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Sudan: The Bottom Line to How the World Can Be Helpful?

WRITTEN BY LINA KARUVATIL & FAISAL NAZIR |  Updated On Sunday, June 16, 2019 ;
7 Minute Read


If you’ve been on social media you’ve probably heard of what’s going on in Sudan.

Peaceful protestors against the government are being killed, slaughtered and raped by the military. Internet services have been cut as Sudanese people have become detached from the outside world.

Because of the communication blackout, it’s difficult to know what’s really going on. Footage cannot be attained, and those with family have had limited contact.

Heart-breaking stories have popped up all over social media surrounding the death and oppression of innocent men, women and children. Many are confused whether it’s a humanitarian crisis, religious crisis or a political crisis.

The complexity of the situation has made it difficult for people to find a way to support Sudan.

Sudan-Social-Media-Blue

What’s Actually Happening? 2>

Towards the end of December, protests broke out in Sudan where an economic crisis caused prices of everyday items to triple in price and left bank machines to run dry.

Protests then took a turn and became a nationwide movement asking Military Dictator, Omar Al-Bashir to step down from his place and resign.

Al Bashir had been in control since 1989 and was finally overthrown in April whereby the people of Sudan took to having a sit-in protest in Khartoum.

The Sudanese people were tired of the state of their government and demanded power to become a Civilian-led democratic government rather than a dictatorship.

Unfortunately, this soon hit a deadlock and lead to the military taking drastic action against Civilians in order to regain control and break the spirit of the revolutionaries.

Any form of resistance is being eliminated at any cost.

Protestors are being controlled by the Rapid Support Forces who do anything from arresting, beating, raping and threatening the Sudanese people.

But they are not giving up.

The Social Media Reaction 2>

#BlueForSudan

They say that colour unifies people. Social media has erupted with a wave of blue with many changing their display pictures to blue in solidarity with Sudan.

This started from the death of Mohammed Mattar, a British graduate who was shot dead whilst protecting two women at a peaceful protest.

His display picture was the blue you see everyone adopting as it was his favourite colour. His family started the movement and then it kicked off.

Celebrities such as Demi Lovato and Halima Aden have adorned blue in their Instagram’s too.

It is done to raise awareness when the media has stayed so silent.

Despite the mass outbreak of awareness and attention in situations such as the Note Dame cathedral, sadly a building is worth more than the lives of innocent women and children.

This follows the media narrative of situations involving minorities being shunned.

Social media hasn’t been keeping quiet. It has been screaming for awareness, providing insight into the tragedies and education those who don’t know.

But if you don’t want to change your display picture, does it mean you don’t support?

Whilst it’s great we are all coming together in the form of solidarity, it doesn’t mean someone cares about it less because they haven’t adopted the blue.

And for how long? When will everyone eventually take the blue away and forget Sudan like many of the crises of the past years?

Where is the energy, we had for Yemen a few months ago now?

Everyone raises awareness differently, Maybe their blue is the tears they shed in the night for Sudan, maybe their blue is the ink in which they write about the heartbreak, maybe their blue is coat they wear to stand in protest, maybe it’s £5 notes they donate.

We should come together and raise awareness, but we should not force anyone to conform to one form nor judge them if they don’t adopt what we adopt.

So, go #BlueForSudan.

We all are, just in different ways.

Giving Donations 2>

Although it’s not necessarily a humanitarian crisis, they still need aid.

After the deaths, casualties and military shutdown they need aid to help them.

It’s still proving difficult to figure out exactly where the aid is going to and with the internet shut down, who are we sending it to?

Across the world, there have been outbreaks of Humanitarian Crises more so often now more than ever.

People are now becoming desensitised to what they’re hearing on a daily basis on social media and media platforms.

There’s a whirlwind of aid groups trying to raise money for urgent causes such as; Yemen, Syria etc. For which, many of these groups have failed to raise the amounts that they sought out to get.

Now, we have Notre Dame, meeting targets and then some; overshooting what they wanted and more.

French economists, Untec, stated that the rebuilding of Notre Dame would cost anything between $330 and $670 million; the pledges they received within a matter of days exceeded a staggering, $1 billion.

Again, where is the same energy for human lives being lost?

Clearly, a. building means more to people than their peers.

So, reeling it back to Sudan, it’s clear they’re not getting the coverage they deserve.

JustGiving pages have been set up, account details, people are trying to raise money to send over to Sudan and the contributions are incredible; but nowhere near the amount raised for Notre Dame.

One JustGiving page requires £250,000 and has been active for just under a week; why are the funds for emergency medical care not exceeding this and then some?

The Role of Influencers and Activism 2>

Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen more and more influencers rise up and take responsibility for documenting such issues, in the case of Yemen, Syria, Palestine and Grenfell for example.

Do you think Influencers should be more outspoken about issues as such?

If they have a large platform, surely, they have the responsibility to do some good and raise awareness, to get credible sources of what’s going on and share it.

But they aren’t news reporters. They won’t always have the most reliable sources and sometimes it may be disturbing to have such conversations.

Despite this, many influencers are criticised for not speaking up where disturbances do arise.

It is difficult to speak about situations, there’s always a greater fear of saying something wrong and misguiding people. Especially in the situation of Sudan where information is so rare.

Is it really fair on influencers?

It’s great when they do raise awareness. They can reach tens, even hundreds of thousands of people and get a really important message across. Their one story could inspire a great wave of movement, such as the changing of display pictures to blue.

They do have the ability and resources to share.

But they’re human like you and me. They are emotionally affected like such tragedies the way we are. The way we might shy away from posting in some circumstances, they feel the same way.

Influencers are increasingly involved in activism.

Influencers and social media’s support for Sudan this week has led to celebrities such as Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, Marwa Hocane and Amnesty International to share what’s going on.

Ariana Grande even shared a link to swipe up and donate to provide aid to victims of the terror that is happening.

Is that because of social media and influencer movements?

Very likely.

It shows that social media and influencers can make an active change. That the virtual world can impact the real world.

With the internet shutdown in Sudan, it is the voices of others around the world to make sure their stories, their deaths don’t go down in vain. Let this not be forgotten.

Let our profiles stay blue until Sudan finds peace.

But for how long? For how long will social media scream? We will only have to wait and see.

What are your thoughts?

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