered thousands of innocent civilians in Darfur and we consider their leader, Mohmed Hamdan Dagolo as a war-lord as well as a war criminal.

Where do we stand now?

After repeatedly failing to get the TMC to hand over power to FDFC through direct talks, the Sudanese communist party called for and supported the general strike last Tuesday and Wednesday 28th and 29th May 2019. We also fully support future strikes, demonstration, civil disobedience and all other forms of non-violent protests to achieve the goals of our people. We call on all our members, friends and sympathizers in Sudan to participate in future strikes, demonstrations, etc in order to force the military junta to listen to the wishes of the people for a free and civilian run Sudan. We also call on our friends and the international community abroad to show solidarity and support for our cause and to highlight and showcase our aspirations for Freedom, Peace and Justice.

We urge the international community to act swiftly to exert maximum diplomatic pressure to try and stop the armament of the militias of the RSF and to push for supporting and recognizing the National Armed Forces with its honorable junior rank officers and soldiers who aspire together with the rest of the people of Sudan for freedom, justice and peace under a new civilian and democratic era.

Finally, we would like to use this opportunity to renew our appreciation, and trust in the African Union’s support in its statement of April 30th, 2019 for a peaceful transition to civilian authority in Sudan.

We equally highly welcome the Troika’s statement of May 21, 2019 urging the swift conclusion of talks between the TMC and FDFC and the peaceful transfer of power to civilian authority under the leadership of FDFC.

The support shown by the United Nations Security Council and that of the European Union are of paramount importance for a better future for Sudan.

The recent statement made by General Abdul Fatah Al Sisi, president of Egypt finally expressing some understanding and respect for the wishes of our people is viewed by us as a new page in a long relationship between Egypt and Sudan based on mutual respect and exchange of common interest.


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