Wednesday next week will mark the first anniversary of the horrible Khartoum massacre. On the 3rd of June 2019, the last day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, units of the Sudanese army, police and the notorious Rapid Support Forces (RSF, formerly known as Janjaweed) violently dispersed protesters who gathered peacefully at a sit-in near the army headquarters. According to a doctors’ group, more than 100 demonstrators were killed, 326 injured (New York Times) and 70 protesters were raped (The Guardian). Human Rights Watch collected testimonies of this very dark chapter of Sudanese history in a detailed report and the BBC analyzed and compiled 300 videos of protesters and produced a documentary (Trigger warning! Disturbing images, BBC).
Soon after the massacre, Sudanese artist Ahmed Amin released the song ‘Civil, Freedom & Peace‘ expressing the pain felt by the Sudanese society. Written by Bushraa Albotana, the song gives space to shock, grief and remembrance of the victims. The song highlights the disproportional force that demonstrators faced while protesting peacefully, ‘We faced DShK & RPG, We wanna build a new Sudan‘ or ‘In spite of we gave them dates and flowers, They gave us back a hundred of bullets‘. DShK (Soviet heavy machine gun) and RPG (Rocket propelled grenade) relate to the heavy artillery used by the government forces.
The video evokes deep emotions among some Sudanese. In the video below, you can see how the track is played at a large event, where women sing along the track with a sorrowful voice.
“In spite of we gave them dates and flowers
They gave us back a hundred of bullets
They attacked us, while ladies were sleeping
They sweep us by DShK
We came asking to be united for sake of Sudan
But they betrayed us in the middle of nowhere
During inviolable holy great Ramadan”