How To Help Sudan After Protests Against The Government Were Met With Violence
In April, protests and a military coup led to the ousting of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who had been in power since 1989. Following Bashir's removal, unarmed pro-democracy protesters have been calling for civilian — rather than military — rule. However, military forces responded to these peaceful efforts with force, and medical officials say that at least 100 people have been killed. If you are wondering how to help Sudan after protests were met with such violence, you have a list of options.
In 2008, the International Criminal Court filed charges against Bashir for war crimes and genocide in Darfur, but he did not step down until this year. So when a military coup ousted him from power earlier back in April, protesters worked to make sure another military-ruled government didn't come into power. Instead, they've been advocating for civilian rule.
But on June 3, soldiers from the Sudanese paramilitary Rapid Support Forces — which grew out of militias — raided a pro-democracy protest camp in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. According to Al Jazeera, the soldiers set the protesters' tents aflame and opened fire, and more than 100 people were killed. Citing a doctors' group, Al Jazeera and Reuters reported but could not confirm that dozens of bodies had been pulled from the Nile following this raid. Doctors also indicated that more than 70 people were raped during the Khartoum raid, per The Guardian.
The Sudanese government has only admitted to 61 deaths, instead of the more than 100 cited by medical officials, The New York Times reported. However, protesters in Sudan have not given up. On Sunday, demonstrators put up barriers in the streets and implemented a general strike in Khartoum, bringing the capital to a standstill, and at least three protesters were killed by security forces. According to NPR, the military is now rounding up employees deemed essential and forcing them to go back to work at gunpoint, and The Root reported that the Rapid Support Forces continue to aggravate the ongoing violence.
As protests continue in Sudan, many people in the country have been unable to access basic necessities, such as food, water, and emergency health care. Here are some ways that you can help the people in Sudan.
Donate To A GoFundMe
Back in December, a United Kingdom-based NGO launched a GoFundMe to collect funds for emergency medical supplies and hospital support. The GoFundMe has already raised more than £111,000, or over $140,000, and has extended its goal to £250,000.
Donate To UNICEF
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore has expressed concern that current conditions in Sudan, combined with a lack of crucial resources, has been especially devastating for children across the country.
“Children throughout Sudan are already bearing the brunt of decades of conflict, chronic underdevelopment and poor governance," Fore said in a statement. “The current violence is making a critical situation even worse."
UNICEF is currently working to provide resources to children in Sudan, and you can donate at this link.
Sign A Petition
There are numerous petitions circulating to show support for protesters in Sudan. One Change.org petition calls on the United Nations to investigate possible human rights violations that took place during the June 3 Khartoum raid, while this petition from Amnesty International calls on the Ethiopian prime minister to put pressure on the Transitional Military Council to withdraw the Rapid Support Forces from any policing activities.
Reach Out To Your Elected Officials
Call your member of Congress, or use ResistBot to text them. Once you get ahold of them, let them know that you support assistance to the people of Sudan. As George Clooney and John Prendergast pointed out in their essay this week, Congress also has the power to impose sanctions on human rights offenders, and you can encourage your elected officials to do so.
Donate To Save The Children
Since 1984, Save the Children has organized programs for children and families in Sudan that have been affected by displacement, poverty, conflict, and hunger. You can donate to Save the Children's efforts in Sudan at this link.
Donate To A Facebook Donation Campaign
The University of Khartoum Alumni Association USA has launched a Facebook donation campaign to collect funds for food, water, and medical care. According to the campaign Facebook page, the alumni association is coordinating with community organizations and volunteers in Sudan to get food and medical assistance to those who need it most. You can donate to this campaign at this link.