Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 5,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

Sudanese people protesting on the streets. Image from Aljazeera via Google.

Statement of the African Studies Association Concerning Freedom of Expression in Sudan (June 2019)

The African Studies Association reiterates its solidarity with its academic colleagues in Sudan and condemns in the strongest terms the violent crackdown of the Transitional Military Council in Sudan on peaceful protesters during its attack on the sit-in outside military headquarters on June 3rd. According to estimates by the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors this crackdown resulted in the violent deaths of over a hundred Sudanese protesters, many of whom came from the ranks of doctors, students and professors with whom our members have had long professional relationships.

A full account of the attack is not yet known due to the Sudanese government’s attempts to silence protesters, both by raiding press agencies like Al Jazeera and blockading the internet across the country. Yet it is clear that the Rapid Support Forces, a force represented on the Transitional Military Council, attacked the sit-in at 5 a.m. on June 3rd, shot live ammunition at protesters, and killed over one hundred people, injuring roughly seven hundred, and sexually assaulting at least five. These attacks extended far beyond the sit-in itself: RSF forces proceeded to gather the bodies of those killed and threw them into the Nile. They surrounded hospitals where wounded protesters were taken and shot ammunition inside of them. They attacked the University of Khartoum, rifling through offices and stealing university property. These attacks were a coordinated effort to stifle the mass movement that Sudanese protesters have participated in since December of 2018, calling first for the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir, then a transition to a civilian government.

Since the attack, the Sudanese government has undertaken an extensive crackdown designed to stifle further dissent. The internet has been blocked across the country, and the RSF has undertaken terrorizing patrols, at times escorting workers on strike to their place of work at gunpoint.

Academics in Sudan have been at the forefront of these protests as members of the Sudanese Professionals Association. Academics, alongside their students, have attended the sit-in and protests, and academics, alongside their students, are now mourning the loss of protesters—some of whom they had taught six months ago. We stand in solidarity with them as they fight to exercise their freedom of expression. Moreover, we call on our governments to pressure the Transitional Military Council to refrain from further violence and commit to a peaceful transition to civilian rule. We also ask the United States and the rest of the International Community to continue to follow the lead of the African Union in demanding that the military regime in Sudan allow a civilian government to come to power in Sudan.

Tags: ,

About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. The recipient of the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature in 2019, he is a judge for The Gerald Kraak Prize and was a judge for The Morland Writing Scholarship in 2019. He is Nonfiction Editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Down River Road, a New Print & Online Magazine Exploring the Alternative in Literature, Music, & Visual Art, Calls for Submissions to Second Issue

down river road journal

A new Nairobi-based print and online magazine, down river road, is exploring the margins, the shifting centers, and the new […]

Dr Stella Nyanzi Wins Appeal at Ugandan Court, Regains Freedom, But Is Possibly Re-arrested

stella nyanzi - graph - kampala dispatch

Dr Stella Nyanzi is free. The academic, feminist and queer rights advocate has been in prison for criticising Uganda’s long-serving […]

Apply for This Fully-funded Creative Writing Scholarship at the University of East Anglia, Sponsored by the Miles Morland Foundation

UEA - Literature@UEA Twitter

The Miles Morland Foundation African Writers’ Scholarship is currently accepting accepting applications for its 2020 program. It is an initiative […]

Chinelo Okparanta Recalls Her First Teenage Crush

chinelo okparanta - bucknell university

“I was 16 years old, nearly 17, when a boy first expressed interest in me. Or, maybe it was that […]

Namwali Serpell, Maaza Mengiste & Marlon James Are Finalists for Los Angeles Times Book Prizes

Namwali Serpell

Finalists for the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes have been announced. The Ethiopian novelist Maaza Mengiste is nominated in the […]

Romeo Oriogun Shares Heartfelt, Powerful Personal Story as Anticipation Peaks for His Debut Poetry Collection, Sacrament of Bodies

Romeo Oriogun - main

Romeo Oriogun’s debut poetry collection Sacrament of Bodies is still some 12 days away from its March 1 publication date […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.