Charlotte Wiedemann schreibt in einer TAZ-Kolumne | 08.05.2019:

Respekt für die Protagonisten des Neuen

Heute sticht gerade in diesen drei Ländern ins Auge, dass es keinerlei Befreiungsideologie oder -theologie mehr gibt. Der Nationalismus, für den Algerien einst stand, hat seinen Glanz längst verloren; der politische Islam führte im Sudan und in Iran zu autoritären Zuständen und dysfunktionalen Systemen. Keine Theorie, kein Modell steht mehr bereit, an dem sich jenseits der westlichen Metropolen Bewegungen im Kampf für Freiheit und Selbstbestimmung orientieren könnten.

In Iran stärkt der Mangel an einer System-Alternative seit Langem die Islamische Republik. Die Opposition in Algerien und Sudan hat nun obendrein die ägyptische und die syrische Erfahrung vor Augen. Den Betrug durch das Militär, das in Kairo die Opposition umarmte, um sie hernach zu zerstampfen. Das tragische Umkippen in Gewalt, das den syrischen zivilen Aufständischen das Heft aus der Hand nahm. Und Antikolonia­lismus, das zeigen die Parolen, muss heute in mehr als einer Richtung wachsam sein und sich auch ­gegen den reaktionären Einfluss der Golfmonarchien wenden.

Wir können nur mit stillem Respekt beobachten, wie sich die Protagonisten des Neuen in diesen zerklüfteten Landschaften bewegen. In Algier kursiert etwa die Idee, kommunale Volkskomitees könnten eine Verfassungsdiskussion führen und ihre gewählten Kandidaten dann auf die nächsthöhere Ebene entsenden. Im Sudan sind berufsständische Vereinigungen die wichtigsten Akteure, halb Gewerkschaft, halb Gilde: Ärzte, Anwälte, Lehrer, Apotheker, Buchhalter. Immerhin ein Bündnis der gebildeten Mittelschicht mit den Ärmeren, wie es in Iran kaum gelingt (und auch in Europa nicht).

Wiedemann schreibt auch über die neue und hervorgehobene Rolle der Frauen in Algerien und im Sudan.

Ein Beitrag von Nisrin Elamin und Tahani Ismail auf Al Jazeera | 04.05.2019 gibt einen Überblick über die starke Bedeutung ikonischer Frauenfiguren in der Geschichte des Sudan und bezieht sich auf das Bild der Studentin Alaa Sahal, der Frau im weißen Kleid, das viral um die Welt gegangen ist.

Although much has been written about Alaa’s image, the international media largely ignored the words she spoke that day: „They imprisoned us in the name of religion, burned us in the name of religion […] killed us in the name of religion“ she chanted, quoting a poem by Sudanese poet Azhari Mohamed Ali. „But Islam is innocent. Islam tells us to speak up and fight against tyrants […] the bullet doesn’t kill. What kills is the silence of the people.“

Die Autorinnen berichten über die Widerstandstraditionen von Frauen aus der Peripherie des Sudan, im Widerstand gegen arabischen Rassismus und den repressiven Gebrauch der Religion.

This history of non-violent resistance, led by women (and men) in South Sudan, Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and Eastern Sudan, has purposefully been erased and written out of Sudan’s history books and public memory.

It is this deliberate exclusion that has led many to mistakenly view Sudan’s revolutions (of 1964, 1985 and now 2019) as disconnected from popular resistance movements in marginalised areas of the country – this despite the fact that the protests in December first started in the periphery. […]

As women took to the streets in Khartoum and other cities in the country’s centre to protest alongside men, they faced the full brutality of al-Bashir’s security apparatus. Women protesters were arrested, tortured and killed by security forces alongside their male counterparts. A significant number of those arrested were sexually assaulted by their jailers.

While such brutal tactics had been used against protesters and dissidents in Khartoum in the past, communities in the south and west of the country have faced them on a much larger scale. For decades, under the cover of a state of emergency, the regime has perpetrated indiscriminate attacks on civilians and brutally suppressed civil society and youth-led civic resistance.

As protests gained momentum, women in rural areas took the opportunity to speak up about these atrocities in their own communities outside the capital.

In a video widely circulated on Sudanese social media shortly after al-Bashir’s removal, an unnamed woman protesting in Kordofan can be seen chanting: „From Kordofan [the revolution] has emerged, after we have been hit by gunfire. This is a government with no feelings … and the Nuba mountains, like Darfur their blood is very expensive. We will protect our land, oh farmer. Our Sudan will be set free!“ […]

Some women from rural, peripheral areas have travelled to Khartoum to support the protests, and to ensure that their demands for political inclusion and justice are met. At the sit-in in front of the military headquarters, a woman protester from Darfur who wished to remain anonymous, told us that the cycle of death and pain women, and particularly mothers, in central Sudan have suffered over the last four months, is all too familiar to her.

People in her displaced community in South Darfur have faced death and violence at the hands of government militias since 2003; sexual assault has been used systematically against women as part of this brutal onslaught. She insisted that those responsible for these war crimes must be brought to justice.

Youth from the periphery have also now taken it upon themselves to educate revolutionaries in Khartoum about their struggles and about the importance of viewing them as integral to the larger project of building a new Sudan.

Last week, a group of young Darfuri women and men, for example, decided to launch a campaign to raise awareness about the atrocities the regime had committed in places like Darfur, the Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile state, Eastern Sudan, South Sudan and in the far north where government-built dams have displaced tens of thousands.

They prepared an improvised exhibition of images that document these atrocities inside a makeshift tent at the centre of the sit-in. In a conversation with us, the young women organisers expressed hope to launch a series of political education workshops and lectures, and help more people acknowledge the devastating consequences of collective denial.

Während Momente des Aufstands an vielen Orten in der Peripherie des Sudan an Beständigkeit gewinnen, gewinnt die Forderung nach gleichen Rechten für die Frauen auf dem Platz vor dem MHQ in Khartoum an Bedeutung:

Only when the former regime is fully dismantled, can the task of building a new Sudan led by a civilian transitional government begin. This process, however, has to involve women, who have borne the brunt of our extractive war economy and political repression.

With this idea in mind, on April 14 a coalition of women’s groups who have been mobilising people and leading protests throughout this uprising issued a statement in support of the Declaration of Freedom and Change, demanding that at least 50 percent of those who make up every facet of the new transitional government are women and that affirmative action be implemented in favour of representatives from marginalised regions.

The fact that the protesters – both women and men – have made it clear that they reject the new leadership of the military council is an encouraging sign. The council’s head, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and his deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (also known as Hemeti) are both responsible for countless war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by forces under their command in Darfur and in South Sudan. Whatever attempts are made abroad to whitewash their track record will likely fail to take any effect at home.
Meanwhile, there has also been a push for much introspection within the protest movement about societal oppression. Women at the sit-in have organised marches to demand that men actively challenge the culture of sexual harassment that has left women feeling unsafe within protest spaces. Calls by the Sudanese Professionals Association on women protesters to lead cleaning activities have also been sharply rejected and criticised.

In many ways the sit-in is increasingly becoming a microcosm of the kind of society that young people are yearning to build, one in which the social change they seek becomes a political reality.

Einen eher politologisch daher kommenden Beitrag über die Chancen der sudanesischen Revolution hat Michael Jones in African Arguments | 25.04.2019 veröffentlicht. Er beschreibt die Fragmentation des Militärrats und fragt nach der Kohäsion der Protestbewegungen:

While coverage of the demonstrations tends to centre on Khartoum, the movement is far wider, drawing participants with diverse incentives, interests and preferences. First triggered in Atbara by bread shortages and reduced wheat subsidies, rural resentment with Sudan’s economic malaise intersected with the frustrations of middle-class urbanites struggling with high inflation. These grievances coalesced into a united platform demanding the president’s removal.

Al-Bashir’s departure puts that cohesion to the test. The strengths of the demonstrations lie in their composition, reflecting a broad cross-section of Sudanese society. Their ongoing success will likely depend on how far this holistic movement translates into an inclusive, nation-wide social contract. If a political compromise is bottled up in Khartoum, neglecting the aspirations of those beyond the capital, momentum may quickly dissipate.

Juggling these pressures, managing expectations, and identifying a common vision for the future will not be easy. Opposition figures, working under the umbrella Forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change, have prescribed an extensive list of reforms including the immediate shift to a civilian-led transitional council, new anti-corruption measures and an end to economic austerity. Burhan has ceded to various demands so far, including promises to dismantle NISS. Yesterday, following SPA’s calls for a million-strong march today, three members of the transitional military council submitted their resignations; SPA had called for the three figures to be removed and tried over their alleged role in a crackdown that killed dozens of protesters. But the TMC is so far refusing to accede to the key demand to relinquish power swiftly, saying it could take up to two years.

This has created a deadlock in Khartoum, but outside the capital, public sentiments may be more ambiguous. Leaders of the Sudan Revolutionary Front, an insurgent group active in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile state, claim it is too early for dialogue. Years of graft and neglect meanwhile have starved local institutions in Sudan’s outer states. Bakeries are empty and fuel prices remain high. Given such hardships, it is unclear whether certain protesters have the patience for protracted negotiations or might settle for more immediate material concessions.

Ein Bericht von Reem Abbas auf Al Jazeera | 08.05.2019 wirft ein Licht auf dezentrale Organisationsformen des Aufstands in Khartoum.

While the ongoing uprising that led to al-Bashir’s removal in a military coup on April 11 has been guided by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA,) a network of independent trade unions, it lacked representatives on the ground. People received the SPA’s messages via Facebook and Twitter and then organised protests and marches themselves via the committees.

 Abbas berichtet von zwei Beispielen der Selbstorganisation von Nachbarschaftskomitees.

Notizen zur Situation im Sudan (2)