THE Sudanese Alliance for Freedom and Change has launched a two-day revolutionary nationwide strike to force the still ruling military council to transfer power to a people’s authority. The action was launched after talks with the Transitional Military Council (TMC) broke down.
Sudan’s ruling generals – who set up the TMC after ousting president Omar al-Bashir last month – are fearful of the huge mass movement of the working class and the poor which has emerged. It has sent shock waves all over Africa, north and south, including Algeria, Libya, Egypt and South Africa.
The masses are insisting that any new governing body must be civilian. Chanting ‘Civilian rule! Civilian rule!’ workers at Khartoum Airport went on strike yesterday. Workers at Khartoum’s main bus terminal also joined the strike carrying banners reading: ‘Today, tomorrow no buses as we are on strike’.
Siddiq Farukh, one of the leaders spelt out the workers’ message to the whole world that the Sudanese people want a real change and ‘they don’t want the power to be with the military’.
The strikers warned that the strikes will go on indefinitely, and that lawyers, prosecutors, and workers in the electricity, water, public transport, railway, telecommunication, and civil aviation sectors are also going to join.
On April 11, President Bashir was ousted by the military who were fearful, following million-strong anti-government protests, that the working class and the poor were about to take the power.
Tens of thousands of protesters continue to camp outside the army headquarters in Khartoum demanding that the ruling generals hand over power to a people’s authority.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has reportedly pledged to continue supporting Sudan’s military transition council if Khartoum agrees to keep its forces in Yemen. Bin Salman and General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo reached the agreement when they met in the Saudi city of Jeddah last Friday.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have announced their support for the transitional military council. They have also expressed support for measures taken by the council following Bashir’s ousting.
British workers must give their full support to the revolutionary mass action of the poor, the working class and sections of the middle class in the Sudan.
Britain was the colonial power in the Sudan and has a huge debt to repay. In 1898, British forces under the command of Lord Kitchener used modern weapons – machine guns and howitzers – to slaughter the forces led by the Mahdi, who were armed with swords and spears.
Kitchener’s army comprised 8,200 British and 17,600 Egyptian troops, 44 guns and 20 Maxims, supported by 10 steamers mounting 36 guns and 24 Maxims. The British cavalry regiment, the 21st Lancers, numbered Winston Churchill amongst its ranks. He bought a Mauser pistol before leaving Britain for use in the Sudan.
In the cavalry charge, Churchill records that he chose to use his pistol rather than his sword when he was challenged by a giant Sudanese swordsman.
Today the revolutionary boot is on the other foot, and the masses of the Sudan and the workers and the poor throughout Africa are on the march fighting for a decent life and to put an end to imperialist domination exercised by imperialist stooges.
A successful Sudanese revolution that puts a revolutionary people into power will impact all over Africa from Algeria, Libya and Egypt, down to Zimbabwe and South Africa.
The British working class must give its full support to the embattled Sudanese people. One of the best ways to support the Sudanese masses is to stop all UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States who are planning intervention in the Sudan to restore the old ruling powers to continue the enslavement of the masses.
They must also demand that the UK supports the new Sudanese government, recognises it, and pays hefty compensation for the outrages and super-exploitation that took place when Sudan was under the heel of the UK ruling class.