Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools


You are here: Home / 2023 / Reading in the Nature of the Counter-Revolution in Sudan

Reading in the Nature of the Counter-Revolution in Sudan

Zoom meeting contribution, Trade Union Activist Abdesselam Adib


1 - Greetings to all comrades participating in this digital symposium of the united front against fascism and imperialism. I will dedicate my introduction to discussing the military clashes taking place in Sudan, presenting a set of observations drawn from what is really happening on Sudanese soil, from the beginning of the popular revolution in Sudan in 2018 until the outbreak of the Sudanese military conflict, April 15, 2023.

2 – Since Saturday, April 15, Sudan has been experiencing violent military clashes between, on the one hand, the regular army led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, current de facto leader of the State of Sudan, and, on the other hand, armed militias called the “Rapid Support Forces” led by General Mohammed Hamdan Dakolo “Hamedati”, the second personality in the hierarchy of power. These clashes, according to the latest statistics from the World Health Organization on Saturday April 22, left 434 dead and 3,551 seriously injured. The clashes also led to the shutdown of 55 hospitals in the capital, Khartoum. As the streets filled with the corpses of the dead, and the necessary medicines lacked to treat the wounded, while about nine doctors were killed. Major countries have rushed to send planes to Djibouti to work on evacuating their embassy workers from Sudan, especially after the deaths of a US embassy worker and another ISIS worker. International for Immigration.

3 - The Sudanese regular army is considered the third most powerful army in Africa after Egypt and Algeria, and it is ranked tenth in Africa and 75th in the world. The regular Sudanese army has about 100,000 soldiers, plus 100,000 reservists. It is well equipped with all light and heavy weapons, planes and ships. As for the Rapid Support Forces militia, is a militia previously created by Omar al-Bashir in 2010 to serve as a substitute for the army in the fight against separatist forces in Darfur, their number reaches around one hundred thousand armed men, and they participated in many war operations outside Sudan, such as their participation, for example, alongside the Saudi military forces against the Houthis, and his field experience enabled him to qualify these forces to lead the current war against the army regular, despite his possession only of small arms.

4 - Since the independence of Sudan in 1957, the Sudanese people have lived continuously under the yoke of military tyrannies continues, and the succession of these military leaders through successive coups, some of which succeeded and others failed, and these forces are arming themselves with political Islam to legitimize their authoritarian practices. The only exception is the uprising of the Sudanese masses in 2018, which lasted eight months and succeeded in pushing the regime of Omar Al-Bashir out of power in 2019. Progressive, socialist and communist forces contributed to raising awareness to confront the military tyranny coupled with corruption, which sparked the uprising in 2018, and prompted Omar Al-Bashir to step down from power and the emergence of a military council led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan , which promised to return power to civilians, but backfired on that deal in 2021 with the support of reactionary forces (such as the Forces for Freedom and Change, which is a coalition of what is falsely called pro-democracy organizations).

5 - Political tyranny in Sudan was coupled with scandalous corruption, represented by the monopoly of the army leadership on the exploitation of gold mines and its export abroad openly or through channels of smuggling. Note that Al-Burhan and Hamidati were both allies of dictator Omar Al-Bashir in his previous corruption, before turning against him in an effort to cut the course of the popular uprising against his regime while practicing brutal repression against this uprising and empty it of its social revolutionary content with the support of reactionary forces. Omar Al-Bashir himself is the one who took his ally Hamedati into the business of smuggling and selling gold through a private company owned by his family. Reuters has already confirmed in an investigation conducted a year ago the existence of gold smuggling operations from Africa estimated at billions of dollars a year. By the Emirates, considered as a gateway for the smuggling of the wealth of the peoples of Africa, in particular from Sudan and Libya to Europe.

6 - The United Arab Emirates imported, according to a press release from the Sudanese Minister of Industry and Trade in 2015, seventy tons of gold. In the first half of 2018, Sudan produced 63 tons of gold. The Government Bank of Sudan bought only eight tonnes, at below market price, while the rest was smuggled. The number of gold mining and extraction companies is 243, including eleven franchised companies. There are also thousands of individuals searching for gold through state exploration licenses. Sudan also has the world's third largest reserve of raw uranium, which is used in the manufacture of nuclear weapons, and its production reaches one and a half million tons, according to unofficial figures. This mineral is found in Darfur, Nuba Mountains, Kordofan, Blue Nile, Butana and Red Sea state.

7- The authoritarian political orientation of the army, supported by the ideology of political Islam and tribal ethnicities, in addition to the spread of illiteracy, has deepened populist alienation among Sudanese and usurpation towards the liberal capitalist discourse, thus facilitating the tendency of military authority to submit to the dictates and conditions of the imperial institutions of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which are the policies that have impoverished most of the peoples who live there. have adopted, because of the privatization of public services, which has led to the destruction of public services, and to an increase in the volume of external debt, and therefore to an increase in the level of taxes. It has also led to the elimination of cooperative collective agriculture and food security, in favor of capitalist agriculture, opting for a single high-yield production, as is the case with gum arabic, whose cultivated area amounted to five hundred thousand square kilometers, equivalent to one third of the area of Sudan. Sudan produces about 75% of the world's production of gum arabic, although it only exploits 10% of the forests producing this substance.

8 - This military tyranny, supported by religious discourse and tribal fanaticism, widespread within the Sudanese army, and also widespread among the armed militias of Hamedati, has the effect of submitting these forces to the order of their chiefs, and to brutal practices of repression of the masses revolted against tyranny. The army was entrusted to the "Rapid Support Forces" played the main role in the attempt to violently eliminate the demonstrations of the masses after the overthrow of Omar al-Bashir in 2018. Note that this force composed of tribal mercenaries is less sympathetic to the revolutionary masses in comparison with the soldiers and non-commissioned officers of the regular forces.

9 - The compromise reached by the popular revolutionary forces in 2019, which the regular army accepted, forced to preserve its main interests, preserved the military alliance between the two generals, Al-Burhan and Hamidati, standing up against the coalition Forces for “the declaration of freedom and change”, which benefited from the pressure exerted by the revolutionary popular forces which refused to negotiate. Some of them were split off from this coalition. The armed forces, by their delays in transferring power to civilians, managed to limit the ability of the coalition to impose reforms on it, then succeeded in dividing its ranks by splitting the "Bloc d'accord national" i.e. "the Democratic Bloc" later, and he thus achieved his second coup in the fall of 2021, overturning the bargain agreement in its entirety. However, the popular movement continued to press against him, to which the "Forces of Freedom and Change" returned to participate, as well as the frequency of international political and economic pressure.

10 - In exchange for this failure, Hamidati began to disavow the failed coup of the armed forces led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan in order to preserve his interests. From there, the regular army was forced to return to the negotiating table to renew an arrangement with international mediation, and they ended up once again agreeing to a new agreement with the "Forces of Freedom and Change". , worse than the 2019 agreement. And to preserve the unity of the armed forces, and therefore to curb "the rapid support forces" definitively before the conclusion of a new agreement and its implementation.

11- On the sidelines of this contradiction, fighting broke out between the two sides on Saturday, April 15, after the Rapid Support Forces refused to fully join the regular armed forces. The current fierce fighting confirms the impossibility of any coexistence between the two parties. It is difficult to imagine an end to the fighting without one of the two parties eliminating the other, except in the case where each party has an independent geographical area of Sudan, thus dividing Sudan again.

12 - At the geopolitical level, Sudan appears as a link across the Nile between Egypt to the north and Ethiopia to the south. And if we add the strategic position of Libya, the integration of this group, if it unites politically and ideologically, will make it a regional power that can allow their people to achieve a qualitative leap in regional development and global. But the imperialists, who have taken turns plundering and exploiting the peoples of this region, are constantly working to destroy the social, economic and political foundations that target their unity, and support the tyrannical military forces that rule them, and also work to pressure on them through sanctions or encouraging coups against them in favor of new tyrannical powers that are well in control of their destiny. This is what French imperialism did in Libya in 2011, and this is what US imperialism seeks in Sudan today.

13 - Despite the apparent contradiction between Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Hamedati at the level of their various alliances with the American and Russian imperialists, it has been observed on the one hand that there is a close link between Hamedati's militia and the Russian Wagner Organization and the relationship between that and the smuggling of tons of gold into Russia, which the United States of America wants to oppose. On the other hand, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan's tendency to ally himself with the United States and Egypt and his agreement to conclude the Abraham Accord with Israel as a condition for the lifting of American sanctions against the Sudan, however, there are relations and contacts that also unite Hamidati with the United States, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which are all countries in orbit of the United States of America. This fact confirms the reactionary nature of all these parties and their unified position in the face of the popular revolutionary wave in Sudan against tyranny and military corruption, and a complete rejection of the liberal capitalist economic and social policies that have impoverished the country. The success of the popular revolution in Sudan would spread popular revolutions in the various neighboring countries which also live in tyranny.

14 - The will of the imperialists to maintain the continuity of the same tyrannical military regime in Sudan seems particularly exaggerated to communicate with the two belligerents to find solutions to settle the existing conflict, or to support the victory of one party over the other. Imperialism constantly bets that an authoritarian military regime is the only one capable of keeping the Sudanese masses subjugated to the capitalist mode of production, and ensuring the continuation of the plunder of Sudan's wealth directly or indirectly through neoliberal mechanisms.

15 - We conclude that what is happening in Sudan in terms of fighting is in fact a counter-revolution and a class war against the Sudanese popular masses in order to ensure their submission to the sole domination of the imperialist powers. The case of Sudan is an ideal example of what is happening in all African and Arab countries that have made their people prisoners in their barracks, ruled by dominant military powers that follow the will of imperialism in its old colonial forms or in its new imperialist methods.

16 - Finally, the nature of this war waged by imperialism by proxy against the freedom and independence of peoples raises the question of the entrenchment of the class struggle at the local, regional and international level, a difficult task which requires its going beyond to build a workers' and popular united front against fascism and imperialism.

Download as PDF

Document Actions