GroundBrief: Sudan protests, Hezbollah tunnels and Al-Qassam engineer dies.

Sudanese take to the streets in protest against inflation and skyrocketing food prices

Author: Joe Truzman

Protests across Sudan have erupted after the government hiked the price of bread from one Sudanese pound to three. Protests started in eastern Sudan before spreading into the capital of Khartoum. According to the Sudanese opposition leader, 16 people have been killed by government forces as of Saturday. Activists claim internet and social media access has been limited by telecom companies. Let’s take a closer look at the events unfolding on the ground across the country.


Even with limited internet and social media access, activists opposing government security forces have been successful in spreading video of their clashes against the government. In the following clip, security forces walk up to protestors and after a moment begin to attack.


Reports from activists claim a brutal crackdown by security forces. On Thursday a video was uploaded showing two men from the security forces beating a protestor.


Beatings by security forces are only part of the crackdown. On Wednesday, security forces shot and killed a protestor in eastern Sudan as mass protests against the government were being held. Gunfire continued against demonstrators as security forces drove through the crowds marching on the street.


Anti-government demonstrators are sharing ways to defend themselves on different social media platforms. In this example, a Facebook user explains how protestors can make cement balls with nails to disable security vehicles who raid demonstrations.


Going Forward:

The government of Omar-Bashir is under mounting pressure. The Sudanese pound is losing its value, inflation rising and the cost of food is becoming unaffordable for most Sudanese. A curfew has been imposed and a state of emergency has been declared. However, this won’t solve the issues that got Sudan to where it is now. The country can’t access desperately needed aid because it’s on an American list of state sponsors of terror, which disqualifies it from receiving any type of economic assistance from the World Bank. Coupled with the mounting evidence of government forces killing unarmed demonstrators, it is difficult to tell if Omar-Bashir’s government will be able to survive the chaos his country is currently experiencing.


News from around the region

Lebanon

Demonstrations organized by the Communist Party drew large crowds this week in Beirut to protest the continued political stalemate between government parties. It has been six months since elections, and a government has not yet been formed. Lawmakers continue to fight over power sharing. Protesters have taken to the streets to demand an end to the stalemate, which is hurting the already troubled economy and contributing to the climate of political corruption.


Israel

The IDF continued its operation to locate and destroy Hezbollah tunnels reaching from Lebanon into Israel. On Thursday, a tunnel from the Lebanese village of Ramiya was destroyed with explosives. The IDF warned residents in the area, including on the Lebanon side of the border, of their plans to destroy the tunnel.


Gaza

The military wing of Hamas, Al-Qassam Brigades, acknowledged Friday that one of their tunnel engineers, Ayman Zidan, had died. They were not specific about the cause of his death, only stating it was an “accident.” However, Qassam activists claimed Zidan was working on a tunnel underneath his home when it collapsed and killed him.


Yemen

Iranian-backed forces launched a surface to air missile against a Chinese-made CH4 combat drone on Sunday. The drone belonged to the Saudi-led military coalition which was conducting a mission over the northwestern province of Sa’ada when it was targeted.