Grace Baek/ Portola High School 10th Grade
During the last 10 days, a peaceful uprising has turned into a bloody massacre in Khartoum, Sudan. The peaceful protest against former president Omar al-Bashir started 6 months ago, when Sudanese citizens were ready to end the 30 year reign led by a leader with indictments of war crimes and a genocide in Darfur. Further triggered by food and money shortages, Omar al-Bashir was successfully overthrown on April 11, 2019.
After this ousting, military leaders moved in, initially agreeing to civilian rule and developing a plan to rotate power among the civilians and the military leaders. Yet, talks of peace dissolved quicker than expected. As the civilians wanted a longer period of transition before voting took place and the military leaders wanted voting to take place in just 9 months, the two sides began to clash.
Rising tensions lead to the military beginning to tighten its control on the transitional government, furthermore causing civilians to stage a strike. On June 3rd, the military finally responded violently, reporting approximately 124 cases of death, over 700 injuries, and 70 women and children being raped.
Soldiers are breaking through demonstrators’ barricades, burning their tents to the ground, shooting and beating indiscriminately, throwing bodies into the Nile River, and raping children as young as 8. Death toll is likely to rise even further. In order to conceal the truth of these atrocities, the regime is blocking out the internet, preventing information from spreading.
Despite the lack of exposure, people have found a different way to spread information across borders and into countries that are unaware, raising awareness. Profile pictures on social media accounts are turning blue in remembrance of Mohamed Mattar, a 26-year-old man who was killed. Hashtags such as #IAmSudanRevolution, #BlueForSudan, #SudanMassacre are trending and bringing worldwide attention to this suffering experienced. Social media influencers and celebrities including Rihanna, Hasan Minhaj, and George Clooney are also using their own platforms to urge support.
Peter Hu, a rising sophomore from Corona Del Mar, claims that he first gained exposure to this crisis through his friend’s social media account. Similarly, I too, have encountered more than several posts that urged for more movement.
As mainstream media fails to cover such an important message to spread, social media is instead driving this digital movement to help a revolution. Through this power that brings people to the realization of events that are physically and emotionally disconnected from themselves, it is crucial that the international community steps in at this time and joins the fight. Grace Baek/ Portola High School 10th Grade
<Grace Baek/ Portola High School 10th Grade