Note: This op-ed originally appeared in African Arguments and was written by Dr. Suliman Baldo, Senior Advisor at the Enough Project, and Dr Lutz Oette, Director of the Centre for Human Rights Law at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.
Sudan has been gripped by daily popular protests for the last month. The Western media has largely ignored these developments.
Where it is the subject of brief articles, the uprising has been portrayed as spontaneous bread protests, which confuses their spark and circumstances with their causes. Accompanied by a focus on the brutal repression of the demonstrations, the coverage conveys images of suffering and powerlessness: in short, more of the same in a distant authoritarian state.
The media neglect, besides the telling contrast to the Darfur coverage in the mid-2000s, is an unfortunate omission that feeds into complacency and misperceptions. It is an abdication of the critical role of the fourth estate. It also mirrors the woefully inadequate responses by policymakers. Both fail to recognise the protests as a popular, peaceful, genuine grassroots uprising – a people’s revolution in the making…
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