Democracy and freedom are being massacred in Sudan with the brutal killing June 3 of more than 120 young people who had a sit-in at the army barracks for the past seven months in Khartoum, Sudan.

The protesters’ only crime was asking for a change from the 30-year brutal dictatorship of Omar Al Bashir. The protesters are a collection of citizens from all sectors of the population, led by professionals, including doctors, engineers, educators, social workers and many others. They called themselves the Freedom and Change group.

They succeeded, peacefully, in toppling the Al Bashir regime, but the military stayed in control under the name Transitional Military Council. This TMC promised to hand over power to the Freedom and Change group and transition the country to civilian rule, but shortly after, they reneged on that promise.

Into this standstill between the army and the civilians entered the armed militia group called the Rapid Support Force, the one responsible for the killing of civilians and causing the international uproar over the whole peaceful revolution.

The brutal RSF originated from the feared Janjaweed Militia, which committed unspeakable atrocities in the western Sudan or Darfur conflict in 2003 and 2004. The militia was supported and armed in the early 2000 by the deposed dictator Al Bashir to protect him against a coup from his own army, and to quell the peaceful uprising of the people of Darfur, who have suffered under decades of his corrupt rule.

The Rapid Support Force is a collection of mercenaries from western Sudan and allegedly hired killers from Chad, Niger and other poor central African countries.

The leader of this killing machine is an uneducated camel herder, Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, who goes by the name General Hemeti. He serves on the Transitional Military Council as its vice president, but he is the de-facto leader of it. Hemeti built his criminal career burning villages and killing thousands in Darfur. He speaks in very crude terms, using broken Arabic, showing his ignorance and lack of education about Sudanese and world affairs.

Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Egypt are the trifecta that support Hemeti and his killing machine, while the rest of the world condemns his brutal use of force against unarmed civilian. Saudi Arabia and Emirates extended arms and monetary assistance to him and his Rapid Support Force in exchange for his sending young people to fight their war against the Houthi in Yemen and to stop any spark of revolution that can engulf their own corrupt regimes. Hemeti met with the king-in-waiting, Mohamad Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, whose record on human rights is questionable, as reported by our own CIA.

The killing of the innocent Sudanese protesters was condemned by many countries, and most harshly by the African Union, which has decided not to recognize the present rulers or the Transition Military Council as representatives of Sudan in its organization.

What is the state of the United States and Europe on all this tragedy, you ask? The U.S. and EU gave the standard lip service of condemning the use of force against civilians while they continue to supply arms to these repressive regimes to be used for the same thing they condemn – killing the innocents in Yemen and now in Sudan.

To their credit, some of the U.S. representatives in Congress and a few senators have raised alarm about the situation in Sudan, and they are trying to put pressure on the administration to do more to help the situation.

As an immigrant from Sudan and a U.S. citizen, I applaud their efforts and hope the Trump administration becomes more forceful in supporting the peaceful Sudanese citizens’ movement.

Mohamed Salih is a Cheyenne resident. Email: msalihwy@gmail.com.

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