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With the proclamation of Mursi as the new Egyptian President, it seems that the revolution of the Egyptian Arab Spring has triumphed. For now it seems that everything is good. In fact, Mursi has promised to be the president for all Egyptians without an exception. His claims appear to be serious: a woman and a Christian man will be the vice-presidents of the newly formed government, something that was unthinkable few months ago. However, we will have to wait to see if this will become a real fact.
Even though not all Egyptians agree with the elections that have taken place in their country, Egypt is the quintessential example of the triumph of the revolution this Arab spring. There has also been some progress in countries like Tunisia, Libya and Yemen, where the authoritarian Presidents, Ben Ali’s, Gaddafi and Ali Abdullah Saleh fell respectively. On the other side of the coin, are countries such as Syria and Morocco that are still fighting to overthrow the established system, and have to fight against the silence that surrounds these revolutions.
An example of the revolutions that have recently started is the case of Northern Sudan, which has more press now that Egypt has achieved their first goal. It seems that what started off being a small movement, has crystallized into a bigger mobilization.
According to www.sudaneseonline.com, the trigger has been the cuts that the Sudanese government has executed after the former South Sudan achieved their independence. After this, the Sudanese Government has suspended the gasoline subsidies, taxes have increased and thousands of civil servants have been fired.
Therefore, the Sudanese have gone out to the streets to protest, under the slogan of “We want the regime out.” They are demanding the resignation of the National Congress Party, Al-Bashir’s party, to be replaced by a transitional government that should represent all geographical regions of Sudan.
In the meantime, the police remain loyal to Al-Bashir, and he has ordered all his forces to stop the anti-government protests. Therefore, police have responded with attacks and detentions, and three newspapers have been shut down. It seems that the Internet will be a blackout sooner or later. In the meantime, Saata Ahmed al Hajj, General Secretary of the Sudanese Commission for the Defense of Freedoms and Rights, has been arrested.
But the Sudanese case is not an easy one, since there are other open fronts, which actually are more important. First off, there is the genocide in the western zone of Darfur that has been plaguing them for the last two decades. Sudan president, Omar Al-Bashir, who has been in power for more than two decades, has been giving help to the Janjaweed, the Arab militians that are perpetrating these terrible acts, and the citizens from the other parts of Sudan are finally complaining about it with demonstrations.
Secondly, the armed conflict between Sudan and the new Republic of South Sudan for oil control is at risk of turning into an open war. In 2005, these two sides of the country signed a peace agreement that ended a civil war for 22 years, dividing the country into two: the south, where two thirds of oil reserves are, and the north, which is developed. Both sides agreed to split revenues from oil production by half, but not one of them are complying with what they agreed.
Will we have a new success story like this in Egypt? Time will tell, but we must not forget these more important issues in Sudan.
Image Courtesy of Oxfam International