Yesterday, 11 April, on the back of a revolutionary movement that has lasted for more than four months, the Sudanese people have overthrown General Omar al-Bashir. The overthrow of Bashir, a man who had ruled Sudan with an iron fist for thirty years, is an important victory, not only for the Sudanese people, but for the whole region. However, it is important that this be only the first step in a revolutionary process, which must end with the overthrow of the regime as a whole.
Just as Bashir was being deposed, the military establishment issued a statement announcing “the formation of a transitional military council to manage the country’s rule for a period of two years”, “the declaration of a state of emergency for three months and a curfew for one month” between the hours of 10 pm and 4 am.
What this means is that, after brutally oppressing the Sudanese people for decades, and after killing dozens and wounding hundreds of protestors over the past four months, they are asking the masses to return home and accept their rule. In exchange for this, the military establishment promise ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’, after two years of rule under a state of emergency!
Of course, this manoeuvre has not fooled the Sudanese people. They know, both from historical experiences and the recent experiences of the Arab Spring, that to stop a revolution half-way can only lead to catastrophe. The protests, therefore, have not stopped and the mood, if anything, has become more combative. Protesters throughout Sudan are insisting that the revolution continue until the entire regime is overthrown.
At present, the ruling class is terrified and the state is powerless. The military council is now just an empty shell, which does not have complete control over the military establishment. However, this situation cannot continue forever. If they are not toppled and replaced by an alternative regime, sooner or later, they will be able to regain the initiative and counter-attack.
Real power now lies in the streets and in the factories. It is in the hands of the workers and poor peasants, who have proven to be all-powerful once they begin to move. Potentially, they have the power to bring down the whole regime. However, the problem is that they are not aware of this fact and there is no organisation present, which can provide the leadership to guide them to taking power.
The mass organisations – both the trade unions and the Communist Party – bear responsibility in this critical moment. It is not enough to demand democracy, freedom and bread, the masses must move to seize it by force.
The revolution has broken out for specific, urgent demands. These relate to both social, related to the living standards of the masses, and democratic questions. These demands must be met without delay. Millions of people have not protested for months, risking their lives and defying repression, in order to achieve merely nice words and promises. They want concrete gains from their actions, and the revolution will have no meaning for them if these gains are not won.
Can the revolution achieve its demand of democracy? We must say that it certainly can, but only through the initiative of the masses, together with their mass organisations, which can form a new state, based on popular councils elected from all the working-class neighbourhoods, factories and barracks. These representatives must be revocable and accountable to the masses.
Can unemployment be eradicated? Again, this is something that can be achieved in Sudan, but this can also only be done through revolutionary measures. There must be the equalisation of the number of hours worked by all, with no loss of pay. It is completely illogical that some work long, painstaking hours, whilst others are unable to find any work.
Can we eliminate poverty and hunger? Again, we can answer this question in the affirmative. There is a desperate need to increase wages in the country in order to be sufficient to allow workers a decent life, culture and entertainment. The debts of workers and poor peasant families should be abolished. Revolutionary measures must be carried out in agriculture, by giving land to those who cultivate it. However, to achieve these aims, the major companies, banks and key levers of the economy must be expropriated and placed under the democratic control of the workers’ councils. Only by doing this can a rational plan of production and distribution be instituted in order to meet the needs of the majority of society.
The workers of the world are looking with great interest at the events currently taking place in Sudan. If the Sudanese Revolution achieves these urgent tasks, it will inspire the workers and youth of the whole region to do the same. It will spur on revolutionary developments in Egypt, Ethiopia, Algeria and other countries across the whole continent. We could see revolutions that finally eradicate capitalism, war and famine, and build the Socialist United States of Africa.