October 6th, 2013
A Killing By Sudanese Security Forces Stokes The Anger of a Protest Movement
Synopsis: Last month, a pharmacist by the name of Salah Sanhouri was shot in the back while trying to take cover from armed forces who were firing at a local demonstration in Sudan. These demonstrations near Sudanese capital began after the government lifted subsidies on gasoline, which in the end, almost doubled the price of fuel, ultimately raised the price of other goods. The economy of Sudan took a turn for the worst when South Sudan split off to form a separate country two years ago. When they split, South Sudan took 75% of the oil revenue that the, now two separate countries, once shared. Mr. Sanhouri supported peaceful protest and for this particular demonstration, wrote “Peaceful” on paper banners. The protesters were met by police officers who used tear gas in attempt to break up the demonstration. The officers soon fired shots into the air, causing the protesters to run and take cover. But Mr. Sanhouri did not make it to safety, and was shot. This article presents a controversial issue because it discusses a peaceful, patriotic citizen who was unrightfully punished by the local police officers.
Analysis: While controlling the prices of oil and other goods is an issue that is difficult to solve and maintain, the behavior and actions of local police officers is an issue that can be much more easily monitored and solved. The shooting in Sudan reminds me of Birmingham, 1963. Both instances began with demonstrators peacefully protesting and resulted in the police officials taking unnecessary actions. While Birmingham was a much bigger and more significant overall issue, the recent shooting in Sudan reflects similar problems. Acting upon their own citizens with tear gas in order to end a peaceful demonstration was not the best chosen way to go about the matter. Even though the open firing began straight in the air as a warning, Mr. Sanhouri was still shot and died later that day. The Sudanese government has many economic issues on their hands, but while these may take priority, they must not forget the minor issues that are taking place beneath the surface.