Sunday, December 9, 2012

You Killed Our Students, You Killed Our People, You Killed Our Nation

University students were murdered last week*. Do you remember university? When you were technically an adult but still a child? I remember being a university student although I don’t remember how the years went by. I remember being full of hope and days filled with despair. Then more hope. Heated discussions of dreams and arguments about politics and ideas and schools of thought.
Today, university students are dead. Murdered by government forces. This brings me so much heartache. I think of the hope that their parents felt when they sent them off to seek knowledge. I imagine the students organizing a sit-in, staged to make a statement, wanting their voices to be heard. I can see them standing their ground as the “police” round them up, or their playful dash for freedom, that would make such a good story later.
The ones that were caught, knew they were going to be “slapped around”. Par for the course in the police state we have become. Then, I imagine their surprise when the beating became torture. I can feel their young hearts praying for it to stop, while the pain went on. And on. And on. I can see the confusion when the pain did stop, as harried forces decided to unceremoniously dump the bodies.
One child dying of torture may seem like a mistake to the feeble mind that ordered them “disciplined”. But how can they justify, even to themselves, the murder of two or three or four? There can be no mistake that this was murder. There was no holy calling to take these lives. They did not pose a security threat, nor were they enemies of the state. They were young men that were the victim of a system which gives power to cruel and twisted minds and silences those with minds that know what the world is supposed to be like. They might know this from innocence or intellect or philosophy or religion. They just know. This is not right. This is not how it should be.
They know all people are created equal. They know these equal people deserve basic rights of food, water, education, healthcare and security. They know that this land was rich and now it is poor. They know that a chosen few seized power and bled the country of its resources for personal gain, since Sudan has nothing to show for it. The ruling junta, in their desperation, has ceased to think rationally. In fact, they have even stopped pretending to pretend to think rationally.
In their famous “majaalis” today, what are they saying? Is there any outrage over the deaths of these children, that instead of being delivered to their families with honor, were left lying in a ditch? Or have they managed to find themselves a religious spin, to share among themselves, that they were forced to rid themselves of communists and infiltrators?
Is there no voice of reason among them to tell them to leave, that they have stripped this country of everything – land, resources, morality and lives?
We want accountability. We want justice. We want them gone.
This is not the first heinous act that this government is responsible for. Even if they say that an “isolated few” are responsible for the burning of villages or the deaths of Awadia, schoolchildren of Nyala and now University of Al-Gezira students, the truth is that they were never held accountable, therefore the collective responsibility remains that of this “Government of Salvation”.
Every day, the irony of the name they gave themselves in the summer of ’89 is raised. “Take us back to where you saved us from,” the people beg. “What carnage would you have caused if you WEREN’T trying to save us?” people ask.
They came to save us but they tortured us and drained us and bled us and threw us in a ditch. They will not let us live, they will not leave us be. They actively pursue the people to wreak more havoc on our lives. Right when you say things can’t get any worse, they do. We have reached the very depths of despair, and they tell us to take a moment, because they still have more digging to do.
Government of Salvation, what more do you want of this land? What more do you want of these people?
If you cared for this land, you would have enriched it. If you cared for these people you would have raised them up. The cat is out of the bag. You are fooling no one. Criminals straddling a distinguished position among the most corrupt nations.
If there are honorable men among you, then speak up. We have spoken, “The people, want, the regime, to go!” This chant has resonated far and wide among our fellow nations. It is time for it to be heard here. It is long overdue, but better late than never.

*The Government of Sudan maintains that the deaths were not a result of criminal actions and the four boys drowned. There was also talk of an eel. Drowned. Electrocuted. Four boys. Swimming. In a ditch. After a demonstration. At night. (24th December 2012)