Reflections On Civil Disobedience

By: Aisha Braima

KHARTOUM (Sudanow.info.sd) - The three-day civil disobedience called for by Sudanese youths on the social media in protest of the skyrocketing prices of commodities, particularly the drugs, came to an end by Wednesday.

Opinions of the newspapers varied over the response by the public to the call for civil disobedience, yet they agreed it was a serious message the government should not ignore.

Discussing the issue, Altayyar daily newspaper Chief Editor Osman Mirghani wrote:-

It was an odd event in the history of Sudan; for the youths to spring over the ragged Sudanese political scene and introduce a new formula which will certainly restructure the relationship between the government and the people.

The politicians have for more than 50 years tormented the country with sufferings of their continued failure the bills of which the modern generations have to pay in the form of the noxious reality they are presently experiencing.

However, we have witnessed during the past few days a new experience in which the youths have decided to put an end to the monopoly of the political scene and impose their national agenda with the politicians of the different parties- both from the government and opposition- having a profound lesson under the broad headline: "If the people one day opt for life, the fate must respond, the dark will vanish and the shackle must be broken."

It was a simple, but bright, idea that was invented and managed by youths brimful with the love to this homeland…youths who do not block a road or ignite a tire, do not inflict an injury or such an act…it was a sound and pure idea that voices as loudly as possible, legitimate demands which represent the genuine rights of people who are the proprietors of this good land.

The standard of success, in my opinion, is the interaction in which the call reaches every ear and every heart…in which the entire society- both the rulers and the ruled- stand in full attention, listening to this new voice in the political arena…the reign of the master politicians has come to an end and the real owners have come to voice their word direct online…the people are now speaking and it is high time to listen to them.

Meanwhile, Al-Sudani Chief Editor Dhia al-Dinn Bilal wrote:-

Regardless of the success or failure of the calls for civil disobedience, the government has to pay attention to the impacts of its decisions on the general climate of the state, revise its popularity, monitor the trends of the public opinion and heighten its consciousness of the pain that the people may undergo.

The state's apparatus requires radical and in-depth revisions as an issue such as the medicines question has uncovered areas of shortcomings and drawbacks in a vital field, let alone other fields.

Another vitally important is the corruption and the government could have gained a considerable portion of popularity if it had dealt with this question in a serious and deterrent manner.

Such feelings and conviction have resulted in a heated social activity which in turn generated a culture of suspicion in everything and believing in every rumor mixed with a fact or vice versa.

There are four courses which can protect the state against chaos and destruction which are:-

-Abandoning violence as a form of expression by the opposition and the government

-Reforming the public service by upgrading the government performance for improvement of the people's livelihood

-Provision of the public liberties for everyone who opts for a peaceful action and rejects an armed option

-Fighting corruption in a powerful and stern manner

Finally, what does not hurt you today may kill you tomorrow and for this reason you have to pay attention before it is too late.

For his part, Al-Rai Al-Aam daily Chief Editor Mohamed Abdul Gadir wrote:-

One of the significant indications that led to consideration of what has happened as only something that draws attention and is not tantamount to disobedience was the negligence by the foreign missions and embassies of what has happened. We have not heard of any provocation of the security sensitivity of those missions and no statements have been issued expressing fears from this move.

What happened was not sponsored by any political body and the political parties were not sure of its success and therefore hid behind banners and until now no force has turned up to sponsor the matter in clear terms while the external support largely contributed to its accelerated retraction.

However, the developments have placed in the government mail advising the latter to get nearer to concerns of the people and to subject its decisions to convincing reconsideration.

Almeghar Alsyasy Chief Editor Al-Hindi Izz al-Dinn wrote:-

I believe the civil disobedience has succeeded by not more than 20%-30% but unfortunately for the opposition, it was confined to segments which have no influence in both the government and private sectors and was, instead, centered within the youths the majority of whom is not employed either in the government offices or by the private companies. And here appear the impacts of the empowerment theory the Islamists have been pursuing throughout the past 27 years.

Yet, the development in general must not invoke satisfaction and reassurance to the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) as the mere rallying of thousands, agreeing on carrying out a peaceful action on a specific date and responding to it even if by absenteeism from loitering in the bus stations signifies that the situation is not okay.

The issue of the people's anger of the hikes of the prices of all commodities and their discontent with the easiness of taking such decisions regardless of the feeling of the public needs no investigative studies to affirm.

Economic analyst Dr. Adel Abdul Azeez wrote that the controversy over the success or failure of the civil disobedience is endless and for this reason it is better to make objective analyses of the political and economic scenes in light of the call for the disobedience.

As the advocates for the disobedience are the young population, serious consideration must be made of the motives of such a movement and solutions thereof must be sought.

The recent economic measures which have caused a remarkable rise in the costs of living were not accompanied by a statement or an explanation of their ultimate objective and how they would improve the livelihood of the people in the future.

The youths, in view of their age, have an ideal opinion of life and therefore they cannot apprehend how 34 companies could be granted millions of dollars for importation of drugs and 30 of those companies use the funds in trafficking in foreign currencies and when this crime is uncovered, the government opts for settlement and tolerance. The youths prefer that the state affairs be placed in the hands of pious and virtuous people and that the corrupt must be punished.

The government officials treat the youths in a harsh way that makes them resentful all the time, whether the issue is connected with the national service, the administrations of the universities, the pro-government student unions, employment or job competition or even the way in which a traffic officer deals with a youth over a traffic violation.

The economist concluded by calling upon the government officials for launching an extensive and effective rapprochement towards the youths, being heedless of parties or organizations. "Listen to them, to their suffering, their hopes and their ambitions," Dr. Abdul Azeez wrote in conclusion.



Sudanow is the longest serving English speaking magazine in the Sudan. It is chartarized by its high quality professional journalism, focusing on political, social, economic, cultural and sport developments in the Sudan. Sudanow provides in depth analysis of these developments by academia, highly ...


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