SALT LAKE CITY — Sudan is currently in the middle of a crisis, and celebrities, social media influencers and more are trying to raise awareness about the situation.
What happened: Back in April, Sudan President Omar al-Bashir was ousted by the military and arrested after being in power for 30 years, according to The New York Times. Civilians protested food shortages and rising prices, soon turning to anti-government protests.
- Talks began between civilians and the military about who would take over once al-Bashir was out of power. Reports suggested that the military would hand over power to the civilians. But those talks broke down on June 3 when all agreements between the military and civilians were nullified, which led to a massive strike from the people.
- “The pro-democracy movement, led by the Sudanese Professionals Association, wants civilian rule and a long period of transition before new elections are held to prepare for voting, while the military leaders reportedly want voting to take place in nine months,” according to Fast Company.
- The military then reportedly killed dozens and wounded hundreds of protesters in response. The World Health Organization reported that 52 peaceful protesters were killed and 700 more were injured. According to Al Jazeera, the incident was the “worst violence” in the country since the overthrow.
- Doctors report at least 118 people have died since June 3. Hundreds more have been attacked, beaten and arrested. More than 70 women have reportedly been raped by paramilitaries, Refinery29 reports.
- The military reportedly wants to return power to civilians once the national security threat is over, according to the Financial Times. But, according to Fast Company, the military shut down the country’s internet to prevent their "victims from reporting the crimes or asking for help from the global community.”
What’s being done: Celebrities and social media influencers are speaking out.
- George Clooney wrote an essay for Politico explaining how Congress should act quickly to help people in Sudan.
- Rihanna posted a photo on social media with a message about Sudan, according to BET: "They're shooting people's houses, raping women, burning bodies, throwing them in the Nile like vermin, tormenting people, urinating on them, making them drink sewage water, terrorizing the streets, and stopping Muslims from going to eid prayer. There is an Internet blackout! Please share. Raise awareness."
- Social media influencers have changed their profile photos to just the color blue, which was the favorite color of one slain protester.
- The Guardian’s Kate Ferguson wrote an opinion piece calling for the U.K. government to get involved.
- The State Department appointed Donald Booth to help the U.S. find a political solution that reflects what the Sudanese people want, according to CNN.
- Critics have said the White House hasn’t done anything to help Sudan, though.
- U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Tibor Nagy has also commented on the crisis, according to NBC News.
What you can do: Fast Company has a list of suggestions of what you can do to help:
- Call your member of Congress and ask them to get involved.
- Donate to UNICEF, which is looking to help children displaced during the crisis.
- Sign the Change.org petition that asks for the U.N. to investigate the June 3 attack.
- Donate to Save the Children, which has been in Sudan helping the country since 1984 .
Read more: How to help Sudan: 7 things you can do right now for a country in crisis (Fast Company)