Al Jazeera English's report on conflict in Sudan, 25 June 2012
Eric Reeves writes for Muftah:
The success of the current, rapidly growing rebellion in Khartoum and elsewhere in Sudan is far from assured. The National Islamic Front/National Congress Party regime—facing a serious domestic challenge for the first time in years—will use all the considerable force at its disposal to retain full control over national wealth and power. Brutality has already increased with the number and determination of protestors, who now include not only students but lawyers and other civilian constituencies. And as the protests spread—to Omdurman and other parts of central Khartoum, to Sennar, el-Obeid, Wad Medani, Damazin (Blue Nile University), Gedaref, Kosti, and Port Sudan — there is even more pressure on this ruthlessly survivalist regime to emulate the tactics of Gaddafi in Libya and al-Assad in Syria. The coming days and weeks are likely to be extremely bloody.
But Sudanese with whom I’ve spoken in recent days are unanimous in their conclusion that now is the moment—that having come this far, there is no turning back. If the moment is lost, another may not come again soon. There is also a growing sense of the regime’s vulnerability — a belief that after 23 years of NIF/NCP tyranny, the regime’s leadership cannot react to the current economic crisis except with the most savage methods of repression. This in turn will only alienate more of the civilian population. What is certain is that insofar as this is a rebellion sparked most immediately by rapidly rising consumer prices, the regime is out of options. The broader economy continues an implosion that began over a year ago and is now accelerating; this is nowhere more conspicuous than in the rapid increase in the inflation rate.
At the same time, long pent-up political grievances on the part of the various marginalized peoples of Sudan have created a super-charged environment for the uprising. Bitter discontent and anger runs deep in the eastern states (Red Sea, Kassala, Gedaref). In Darfur the expedient Doha “peace agreement” has failed miserably, and millions of Darfuris continue to suffer in camps and insecure rural areas. In the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan and in Blue Nile engineered famine has begun to bite deeply, and the refugees pouring into South Sudan convey innumerable tales of horror and desperation. Nubia in the far north has also long been restive, and North Kordofan is no bastion of support for the NIF/NCP. Decades of economic neglect and abandonment—the failure to provide development aid, schools, hospitals, roads, and other basic elements of infrastructure—are now energizing the economically driven rebellion.
As the uprising in Sudan continues to spread and intensify during its second week, there are several key indicators of how well it is succeeding, and how likely it is to achieve its central goal of regime change.