Ten days ago, security forces opened fire at pro-democracy protesters in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, and a humanitarian crisis fast ensued. 500 Sudanese are reported dead, 723 injured, 650 arrested, 70 raped and over one thousand Sudanese are missing.
The numbers affected by the massacre continue to grow, yet one frightening detail remains the same…Essentially zero news channels are talking about it. Is it because the victims are black? Is it because they’re Muslim? Is it because they’re African?
What We Know
Sudan is in the midst of a turbulent political crisis, with the country’s longest-serving President, Omar al-Bashir toppled by a military coup on April 11. Following al-Bashir’s ousting, groups of Sudanese continued to protest against a military-ruled government, demanding a peaceful democratic transition instead.
The tragedies in recent weeks shouldn’t be muted, yet they shockingly are.
In recent days, the council have enforced a media blackout which has placed a nation-wide blockade over social media and has heavily restricted news flows. What’s more is that a number of journalists have had their licenses cancelled and offices raided, meaning details of the crisis in Sudan haven’t made it beyond the border.
A council of generals have assumed power in Sudan but tragedy and unrest continues to grow. The Transitional Military Council (TMC) claims they need to maintain their rule in order to ensure ‘order and security’, yet the opposite seems to be mounting. Other paramilitary groups including Islamist militias also have some foothold over authority in Sudan – proving it to be extremely hostile.
Where’s The Coverage?
As news of the massacre emerged, Twitter was the only real platform with regular updates. A number of major news channels left Sudan on the back burner, with news of Kim Kardashian apparently more ‘newsworthy’ than a fully fledged humanitarian crisis.
#SudanMassacre within 10 hours of burning of Notre dame, it was no.1 trending topic. News outlets dedicated 10-20 min to talk about it. A building. No lives in it. 4th day into the Sudan massacre, and they’re silent, do you really value a building over the lives of people?
— Aseda (@aseda_pemawina) June 12, 2019
There is a major massacre happening RIGHT NOW in Sudan. More than 500 people have been murdered, countless women have been raped and there has been more than 100 dead bodies found in the Nile River. Most major media has barely covered this so many people don’t know #SudanMassacre pic.twitter.com/qOvR699Gdc
— Kendall Rae💫 (@KendallRaeOnYT) June 12, 2019
In the light of the ongoing tragedies in Sudan, it appears citizen journalism is the only true prevailing system of communication. Western news channels seem to be publishing an inconsistent dribble of information which at large focuses on the US sent envoy – with very little if not any detail on the deaths, rapes and humanitarian violations which cripple the country.
So is news out of Sudan only noteworthy if it somehow involves the West?
Sudanians have been peacefully protesting for a democracy. The #Sudan Government responded with a massacre; over 500 killed, 723 injured, 650 arrested, 60 raped, 1000+ missing, and 0 large news outlets talking about it. As humans helping humans, spread awareness #SudanMassacre pic.twitter.com/vwZZjSTlc0
— Morgan✨ (@morganx_p) June 12, 2019
What Can You Do?
With very little information on what actions are being taken to quell the suffering in Sudan, many are left wondering what they can do to help. A Go Fund Me page has been set up in December of last year to raise much needed funds for emergency medical aid for the Sudanese – you can still donate here.
There’s also a petition to have the UN investigate the huge number of human rights violations made against pro-democracy protestors on June 3 – sign it here.
In the absence of information via Western news channels, it’s also time for world citizens to band together. Engage, share and support because there’s far too many of us choosing not to.