'It's powerful versus powerless': SA marches in solidarity with Sudan
Durban - As the atrocities in Sudan receive global condemnation, Sudanese-South Africans and sympathisers of victims enduring the ongoing injustices marched in solidarity on Saturday.
The march began at the King Dinuzulu Park in Greyville with protestors peacefully making their way to Durban’s City Hall.
One of the march organisers, Yassin Osman, a human rights lawyer, and Sudanese-South African spoke briefly from a “humanitarian perspective” before the march began.
“For the last 30 years in Sudan, it has never been about right versus wrong or lawful versus unlawful.
“It has always been about the powerful versus the powerless,” said Osman.
He detailed how the government had used the law, religion and empty promises as tools of oppression.
“The struggle against the government was consistent since its inception in 1960, but in 2014 it erupted into mass gatherings, and the civilians were met with death from the military, on the orders of Omar Al-Bashir.
“Six months ago, the struggle reached its boiling point on April 6, more than 2 million Sudanese men, women and children marched on the streets of Khartoum to reclaim their homeland and to demand a civilian led government which resulted in the removal of Omar Al-Bashir,” he said.
On June 3, the #Sudanmassacre ensued where over 500 people were killed, 723 injured, 54 raped, over a 1000 missing and about 118 bodies were dumped into the River Nile, with no one held accountable.
“Protestors were asleep, they lit fire to their tents and when people realised what was happening and began running, they were met with bullets in their backs.
The militiamen kept following them, beating anyone they came across with sticks, raping women and children, tying rocks to their feet and tossing them into the Nile” said Osman.
Shaima Birima, 21, relocated from Sudan to South Africa with her family for her father's job.
Birima participated in the march to do her part to raise awareness for her homeland.
“The unfairness and atrocities that happen impacts all of us Sudanese personally and everyone else, it is a humanitarian crisis,” she said.
Birima added that the march is a gathering of hope to those in Sudan to let them know that they are not alone.
Sudanese-South African Shahad Abdelrahman, a lawyer and activist, co-organised the march with the intentions of demanding that the Transitional Military Council allows for a peaceful, free and democratic transition towards a civilian government.
Abdelrahman said thanked the police and the City for allowing them to congregate in front of the City Hall.
“Without the Sudanese diaspora bringing global attention to Sudan would not be possible, we proudly march is solidarity with Sudan” she said.