As many of you have probably heard by now, government-backed soldiers in Khartoum, Sudan fired on protesters last week, murdering over 100 people.
It’s important to know why these protests were being held in the first place. The former leader of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, was recently removed from office amid accusations of genocide and war crimes. Al-Bashir had gained power through a military coup three decades prior. Because of his ties to the military, his removal was not taken lightly.
To further complicate matters, many of the pro-government military forces are former Janjaweed, the notorious paramilitary group responsible for countless horrific acts during the conflict in Darfur.
The protesters in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, want to ensure that the military does not regain power in their country. They do not want a repeat of the Al-Bashir regime.
I’ve been weighing whether or not I wanted to share news of this nature on this blog. This blog is supposed to be about travel, and teaching people useful information about how to enjoy their vacations on a budget. To post about massacres–or the mass rapes also being committed by the pro-government forces–seems very heavy for a travel blog.
I then asked myself this question: If I had read a news report about an architectural icon in Europe or in North America burning down, would I include that in my blog?
I’m sure my answer would be yes.
I would feel remiss if I posted about all the wonderful things in this world, but neglected to talk about the evil that went on as well. My travelogues have emphasized being realistic about the world since the day I started 9 to 5 Voyager. These Sudanese atrocities are as much a part of the world as the pyramids of Egypt, and deserve the same coverage.
I hope that the people of Sudan are successful in their protest efforts. I wish them nothing but the best, and nothing but the worst for the military forces responsible for this massacre. I look forward to the day when I can write a Best of Sudan blog post, and not cover these atrocities. Until then, my heart is with the people of Sudan.
Be safe out there.