Since Bashir came to power through a coup in 1989, he has ruled with an iron fist, seeking to make Sudan the greatest military power on the continent by procuring billions of dollars worth of military hardware at the expense of social services. He wreaked havoc against the black Southern Sudanese, with bombing runs on civilian villages, as well as against the Darfuris.
His ethnic-cleansing campaign against the Darfuris was nothing short of genocide, and it is for these crimes against humanity that he is wanted by the ICC. We all remember the scenes of Janjaweed on horseback setting villages alight, raping and slaughtering Darfuri women, all at Bashir’s instigation. More than 200000 Darfuris were killed in that campaign a decade ago.
This time the people have had enough. They launched an uprising against the regime in 2013 - primarily the youth and marginalised Darfuris - but 270 protesters were massacred by the security forces in five days. But this time, the grassroots revolution has taken hold across the country and in almost every sector.
More than 40 peaceful demonstrators have been killed since the start of the revolution on December 19, but grassroots structures are mobilising their constituencies day and night. All Bashir has at his disposals is the brutality of his security forces, and the deployment of snipers on rooftops to intimidate the masses. He has even gone as far as to turn to Russian mercenaries to train his forces and act as snipers. People are disappearing in droves. Lists of the disappeared are being formulated by civil society, with well over 1000 believed to be detained over the past three weeks, with many being tortured and then released.