News Release

Mass Protests in: * Sudan * Honduras

KHALID MUSTAFA MEDANI, khalid.medani at mcgill.ca
Khalid Mustafa Medani is chair of the African Studies Program at McGill University. He was recently on the PBS “NewsHour” and on The Real News.

He said today: “In the worst massacre since the beginning of Sudan’s peaceful popular uprising, yesterday at least 35 people were killed, and hundreds injured by Janjaweed militia linked to the Military Council led by Gen. Abdelfatih Burhan. At the moment the same militia responsible for the killing of hundreds of thousands of Sudanese in Darfur is occupying the capital of Khartoum and attempting to break the general strike announced by the opposition group the Forces of Freedom and Change.

“The military generals and their militia are counting on the silence of the international community in its attempt to destroy the majority of Sudanese who have been protesting peacefully for a civilian-led government and democracy. They have cut off the internet and all outside communication signalling their intent to put down the uprising by force.

“Backed by its benefactors in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the UAE, Burhan and the Janjaweed leader Hemeti are claiming that this is the only true path to stability and have called for early elections in order to silence the international community’s opposition to its brutality while simultaneously preserving the institutions and para-military forces of the ousted Omer Bashir regime. … The utilization of the Janjaweed militia to put down the uprising by brute force will lead to, as in Darfur, mass killings and instability at the very heart of the capital city in ways that will destabilize Sudan as well as the region.”

ADRIENNE PINE, pine at american.edu, @adriennepine
Assistant professor of anthropology at American University, Pine was one of the final four embassy protectors in the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, D.C. Pine was on an accuracy.org news release just after her arrest: “Warnings of Venezuela Becoming U.S. Puppet from Honduras Expert.”

She said today: “The fire at the U.S. embassy in Tegucigalpa last Friday took place in the context of over a month of teacher- and healthcare-worker-led protests against IMF-led legislation to privatize both sectors. The new laws would include massive layoffs and would destroy what’s left of public education and healthcare in Honduras. The ongoing protests also build on the anger against Juan Orlando Hernandez, who came to power with a rigged election. It’s a coincidence that the news broke a few days ago that he’s being investigated by the DEA; his drug trafficking ties have been well known in Honduras for many years. But the DEA investigation certainly increases frustration with the State Department, which — despite also knowing of his DEA investigation — has thrown its weight fully behind his presidency.”

Kevin Zeese, another of the final four embassy protectors warned shortly before the U.S. government broke into the embassy: “Violating the Vienna Convention at an embassy in Washington, D.C. sends a message to the world that embassies in Washington, D.C. are no longer protected by international law. It sends a message around the world that U.S. embassies are not subject to the Vienna Convention either. There’ll be tremendous blowback to this; tremendous risk.”