News negligence

Sudan protests continuously receive little media coverage

Sireen Abayazid, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

When my mother got home from her trip to Washington DC I immediately recognized her expression, it was a look of frustration. She told me about the thousands of people were at the rally she spent weeks planning, and not a single American news platform showed up.

My mom was rallying for the injustices in her home country of Sudan, injustices that have been occurring for years and that she and thousands of others refuse to excuse any longer.

Political unrest in the third world is in no way unheard of. In the last decade there have been countless movements and revolutions in Africa and the Middle East. This past December a new revolution began in Sudan, where citizens have been rioting against the rapidly declining economy and the regime of the current president, Omar Al-Bashir. Thousands of Sudanese citizens have taken to the streets, rallying for a change in the government’s structure.

According to Sudanese American journalist Isma’il Kushkush, the riots were started in the city of Atbara by high school students infuriated by the tripling of bread prices, but there has been political unrest in Sudan for some time.

The Sudanese government’s response to the protests have been unnecessarily violent and dozens of protesters have already been killed. The government is not opposed to peaceful protests, but they argue that some militant rebel groups have been causing destruction in certain cities, which entitles them to use force against all protesters.

However, many Sudanese activists told Kushkush that this information is false and is only an excuse for the government to respond violently to their citizen’s nonviolent protesting.

In 2013 the Sudanese government lifted fuel subsidies, resulting in nationwide protests calling for a restructuring of the government. The government’s response to these protests was devastating: hundreds were killed and no international media sources were permitted to report on the matter.

At that point, Sudan had been a dictatorship for nearly 25 years and many Sudanese citizens believed that the 2013 protests would finally result in change. However, because of a lack of international support the revolution failed and the Sudanese people were forced to live under a dictator for another six years.

Aside from a few obscure hashtags, the riots in Sudan have received almost no coverage from larger media outlets. Many Sudanese immigrants like my mother have never experienced a true democracy and don’t understand the impact that advocating for the cause here could have on the revolution in Sudan.

Protesting won’t be enough to fix the Sudanese economy or topple Al-Bashir’s administration, which is why adequate media coverage is needed. Sudan was once a great empire, but since the topple of the Nubian empire the Sudanese people have lived through prejudice, genocide and multiple dictatorships. If Sudan can get help from other countries they can end this cycle and begin developing the foundation that makes a great nation.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email