The tragic death of Mohammed Bouazizi was credited with sparking the protests in Tunisia; however, the death of al-Amin Musa in Omdurman’s marketplace on Friday 21 January has had far less international recognition as a political suicide and, as far as I can see at the moment, far less emotional and political impact on the protesters in Sudan today. Magdi el Gizouli has written an excellent post on the reactions of the Muslim clerical association and Sudanese government press here.
I’m very poorly informed about Egyptian politics, but my concern is that the protests in Egypt have precedent – 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010, from a quick look – and the Tunisian protests have come at the end of two years of political reshuffling and attempts to mitigate unrest. It’s not that north Sudan hasn’t had its share of constant protest, or that it’s not in the grip of a serious foreign exchange crisis and economic failure, but I’m concerned that these protests are inspired by the real hopes of change in Tunisia and (cross fingers) Egypt, and the idea of a political domino effect, among a few educated young Sudanese who are able to be socially active, in that they are willing and able to take the risks of protesting.
Regardless, I hope the people arrested today (and there are conflicting figures, up to several hundreds) are released quickly without harm.