This revolution driven by the demands of the Sudanese people
"It is always the right time to claim your freedom and dignity," said one of the leader of the opposition group.19 Januari 2019 23:16
Khalid Umar, the Secretary General of the Sudanese Congress Party, during a demonstration in Khartoum, Sudan. (Khalid Umar for Albalad.co)
Sudan is currently facing the revolution. Since December 13, thousands of the Sudanese has been taking protest. They call the resignation of President Umar al-Bashir immediatedly.
The first demonstration in Damazin (south west), then the revolution started to spread, more than 30 cities across the country. Tens civilians were killed by the excessive force used by the regime to disperse the mass.
Khalid Umar, the Secretary General of the Sudanese Congress Party who is also one of the leader of the revolution, believes that it is the right time to topple Bashir, who has ruled Sudan for 30 years.
"It is always the right time to claim your freedom and dignity. We are not going to enslaved to anyone," said Khalid in an exclusive interview with Faisal Assegaf from Albalad.co via WhatsApp today.
He spoke from another country around the region. He fled from Sudan two weeks ago because he becomes the target of crackdown by his government.
Why are Sudanese taking protest and calling for President Bashir to resign?
Bashir regime came to power 30 years back through a military coup. Elected government has been toppled and one party system took place. Since then the country went through one of the most brutal kind of ruling in the world.
The Civil war spread all over the country, hundreds of thousands killed, millions displaced, basic freedoms confiscated. The economy crumbled because of corruption and mismanagement and the country separated for two parts because of the ethnic cleansing war the regime waged in the South.
The last wave of protests triggered by the economic hardships but people demand is freedom and dignity. They want political change paves the way for them to select their leaders and put them accountable in a democratic form of ruling. They want peace instead of war and justice for all Sudanese.
When and where the demonstration took place for first time?
December 13 was the first demonstration in Damazin (south west), then the revolution started to spread, more than 30 cities across the country. Thousands demonstrated demanding the immediate resignation of the regime an democratic transition led by a government of national experts and political opposition.
The government claimed the death toll just 20 but Human Rights Watch said 47 killed. According to the opposition, how many protesters were killed?
Human rights figures are accurate but the death toll increases day after a day because of the regime response to the protests. Live ammunition used excessively against the protesters in a clear intention of killing them and wage fear among the people to stop demanding their rights.
Do you think this is the right time for the revolution?
It is always the right time to claim your freedom and dignity. We are not going to enslaved to anyone. Sudanese people deserve to have peace, freedom and justice, that why they are determined to resist this regime.
How this revolution will succeed if armed forces are still backing Bashir?
We did twice before in 1964 and 1985. Armed forces has no option rather than respond to the people demands
Until today there is no support from powerful countries like the US or EU. What do you think about that?
International community positions started to change under the realities that has been imposed by the Sudanese people. Troika (USA, UK and Norway) issued a strong statement against the actions of the regime. The EU did the same, while international media and human rights organizations watching closely the developments in Sudan.
Our revolution driven by local motives that’s why it will succeed. We urge the international and regional community to support the people of Sudan not a regime that has no legitimacy to rule the country.
Do you lead demonstration day by day in Khartoum?
A coalition of professionals associations and political parties lead the demonstrations in Sudan. People united behind this coalition and organized protests all over the country continue moving and escalating day after a day.
How do you maintain for demonstrations to keep going bigger and bigger?
Unity and organization, these are the key factors
Do you have a time frame, when this revolution can achieve its goal to topple Bashir?
No one can make a time frame for a revolution but things will never being the same in Sudan again.
Do you predict Bashir will resign before June this year?
He is living the end of his reign
What do you learn from other Arab countries which hit by the Arab Spring like Egypt, Libya, Tunisia?
Sudan witnessed two peaceful revolutions before the Arab Spring. We have our own experience putting in mind our political and social context.
Do you think Israel exploits current situation as accused by Bashir?
As I told you before, this revolution triggered and driven by the demands of the Sudanese people. No single international actor has anything to do with it.