Ten things you should know about the latest protests in Sudan

Today marks one month since the ongoing protests in Sudan broke out. Here are ten facts you should know about the protests that have engulfed the eastern African country:

1. This is the largest wave of protests against the economic policies and allegations of human rights violations by the government of President Omar al-Bashir since he came to power in 1989.

2. There have been more than 300 protests in 15 out of Sudan’s 18 states since the protests began.

3. The protests were sparked by high school students protest in Atbara city, River Nile state, who were challenging the steep rise in the cost of bread.

4. Between 19 and 20 December, the government cut off access to social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp. But many people have continued to access the platforms through VPNs.

Image of a child of about 12 years of age, carrying a placard while sitting on the shoulders of an adult in a crowd of protesters, Image of a child of about 12 years of age, carrying a placard while sitting on the shoulders of an adult in a crowd of protesters,
A child protester in Burri, Khartoum 6 January 2019. Since the beginning of the protests, there has been a large participation from citizens from different ages and backgrounds.

5. As the protests grew, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) shot to the forefront in organizing the protests in Khartoum and some other states since 25 December 2018. Based on a study by the SPA on the minimum wage published in November, the association initially called for a workers’ march to the parliament to demand for a raise in the minimum wage as a result of the mass inflation. However, as a response to the increasing number of protests, on 23 December SPA led the change of that demand to calls for al-Bashir to step down. Thousands responded and protested in Khartoum, and since then the SPA has been organizing a series of protests that are now known among the Sudanese activists.

6. The government has responded to the protests with excessive, and sometimes lethal force - using live ammunition, rubber bullets, tear gas, and attacking the injured inside hospitals.

7. At least 40 people have been killed, dozens injured, and at least 1,000 arrested since the protests began.

8. President Al-Bashir has referred to the protesters as rats and infiltrators, and former Vice-President, Ali Osman Taha has spoken of a shadow militia that will rise to maintain the regime even with their souls, this has been understood by many as a threat to kill more protesters.

9. The government also deployed armed men with their faces covered in vehicles without number plates to crush the protests since 19 December 2018.

10. Social media users have been commenting on the protests on the hashtags #SudanUprising - #SudanRevolts - #مدن_السودان_تنتفض - #تسقط_بس