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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 June 2019

Sudan: Military crackdown to break revolution

Mass protests against the regime continue in Sudan, photo Lana Hago/CC

Mass protests against the regime continue in Sudan, photo Lana Hago/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Dave Carr, East London Socialist Party

A violent counterrevolutionary offensive is underway in Sudan. Health officials say hundreds of civilians have been killed and wounded by the Rapid Support Forces - the militia operated by the ruling military clique.

Opposition leaders have called for 'mass civil disobedience' in response. However, unless a strike movement is linked to a determined strategy to seize power, the armed might of the state forces will prevail.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan's junta, visited Egypt and the United Arab Emirates for talks last month. Negotiations between Sudan's ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the opposition Sudanese Professional Association have broken down.

Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi earlier intervened after the mass movement in Sudan overthrew the 30-year despotic rule of President Omar al-Bashir to extend the TMC's rule from an African Union-negotiated two weeks to three months.

Counterrevolution

The Socialist Party previously warned of a looming counterrevolution. Sudan's "deputy leader - Mohammad Hamdan aka Himeidti - is the commander of the Rapid Support Forces... the unit is regarded by many as a re-branded version of the Janjaweed militias" - which Himeidti was part of - "which carried out massacres in Darfur in 2003.

"He has 7,000 troops stationed in Yemen on the Saudi Arabian payroll. It also includes the ruthless and ambitious chief of the intelligence services, Salah Abdallah Gosh, who controls powerful forces in the capital, and has close links to intelligence services, including the US CIA, and has recently been particularly associated with the United Arab Emirates."

The rulers of the regional powers of Egypt, UAE and Saudi Arabia have a vested interest in crushing revolutions which threaten their rule and will assist Sudan's military elite to remain in power.

Donald Trump and US imperialism is content to allow these regional powers to call the shots in Sudan, while the UK government is, as usual, tail-ending the US administration.

The working class and poor of Sudan cannot rely on outside 'mediators' or western powers to assist their cause. It is necessary for the mass movement to rapidly build democratic councils of action throughout the country to create an alternative power base.

But for this to succeed a clear revolutionary programme and strategy is needed.

While Sudanese workers and youth have shown their determination to struggle, they need an independent revolutionary party that is unflinching in its aim of taking power.

A revolutionary party must also embrace a socialist programme of nationalising major industry and the banks to provide jobs, public services, and end poverty, to consolidate working class support.

On that basis it would be possible to split the sympathetic rank-and-file soldiers away from their reactionary officer corps to the side of revolution, undermining the capitalist state.

Socialist Party members went to the demonstration in support of the Sudan protests in London to call for this and show our backing to the Sudanese revolution.

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