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Sudan – Down with military rule

Statement by the Revolutionary Socialists, 28 October 2021

Once again the masses of the Sudanese people have proved their capacity for steadfastness in the face of the military, in fact they have organised their ranks in a wave of strikes and demonstrations to shake al-Burhan and Hemedti’s coup. Hundreds of thousands of workers and professionals across all sectors took part in strikes, from the oil industry to the ports, to the doctors and the teachers, the airport workers and the workers in the Central Bank.

This new wave of the Sudanese Revolution confronts the military killing machine which is using every bloody means available to hold onto power. The Constitutional Document Agreement signed in summer 2019, and which inaugurated the so-called Transitional Period, did not touch the power of the army and the network of class interests it protects. This class alliance, of which the generals are members, controls massive farms and mines generating billions of dollars (Hemedti is one of the large gold-mine owners in Sudan), Gulf capital (especially Saudi and Emirati) alongside the traditional Sudanese bourgeoisie.

The transitional period has enhanced those interests with neo-liberal austerity policies which have created nothing but poverty and spiralling prices for the Sudanse people. Meanwhile the generals are responsible for massacres in every corner of Sudan without being held accountable or prosecuted for their crimes (al-Bashir has only been put on trial for financial corruption).

At the regional level, the Sudanese state and its security services serve the interests of the counter-revolutionary quartet: Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. They have signed a peace agreement with Israel, exported of Sudanese soldiers as mercenaries to fight the wars and interventions by those countries, and cooperate with the intelligence and security apparatus of the Sisi regime in Egypt.

Let us remember that the mobilisation which brought down Al-Bashir was on a massive scale, involving demonstrations and strikes in all regions of Sudan. The demands of that mobilisation turned along three main axes. The first was economic in the face of rising prices, the neo-liberal austerity policies of the Bashir regime, and the spread of unemployment and hunger.

The second axis was against the Islamist military authoritarianism in Sudan. Behind thirty years of military dictatorship with an Islamist ideological and political facade, lay a huge machine for killing, raping, burning and arresting in the name of religion and for the benefit of the senior military and their allies. Demands to end the military dictatorship and achieve democracy were the bedrock of the mass mobilization, especially among the organisations of professionals and Sudanese university students.

The third axis of the revolution was the uprising of sectors of the Sudanese people who have been marginalised ethnically, culturally, religiously and geographically. Wealth and power in Sudan are concentrated in the northern region, and this is reflected also in the concentration of educational and health services, economic investments, and electricity and transportation networks. It is also reflected in a racist attempt by the military authority in Khartoum to impose cultural, religious and linguistic hegemony on all sectors of the Sudanese people using all means, from ethnic cleansing to imposing Islamic law by force of arms. The revolution of the marginalized in Darfur, Blue Nile, Kordofan, Nuba Mountains, eastern Sudan and the southerners who still live in the north is a major component of the Sudanese revolution.

As we have seen during the past two years, under the authority of the Transitional Council, there has been nothing but retreat after retreat on all of these issues.

Why did all this happen despite the continuation of mass struggle? The answer lies in the nature of the traditional Sudanese opposition parties, which imposed themselves on the leadership of the revolution and as representatives of the masses in negotiations with the military. The leaders of these parties are an integral part of the same network of class interests defended so fiercely by the military. These leaders do not want a victory for a mass revolution that overthrows the ruling class in Sudan. They only want to use public pressure as a bargaining chip with the military.

Even the Sudanese left, represented by the Communist Party, has always been dependent on the “civilian” bourgeois partie. It is unable to play a revolutionary role as an independent platform for the masses in revolt, capable of overthrowing the network of class interests that has strangled the Sudanese people for decades.

The Sudanese masses need revolutionary forces independent of the traditional parties and capable of commanding the battle until they achieve a real victory, not a superficial one, as happened in the first wave of the revolution through the agreement of the Constitutional Document, but rather a victory worthy of the valour and courage of the revolutionary Sudanese masses.

Victory for the Sudanese revolution!
All power and wealth to the Sudanese people!