الاثنين، 24 مارس، 2014

Notes on the detention of my friend Monim Mohamed #FreeMonim

Today Monim spent his 12th night under NISS custody; he faces no charges and he is a human rights lawyer there are no legal grounds for his arrest and detention at all. He was arrested 2 days after the murder of the student Ali Abbakar by pro government militias inside University of Khartoum campus and the arrest of over 100 students by NISS after a peaceful protest demanding peace and humanitarian assistance to the people in Darfur.

I met Monim few years ago. He is such a kind and loving person dedicating most of his time to defend other activists and students who do not have the resources to hire a lawyer. He works from the early morning up to the midnight even some times he sleeps in his office.
Monim is an extra ordinary person; he barely eats and thinks that I can’t cook “eatable food”.  He is a nonviolence icon providing guidance to students and young activists. He kept my balance during September protests and mass killing of peaceful protestors; when I lost faith on peaceful regime change.

Monim told me someday he might stop his friendship with me because I make him cry. We cried of missing our friend who fled the country because of NISS threats and fearing of his life and well being. Monim; not like other friends would do; he didn’t ask me to stop crying and yelling.

Dear Monim,

I’d tell you honestly and publicly; There are some moments I can’t stop crying. Sometimes I just want to look at you pictures and see your smile. Sometimes I imagine they are treating you well. Whenever I cook I feel bitterness; I’m sure the food at NISS cells is worse than at my house. There is one thing I keep doing all the time; speaking about you to other friends. Telling ourselves that you will always be strong and how sweet you are. We miss you a lot. 

Stay safe; you are free wherever you are and your jailers are imprisoned in their self-hatred and inhumanity.


الأربعاء، 11 ديسمبر، 2013

The myth of peace in Darfur

Published here

In July 2011 the Sudanese government with the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) signed the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), an attempt to create the appearance of achieved peace and security in the region. The government directed all its media channels towards celebrating this “achieved peace” in Darfur whilst ignoring the fact that the most powerful rebel groups had not signed up to the document. The world however, has turned its back on the continued massacres.
Although the International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued arrest warrants for the Sudanese president, Omar El Bashir, as well as a number of government officials for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity since 2003; they are yet to be prosecuted. In 2010 the Sudanese minister of justice assigned four special prosecutors to investigating these crimes; all of them resigned without explanation and having not made any progress in the investigations.
In January 2012 the Darfur conflict entered a new era with armed clashes between the Arab tribes themselves over ownership of land and resources in the north and south of Darfur. Although the government had supported the same Arab tribes in clashes with the non-Arab population, the magic faded quickly into undesired and uncontrollable conflicts. One of the residents testified, “It’s very hard now to stop the ongoing clashes, the tribes are armed, and whenever looting or killing happens they identify the perpetrator as an affiliate to a certain tribe rather than a criminal. The revenge goes beyond harming the perpetrator and extends to the families and tribe as a whole”.
Intertribal conflicts have always been part of life in Darfur; but the governments’ involvement is leading to endless devastating clashes. According to an activist, who prefers to stay anonymous, in August 2013 over 110 persons were killed in clashes between Rezeigat and Maalia tribes, hundreds of Maalia were displaced, their houses were looted and burnt while Abdel Hameed Kasha, the State Governor of Central Darfur supported Rezeigat in their war against Maalia, and he was publically accusing them of supporting rebel groups.
On July 31, 2012 and during the June/July 2012 protests in Sudan, 13 peaceful protestors were shot dead and over a hundred were injured by police and National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) officers in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur. The majority were minors and secondary school students. The Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), the principle instrument for the implementation of the DDPD, condemned the violent incidents but only blamed the federal government for their shortcomings in providing fuel and electricity. Two weeks later, on August 13 2012, the DRA premises were attacked by gunmen who kidnapped DRA officers and the state minister of youth affairs.
In December 2012, four students of Algazira University were found dead in a stream after having participated in a peaceful protest demanding the enforcement of the exemption of Darfuri students from public university tuition fees, as stipulated in the DDPD in 2011. Three out of the four students killed were originally from Darfur and Alsadig, one of them had waited five years until his family as well as residents of the Kalma camp were able to raise enough funds for his ticket to Khartoum and for his tuition at Algazira University. The DRA managed to send condolences to the familie: however, they failed to make any mention of the DDPD let alone provide any explanation as to why their children had been assassinated.
From 3 till 5 July 2013, the streets of Nyala witnessed violent clashes between Janjaweed, the pro-government militias, and the National Intelligence and Security Services NISS. This came after “Dakroon” - a nickname for one of the Rezeigat/Janjaweed leaders - and Abutira, a commander with border patrols, were shot dead by the NISS in the suburbs of Nyala. The violent clashes continued for three days, tens of people were killed, including two aid workers, while the exact numbers of those killed and injured from the NISS and Janjaweed remains unknown.
In Nyala market on 8 July 2013 Ahmed Salih Zakaria, a man from the Salamat tribe, shot Ali Koshaib, a Janjaweed leader and commander wanted by the ICC for committing crimes against humanity and war crimes. Koshaib, protected by a bulletproof vest, only suffered an injury to his arm, but his two bodyguards were killed. Zakaria was arrested immediately but died in custody two weeks later, and pro-government newspapers claimed that he had died from a bullet injury he sustained as he was trying to kill Koshaib. Furthermore, according toHRW, Ali Koshaib was involved in the ethnic attacks against the Salamat tribe in Central Darfur, in April 2013.
On 18 September 2013, Ismael Wadi, a businessman of Zaghawa descent was shot dead in Nyala. After his funeral, mass protests erupted in the city demanding justice and condemning the state of insecurity. Again the police shot live ammunition at peaceful protestors leaving 15 dead and over 70 people severely injured. The DRA, as usual, condemned the murder of Ismael Wadi and the consequent violence, however neglecting to mention the killing of the protestors.  A resident of Nyala testified to the fact that a curfew has been imposed from 7 pm onwards since these incidents took place, and that at the beginning of November this curfew was pushed to 8pm and anyone who attempted to break it was risking his or her life. If the person was lucky they would be forced to spend the night in a public park, prosecuted in the morning and punished by paying a fine or facing imprisonment. Although South Darfur appears to be the most troubled; according to Radio Dabanga on 6 November 2013, the government is insisting on evacuating the camps around Nyala and forcing Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to return to their villages.
The Darfur conflict is now completing its first decade; over 300,000 civilians have been killed and over 3 million people have been displaced, of which over 450,000 fled this year alone. There are hundreds of thousands of children who’ve never had a place they could call home, apart from the displacement camps. The National Congress Party’s (NCP) peace agreements, like the DDPD, will never achieve peace as long as their signatories exclude the real actors in the conflict. Peace in Sudan will never be achieved unless all the criminals are held accountable and justice is achieved for the martyrs, the displaced and for war survivors.

#Strike4Sudan - its supporters and its critics debate the way forward

Published here

Almost a month has passed since the people of Sudan began to rebel. Violence ensued which led to the death of over 210 peaceful protestors, the arbitrary arrest and detention of over 700 people and the disappearance of a number of young men and women whose families don’t know if they are still alive or killed by government militias.
By the end of September the mass protests had dwindled in size, but the youth had not given up. Now they are in the process of developing resistance groups to challenge the National Congress Party (NCP). Young female activists and students have organized several silent sit-ins in front of the military headquarters and on Nile Street in Khartoum; where they posters bearing photos of the October martyrs are on display. Families of the detainees are also arranging regular sit-ins in front of National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) premises.
In Sudan when a family loses a loved one, they mourn him/her again during the first national holiday after their passing. The massacre took place two weeks prior to Eid El Adha and activists called on everyone to celebrate the feast with the families of the martyrs. After Eid prayers in the Shambat neighborhood, the residents marched to the houses of the martyrs “Hazzaa” and then to “Babiker’s” and gave their condolences to the mothers who were overwhelmed with grief. In the Shambat and Althawra neighborhoods the walls are covered with the names of martyrs as well as anti-regime slogans.
Last week, a group of Sudanese activists and bloggers launched a five-day hunger strike for Sudan (#Strike4Sudan). The demands of the hunger strike were justice for the martyrs; the release of all political detainees and the right to freedom of expression. They call for the government to be held accountable for the killing of peaceful protestors and for all censorship to be lifted from the media and demand that journalists should not be harassed. 
Soon after the announcement of the planned hunger strike, three members of the detainees' families joined in; namely Taghreed Awooda, Sandra Kadooda, the wives of Mohayad Siddig (detained since September 22) and Amjad Farid (detained since September 30) and Kawther, the mother of Mohamed Alim (detained since September 22) whose family wasn’t allowed to visit him.
Reem Shawkat, a journalist and blogger, declared she was on hunger strike for numerous reasons. One of them is her belief that there is a general deterioration in the quality of food in Sudan, as well as increasing poverty. “When the people took to the streets to demand their rights, they were shot dead while others were arrested. Now I feel ashamed for drinking juice on the street when so many people can’t even secure a meal a day. Allowing people to starve is no different from killing them. It’s just a method of oppression and forced insecurity.”
Eyad Suliman, a pharmacist, went on strike because of the deterioration of health facilities. He says many patients die before even receiving medical care in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, not even mentioning what takes place in rural areas. He has some bitter stories to tell, “A man suffering from severe burns was transferred between six emergency rooms in different public hospitals because he couldn’t afford to buy the gauze and other medical supplies for his treatment. They weren’t available in the ER and they wouldn’t admit him without him supplying the materials. He was using a taxi to run between hospitals as an ambulance wasn’t even made available. Another case is of a female university lecturer who died in the process of negotiating a discount, in a public hospital, for her treatment. She was unaware she was pregnant and died because of a miscarriage. Her life could have been saved if she hadn’t been wasting her time knocking on the door of the hospital director."
Many activists have criticized the hunger strike as a form of resistance, and expressed their frustration on twitter about the decline in anti-regime protests. @walaasalah a Sudanese lawyer and human rights activist challenged the efficiency and the effectiveness of #Strike4Sudan by tweeting that people on this strike are not in the same place; all they were doing was announcing it on their social media networks and no real action was taking place on the ground. She argued that the strike was mainly targeting the international community rather than the Sudanese people, regarding this as a deterioration of anti-regime resistance. What is needed, she believes, is for activists to focus more on mobilizing the people. @blackboy, a Sudanese tweep, commented on the hunger strike, saying, “A regime that shoots its people would never care for people on hunger strike”.
Now most activists are trying to develop new forms of resistance; whether it is arranging a sit in, inviting people to mourn the martyrs with their respective families or joining in the five-day hunger strike. Activists criticizing the strike are searching for more radical revolutionary actions. What unites both supporters and opponents of #Strike4Sudan is the sense of responsibility for change which is the driving force for both.

الثلاثاء، 5 نوفمبر، 2013

صدمة الثورة تليها ثورة الصدمة

يوم الاربعاء الفات،
افتكر انو الحتة ديك نهاية شارع الستين
الساعة 10 ونص بالليل

عايزة امجاد توصلني البيت في بحري، كنت نعسانة وأمي قلقت عشان لسة ما رجعت

هايس جات ماشة، بعدها عربية صغيرة..
تحرش وقلة أدب،
وطبعا ما أظن حأركب أول أمجاد!!
أكيد سواق الامجاد حيقول الدنيا ليل والقصص المتخلفة ديك كأنو مسافة الشارع بين الليل والنهار بتزيد،
وحيتخيل اني عشان لابسة بنطلون ما عندي خيار تاني غير الأمجاد حتى لو قال داير ضعف القروش.
غايتو أخير أتفش في أول واحد يقل أدبو، حيكون جابو لي نفسو براهو..

امجاد بيضا مكعكعة قطعت أفكاري

"سلام، ماشة بحري، أها بيكم" قنعانة طبعاً بعداك مافي حيل للنقة
"وعليكم السلام، 35 جنيه"

"آآآ ؟؟؟؟ إنت جادي؟؟ 35؟؟" اتخيل لي اني سمعتو غلط
"35؟؟ المشوار دة بعيد لكن" مااااا عوايدك ياختي غالاطة كل مرة

"هسة أقول ليك 50 تقولي لي بمشي بالمواصلات ما دايرة، اتفضلي اركبي"

ركبت وانا مندهشة ومتشككة، أول علامة انو الباب أبى يتقفل وكلو مفرتق من جوة
الله يوصلنا بالسلامة، المهم انها ما شكلها أمجاد أمنجية
لمحة سريعة في وش السواق بي المراية قبل ما أقعد، 
في بداية الاربعينات، أسمر شوية وشكلو زي حالتي شغال من الصباح

هو: "هنا.. فكوا فينا رصاص.. رصاص حي.. دايرين يقتلونا كلنا،الناس طلعو عشان جاعو.. تقتلم؟؟  تقتلم؟؟"

صوتو كان منفعل شديد،، لدرجة كواريك كدة
أأخ من السيرة دي انا لي كم يوم عندي محاولات جادة للنسيان

انا: "لا حولا.. ان شالله ما يكون مات ليك زول قريب؟؟"

هو: "لالا جات سليمة المرة دي.. لكن كانو قاصدين يقتلونا"

ما تنداحي.. يقتلونا منو.. هسة كلامو دة تعبير صادق عن المشاعر ولاجس نبض؟؟ الله يوصلني دايرة أنوم أنا 
وبكل براءة "منو القاصدين يقتلوكم ياخوي؟؟ ليه؟؟ انتو سويتو شنو؟؟"

انفعل زيادة " ما سوينا حاجة ياخي.. انتي ما سمعتي خطاب البشير، ماشفتي الغلاء دة؟؟
انا كنت قايل البشير دة زول بسيط زينا.. عارف حالنا وبيحاول يعني بس الحوالينو كعبين يجي يقول لينا الناس العندهم 5 عربات والهوت دوق.. ما عارف انو الشعب دة الكسرة بقى ما لاقيها؟؟ الزول دة قاعد في عالم تاني"

صمـــــــــت زي دقيقة كدة

هو: "بعداك اضربونا نار ليه؟؟ عشان طلعنا مظاهرة في حلتم؟؟ كلهم ساكنين قريب للشارع دة هسة بوصف ليك بيوتم كلهم،
نافع وعوض الجاز وكامل ادريس وعلي عثمان والترابي لكن كامل ادريس دة ما زيهم، زول متعلم وعندو عمارة عادية بي جاي
ديل ساكنين في قصور محصنة
يطلعو الشارع بالعربات المظللة عشان ما يشوفوا زول ولا زول يشوفم عايشين كيف
هسة دة دين؟؟ ياتو اسلام دة البخليك تجوع ناسك وتقتلم؟؟ والله لو كانت المظاهرات دي استمرت زيادة كان ضربونا بالطيارات"

"ان شالله ما يكونو قتلو ليك زول بتعرفيهو"

انا: "لا ما بعرف لي زول استشهد، لكن الفقد واحد"

انا لسة فاتحة عيوني وخشمي، ومخي شغال مسجل ما داير يفقد معلومة أو ينسى احساس،
الزول دة كان زعلان شديد، كلامو زي الشكلة، عاين لي كم مرة بالمراية
اتخيل لي انو افترض من شكلي، اني ما كوزة
وأي زول ما كوز، أكيد ضد المجزرة الحصلت

انا: "طبعاً هم ما قصدوا يقتلوا الناس عشان المظاهرة جنب بيوتم، هم قتلوا الناس الطلعو المظاهرات في كل الحتت،
انا سمعت انو في ناس كتار ماتو في بحري وامدرمان، وقتلوالناس قبل سنين في الاطراف، هسة انت ما قلت لي عرفت بيوت الناس ديل كيف؟"

هو: "القصوردي بتغبانا؟؟ وحراسات وهيلمانة؟؟ هم القروش دي جابوها من وين؟ عرباتم الخمسة من وين، ما كلو من حقنا، وقالو لينا هي لله هي لله"

"...بعدين شفتي... الدين الاسلامي دة واحد.. الا الحركة الاسلامية دي بقت زي حركات دارفور.. كل يوم عندهم فصيل منشق عندو مطالبو وبتفاوض يا مع الحكومة الكان فيها يا مع المعارضة.."

انفعال شديد
هو: ".. اصلاً البلد دي خربوها الصادق المهدي والمرغني.."

سرحـــــــــــــــــــــــة، سيرة الاتنين ديل بتجيب لي كوابيس

هو: "طبعاً القوات بتاعت نافع دربوها في ماليزيا، وروهم ييقتلو ويخربو كيف، ..."

انا: "انت عرفت كيف؟"

الناس كلها عارفة

"اها" نظرة انا ما عارفة
صحي الناس كلها عارفة، ولا الزول دة عارف براهو، يا ربي أكون أمنجي سابق؟؟ أو حالي؟؟
لالا ما أمنجي حالي دة زول مصدوم، مصدوم شديد
يعني الصدمة وعت الناس وعلمتهم قدر دة

الناس في الخرطوم أغلبهم مصدومين، من مظاهرات سبتمبر والقتل الحصل فيها
الونسة بالظاهرات، الاستشهدو والاعتقلوهم، الجابوهم في التلفزيون من الحكومة والمعارضة بقت جزء من ونسة أي زول
من نسوان الحلة، للاصحاب، للناس البيتلاقوا أول مرة.

الفيسبوك في الشهر الفات بقى ساحة معركة كبيرة، ما معركة بين المناضلين والجداد،
بين كل الناس
في بوستات لمن اقراها لمن أضاني بتصن 
افتكر ما عشان الناس بتحب المشاكل، او عندها كلام ممكن تطلع منو خلاصة مفيدة مهما كانت حدة لهجتو
لا، بس عشان الحصل كتير، وكان فوق طاقتنا التخيلية
مستوى الشكلات مع الكماسرة قل كتير على ما أعتقد، العدو بقى واضح 
صدمتنا حتخلينا نثور تاني

بالنسبة لي، بكتب عشان ما أموت بالمغسة، لحدي ما يجي وقت الشارع

الأربعاء، 16 أكتوبر، 2013

Sudan: peaceful revolution a dream

On Monday September 23 a wave of spontaneous popular protests broke out in Sudan. The wave was triggered by an increase in the price of fuel and basic food items caused by a long history of impoverishment and oppression by the National Congress Party (NCP) that has ruled the country for a quarter of a century. These protests were not incited by any political organization but by citizens who are struggling to earn their daily living. It was led by high school students, youth and breadwinners in the neighbourhoods of the cities of Wad Medani, Greater Khartoum area, Port Sudan, Kassala and Ghadarif.
The Sudanese regime cracked down without mercy on peaceful protests; on the first day of protests police, security and pro-government militias used live ammunition. Bullets were aimed at the upper part of the body, in what appeared to be a shoot-to-kill. On Monday night Khartoum and Omdurman witnessed heavy tear gas accompanied with live ammunition and protests continued into the early hours of Tuesday. Wednesday September 25 was the bloodiest day in Khartoum with approximately 150 peaceful protesters shot dead by government militia and national security forces. The massacre took place when the internet was cut off for approximately 24 hours. Besides shooting peaceful protesters, witnesses testified that police and security forces retreated from many major streets and neighbourhoods in Omdurman and South Khartoum before sunset, then mass numbers of militias suddenly launched their attack using live ammunition. On September 27 and 28 the demands of the protesters went beyond economic hardship and corruption to the toppling of the regime and justice for the martyrs. This is when the police guided peaceful protestors into traps - a street or square with limited exits, where they were attacked by NISS and government militias leading to numerous deaths. Government officials and police authorities then accused the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) cells in Khartoum of killing peaceful protesters and destroying public and private property.
Aspirations for regime change
Within the past two months I’ve been interviewing activists from the Girifna (means we’re fed up) Youth Movement, Sudan Change Now (SCN) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) about the possibilities of peaceful and armed regime change.
One of the members of Sudan Change Now, Khalid Omer, detained since September 30 said when I met him last August “People previously waited for the National Consensus Forces to bring about change. Now each and every citizen is a change maker. Youth didn’t wait for political parties when they took the streets in January 2011 against the NCP. Now the NCP is on its last legs getting weaker politically and economically, interfering with tribalism and using racism to discriminate against fractions of Sudanese society."
An activist from Girifna Youth Movement, M.M, said “Girifna is a nonviolent resistance movement working on promoting human rights and sustainable peace. We are inspired by Ghandi’s non violence techniques and similar movements from Asia. Changing the regime is not our final goal but achieving social justice is. Thus if the NCP is removed and the revolution is accomplished, Girifna will continue its work on reconciliation, educating people about their rights and promoting sustainable peace”
According to Khalid, Sudan Change Now is also working on several campaigns targeting social change such as the “Against Racism Campaign” that was launched in May 2013.
Dr. Abdallah Teia Jumaa, a member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N); a political and armed movement said, “It’s time to topple the NCP or the people of Sudan will continue suffering. It has been proven that the youth can organize themselves successfully and fearlessly take to the streets in peaceful protests. But the regime is killing people daily in South Kordofan, the Blue Nile region and Darfur. Nothing worse could happen to us. More activism is needed to get rid of the NCP.”
Malik Aggar, head of the SRF, and Gibril Balal, spokesperson for the Justice and Equality Movement - an armed opposition group and member of Sudanese Revolutionary Front, maintained that they will put their arms down and stop military operations as soon as the Albashir regime has fallen.
Recent protests have revealed how fragile the NCP is. The false accusations of the SRF being responsible for killing peaceful protesters has made people reconsider the role of the government and police authorities. Residents of Khartoum believe that the NCP is targeting Sudanese citizens financed by resources which ought to be used to feed the poor and offer education and health facilities for Sudanese citizens. The use of excessive force on peaceful protesters undermines NCP justification of protecting Arab Muslim identity from traitors and western agents aimed at dividing the Sudanese community. While people in the war zones are continuing their struggle through both peaceful and armed means; people in the capital are convinced of the legitimate right of self-defense and armed struggle. Although the wave of protests has shrunk during the past few days, the list of grievances is increasing. Popular anger will soon explode in the streets: it’s only a matter of time.

الأربعاء، 11 سبتمبر، 2013

Floods in Sudan: intervention beyond community-based initiatives is needed

Published here
The night of Wednesday July 31, 2013 in Alfath, a town northwest of the city of Omdurman, two children aged four and two died instantaneously after the roof of their house fell in; leaving their three brothers injured. When it rains in Alfath, parents have always put their children’s beds in the yard or even on the streets and covered them with plastic blankets in an attempt to keep them as far from falling walls as possible. A father of three children said "We cannot risk our children’s lives; it's better to keep them cold and wet rather than buried under debris." Another 3 kids were reportedly killed by electric shock on the evening of August 9 in the Gabra neighborhood of Khartoum.

Since the evening of August 1, 2013, Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, has witnessed heavy rainfall and harsh floods. The rainfall came up to 32-56 mml, making it higher than it has been in years and the damage even worse. The yearly rainy season, usually from the end of June into the beginning of September, always leaves many people injured or dead, due to the collapse of houses and roads. 

But these devastating effects of rainfall and floods do not seem to have much impact on the Sudanese government. Three days after the disaster, President Omar Elbashir flew to Tehran to congratulate the newly elected Iranian president without making any official statement with regards to the floods. The Khartoum state governor, in a TV interview, denied that this was a  “disaster” calling the situation a "crisis" instead, on the grounds that it was only a disaster if half the total population was affected. Abdulgadir Hemmat, head of the Khartoum Roads and Bridges Authority, meanwhile, admitted that the sacloe of the destruction was due to houses poorly built out of weak and cheap materials. He also made a point of saying that the houses built out of cement blocks were not affected and by doing so made the residents of Khartoum responsible for the damage they had incurred. 

The Sudan Metrological Authority website has apparently not been updated since 2012. They presented last year’s forecast as this year’s, failing to predict heavy rainfall. On the other hand, the website of the Ministry of Civil Defense was quick to report how a fire at the US Embassy in Khartoum was handled last January 2013.

As of August 9, the death toll came to 53 persons and the estimate of those affected by the floods exceeds 72,585 persons in Sharq Elnil, Kararri, Umbadda and northern Khartoum. According to UN dispatch, the Sudanese government has put restrictions on the humanitarian assistance NGOs can provide in flood-affected areas. As a result of these restrictions as well as the government’s reluctance in providing assistance and managing the floods, a wave of popular unrest has emerged in Alfath, Umbadda and Sharq Alnil as well as on social media sites. The protestors have demanded aid from the government, but the government has responded violently by trying to disperse the protests with tear gas. 

Nafeer, a community-based youth-led initiative, was formed on Facebook on Friday, August 2, 2013. They started operating from Gisr Centre’s headquarters, another youth led non-profit organization, by assessing and responding to people’s needs in the affected areas. They have been collecting donations, providing tents, plastic sheets, food, clothes and medical assistance to all those affected. Almost 1200 volunteers registered and joined Nafeer in its first week of operations. On August 5-6 alone they received 264 calls on their emergency hotline. Local residents and the Sudanese diaspora have made cash donations exceeding 400 thousand Sudanese pounds (approx. 57 000 USD).

Community-based initiatives like Nafeer frequently emerge to bridge the gap between people’s needs and lack of government services. Charitable initiatives, like Sadaggat and Shariee Alhawadith, have been providing food and clothes as well as medical care for years. They offer much-needed assistance and an ‘alternative’ to the official social welfare system which does not exist. 

However, Nafeer is different as they are offering ad hoc solutions for an emergency situation that needs mass government and national intervention. Although Nafeer aspires to offer assistance nationwide to all those affected by the floods, their work is inevitably limited to the State of Khartoum as it is difficult to access all the other areas. In North Darfur 2000 houses were destroyed by rainfall on August 1, 2013 and 500 houses in Dereig IDP camp in South Darfur was destroyed on July 17, 2013. 

There hasn’t been any attempt at the reconstruction of homes or shelter let alone psychosocial support for the survivors; what is needed extends far beyond the immediate assistance provided.  "It has been a horrible, unforgettable experience. My family has lost everything, thanks to Allah we are alive. Now, in just one week, I cannot imagine going back to university. We've lost everything; I'm afraid the roads to downtown Khartoum no longer function. Anyway I can't see myself ever resuming my normal life" said a flood survivor from Sharq Elnil on the eve of Alfitr day.

Islamists in Sudan: too many faces of the same coin

Published here
Sudanese Islamic parties and groups have organized a protest on Monday July 8, 2013 in front of the Egyptian embassy in Khartoum in support of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, claiming that the 30 June wave of protests was a military coup against the constitutional legitimacy of the elected president, and calling for prosecution of Abdul Fatah Al Sisi, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of Egypt and Dr. Mohamed Al Baradei, the leader of the National Salvation Front. Although the government of Sudan, dominated by the National Congress Party (NCP), announced that “whatever is happening in Egypt is an internal affair” - parliamentarians representing NCP have joined in the protests.
Looking at the groups party to this process exposes many Islamic-driven subdivisions from the same cell of the Muslim Brotherhood. These include the Muslim Brotherhood themselves, the Popular Congress Party (PCP), the Just Peace Forum (JPF), the Islamic Constitutional Front (ICF) and the Saehoon group.
The Just Peace Forum was formed in 2004 by a racist group of Islamists led by Eltayeb Mustafa, the uncle of president Omar Elbashir. Its main aim was to mobilize people against ‘Southerners’ and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that brought peace between the north and south and gave southerners the right to self-determination which resulted, in 2011, in the independence of South Sudan. JPF claims include the allegation that Northerners have been abused by the Southerners and that jihad is the only way to bring about peace and justice.
The Islamic Constitutional Front was formed in Dec 2012, and called for the building of an Islamic constitution after South Sudan secession, claiming that the 2005 interim constitution was invalid to in the eyes of the Muslim majority, & crying shame at the Islamic front for having ruled for 24 years without enforcing an Islamic constitution.
It is worth noting that civil society constitution-making initiatives were banned from organising public activities or accessing the internally dispersed camps around Khartoum which are home to two thirds of its overall population. ICF is the one and only initiative aimed at constitution-making that is allowed to conduct activities in public.
Saehoon is the most recent Islamist group. It floated to the surface in November 2012, after the coup attempt made by ex-spies Chief Salah Gosh, the Brigadier-General Mohamed Ibrahim and the Major-General Adil Eltayeb. They are calling for reforming NCP and stopping the war in Darfur, South Kordofan and the Blue Nile through declaring jihad against rebel groups.
The Popular Congress Party (PCP) led by Hassan Eltorabi was formed in 1999 after the split in the ruling Islamic front that resulted in the National Congress Party (NCP) continuing in power while consigning the PCP to the opposition camp. NCP has intensified its crackdown on PCP affiliates; the friends of yesterday who have become the worst of enemies today.
Arbitrary arrests and detention for years on end are the lot of some active PCP members and even the chief of the party, Eltorabi, has exhausted the party, which has no difference of vision from all the other Islamist groups. PCP had allies among secular democratic political parties in 2009 when the National Consensus Forces (NCF) was formed to unify the opposition parties against NCP. But no more.
Ibrahim Elsanosi; the vice president of PCP has switched from democratic speech to that of the divine and has been addressing the protestors saying that Al Sisi is the Lord's enemy and the National Rescue Front is a coalition of the secular entity that is enemy number one. You would never imagine that  his party had ever been in alliance with secular political parties in Sudan in the NCF.
The Islamic Front was formed in 1985 after they had split away from the Muslim Brotherhood. They took over power through a military coup and ousted the elected democratic government on June 30, 1989. Rather in contrast to the sentiments they have expressed about Egypt's June 30 wave of protests; they immediately banned all political parties, trade unions and civil society organizations; arrested, tortured and killed whoever dared to oppose the regime and forced thousands to flee the country fearing for their lives. PCP hypocrisy and double standards are now shining through their rhetoric on Egyptian affairs; hopefully democratic parties of the NSF will get to see this.  It has been really amazing to see dictators speaking of democracy and criminals demanding justice.

The dilemma of Sudanese politics
The aspiration for a democratic secular state is endangered by having Muslim Brotherhoods sub-sets in power and in the opposition as well,  leaving far too little space for democratic secular parties and a youth movement to grow in, intensifying the threat of a crackdown and allowing the Islamist opposition to protest and demonstrate to the world how democratic the Sudanese government is.
Another thing that made us sit up was seeing police authorities protecting the Islamist pro-democracy protests; while last year during June and July peaceful popular anti-regime protests activists reported that over 2000 persons were arbitrary arrested by national intelligence and security services and detained for 5-8 weeks.
The June/July detainees testified that they have been tortured and maltreated by security officers. A junior female student in the University of Khartoum has lost an eye to a rubber bullet shot inside the university campus. 13 teenagers were shot to death by police forces in Nyala on July 31, 2013.
While the June/July anti regime protests were raging; Sudanese Islamists were chanting in the streets and celebrating their Egyptian victory of the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi's inauguration. Today, a year later, they are bemoaning that Morsi has been ousted,  not so much for Morsi's sake as out of fear that Sudanese youth will be inspired by their Egyptian counterparts, who once before drove Sudanese people to take to the streets, on January 30,2011 and in the June/July summer 2012 protests - in an attempt to bring down the Islamic Front/ NCP regime. It is impressive to watch how Egyptian political dynamics influence and inspire Sudanese politics.