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Beyond Blue: A list of acts you can do to help the people of Sudan

#BlueforSudan: Global awareness of the horrific violence and oppression currently happening in Sudan is gaining traction. Social media users the world over have been mobilized to change their profile pictures to a specific shade of blue in solidarity. What more is there to do? Here’s a list of ways you can take your support past Sudan blue.

The crisis in Sudan began last year when the Sudanese people began protesting to oust their three decade long former president Omar al-Bashir. Their efforts succeeded in April this year when he was successfully forced out. However, the regime was replaced by military rule.

BBC reported in May that a three-year transition agreement was made between military leaders and protestors – as it was believed it would take a long time to dismantle former president Bashir’s legacy in the nation’s political infrastructure.

Unfortunately, military leaders reneged on the agreement on stating new elections would be held in just nine months’ time. Meanwhile to enforce their authority and staunched new protests the military has waged a citizen targeted war that has caused violent bloodshed, countless deaths and global outrage.

The Mattar Blue movement

According to reports, The Mattar Blue movement that is underway on social media was born following the death of 26-year-old London Brunel University graduate, Mohamed Hashim Mattar. He was senselessly killed while protesting in Khartoum, which along with the rest of the country is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis. Mattar was one in 118 protesters killed and 300 critically injured in an effort to disassemble a mass sit in at the Sudanese Armed Forces headquarters on June 3rd.

On June 5, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) released a press statement calling for “complete civil disobedience and open political strike” against the “extremism and terrorism” taking root in Sudan, as a means to prevent the eruption of the country into “total chaos.”

The statement reads in part: “In just two days, Khartoum and other cities in Sudan have witnessed a good sample of life under the rule of the coup council: mass murders and extrajudicial killings by the army, security forces and paramilitary militias allied with them; pillaging of innocent civilians and their properties; sharp increase of victims of rape, assault and violence; terrorizing and beating people openly in the streets without discretion; forcing striking workers to work under threats on their lives or firing them without any due process; and other signs of a collapsing, extremely fragile state that will not only be vulnerable internally but also subject to external manipulation and exploitation at the highest level.”

Read: #IAmTheSudanRevolution: Call to Action on Sudan Uprising

It continues: “Our country will be lost, and then regret and sorrow will not help. The risks that the coup council took, for the sake of usurping complete power, undermine national peace and would, eventually, affect regional and international peace.”

The hashtag #BlueforSudan has been trending across platforms including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with countless users and celebrities changing their profile picture to a specific shade of blue in solidarity with the people of Sudan and as an acknowledgement of the current crisis.

What can you do?

Financial support– The people of Sudan especially protesters, reformers and other victims of the violence are struggling to access food, basic amenities, and emergency healthcare. There are several GoFundMe platforms that are crowdfunding to provide these critical necessities. Follow the links to find which one you can support:

  • University of Khartoum North American Alumni Fund – https://bit.ly/2XAqhYs this is however not available in all locations
  • Manchester-Sudanese Emergency Medical Aid Fund – https://bit.ly/2WxVMB4 this is a GoFundMe campaign that requires a debit/credit card
  • The Sound Heart Sudan Fund – http://thesoundheart.org/donate/ this one is a charity that allows donations directly to the Sudanese cause and uses PayPal which is more accessible

International organizations that do not allow for direct donation but are helping in Sudan:

Non-Financial Support– Sign this petition https://bit.ly/2IpOeLH to push the United Nations into establishing an International commission of inquiry and investigate the human right violations perpetrated by the Transitional Military Council on the 3rd of June.

Amplification– Help protesters’ voices to be heard in the face of the internet blackout in Sudan by sharing verified information on the crisis. The more people who know about what’s happening, the harder it is for Sudan’s government to get away with the atrocities, and the more pressure on Western governments to act.

For those in the diaspora/developed world getting in touch with your government representative to push for action is another way to amplify the situation and agitate for action.

For people in the United States view this essay by George Clooney -who has worked in South Sudan relief efforts for years- titled How Congress Can Help Stop the Killing in Sudan for more information.

Supporters beware: Lastly it is important to do your due diligence before sending money or circulating information. Several crowdfunding efforts have been flagged and circulating wrong or damagingly biased information could be more harmful than helpful. Remain mindful of both.

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