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Are the US and the West really concerned about freedoms of Sudanese protesters?

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On 19 December, the Sudanese government decided to triple the price of bread, prompting a wave of anti-government protests which swiftly escalated into demonstrations calling an end to the three-decade rule of Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir. The demonstrations were chaotic, as the demonstrators torched several buildings of Al-Bashir’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP), pushing the Sudanese security services to crackdown on protesters.

Al-Bashir and his ruling party believed that the protesters were encouraged and manipulated by certain powers, which wanted to exploit the weak economic situation in the country to bring Al-Bashir’s era to an end. “They want to harass us over dollars,” Al-Bashir told thousands of his supporters who gathered in Sudanese capital Khartoum yesterday to affirm their loyalty to him. “They said there are small things we need to do to make dollars and grain abundant,” Al-Bashir explained, before stressing: “But our pride is worth more than anything.”

Sudanese security services therefore dealt mercilessly with the anti-government protesters. Official Sudanese sources said that at least 24 people died in the protests. Meanwhile, hundreds more were arrested. In a joint statement issued on Tuesday, Britain, Norway, the United States and Canada reiterated their concern over the situation in Sudan. “We are appalled by reports of deaths and serious injury to those exercising their legitimate right to protest, as well as reports of the use of live ammunition against protesters,” the statement said. The four countries warned that the Sudanese government’s action “will have an impact” on relations with their governments.

Protests erupt in Sudan over economic difficulties [Sudan Tribune/Facebook]

The right to protest is guaranteed by international law and all human rights conventions and treaties. However, there is still a problem when protesters are pushed out into the streets by hidden hands, using their needs to push for ousting a ruler – regardless to his authoritarianism – who had nothing to do with their plight and miserable life. I am going to explain here how Al-Bashir, who came to power through a military coup, is not to blame for the breakdown of his country.

READ: Sudanese forces disperse hundreds of demonstrators in Kassala

Al-Bashir – who has an Islamic background and links to the Muslim Brotherhood – came to power through a military coup in 1989 and has been holding the top position in Sudan until today. He ousted an elected government led by Prime Minister Sadiq Al-Mahdi, ending decades of instability since the country was given its independence in 1956. However, this led the country into a new stage........

© Middle East Monitor