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Unheard Voices: An Ethiopian Perspective on the Sudan Crisis

The situation in Khartoum, Sudan, in mid April 15, 2023. Army and paramilitaries were clashing. Photo : Reuters via the Crisis Group

(Essayias Lesanu)

From the vibrant urban center of Addis Ababa, the heartbeat of the African Union, to the political hub of Washington DC, we all find ourselves in an astonished hush, witnessing the escalating crisis in Sudan. Being an Ethiopian immigrant residing in the USA, I can’t help but question what led to the Sudanese predicament. I am aware of the precarious state of my home country, Ethiopia, and many fear that it could be the next hotspot for the crisis. God protects us from such fate. While some may criticize me for focusing on Sudan’s crisis as our own troubles intensify, I maintain that our issues are not isolated but intertwined. The story that emerges from these intertwined roots is one of shared concern for a neighboring country’s struggles and the puzzling indifference of the international community.

Sudan has always held a special place in the hearts of Ethiopians. When the oppressive Derg regime cast a shadow over Ethiopia, Sudan became a beacon of hope, a safe haven for thousands of Ethiopian immigrants. The Sudanese people, with their innate kindness and hospitality, extended open arms to these displaced souls, providing them with shelter, compassion, and a sense of belonging during those dark times.

The cultural, historical, and emotional threads that have woven Ethiopia and Sudan together have endured, reminding us of our shared past and interconnected futures. These ties are now stained with worry as we watch Sudan descend into chaos. Yet, the international community, once the harbingers of humanitarian aid and peace, seem to be maintaining a distance, their voices muted and their actions lacking.

Following the evacuation of their citizens from Sudan, Western nations and Europe have moved on to other agendas, seemingly turning a blind eye to the escalating crisis. Their sudden disinterest is puzzling, considering their proclaimed commitment to universal human rights and democracy.

As an Ethiopian living in the USA, this cold shoulder extended to Sudan’s crisis is particularly disheartening. I watch, as the mainstream American media, known for their robust coverage of international affairs, offer only sporadic and shallow reports on Sudan. This silence is deafening, leaving me questioning the selective attention toward global crises.

Why has Sudan’s plight been left in the shadows when the need for international intervention and aid is so glaring? Why does the world turn away when Sudanese civilians are bearing the brunt of political discord, caught in a crippling humanitarian crisis?

This crisis, this suffering is not abstract – it is a horrifying reality for millions. It’s time the world remembers Sudan’s generosity to its neighbors, and its willingness to provide refuge to those in need. Just as Sudan once opened its doors to Ethiopian immigrants, the international community must now open its heart to the suffering of the Sudanese people.

The crisis in Sudan calls for our collective attention, action, and empathy. We must rally our governments, our institutions, and our communities to not only acknowledge but act upon this crisis.

As an Ethiopian, as an immigrant, and as a global citizen, I carry Sudan’s stories within me, stories of kindness, resilience, and hope. I urge the world to listen to Sudan, to give voice to its silenced cries, and to mobilize toward a peaceful resolution. We owe it to the people of Sudan, who once opened their doors in our time of need. Now it’s our turn to stand with them, break the silence, and return their kindness with our unwavering support. It is time the world reiterates its commitment to peace, human rights, and empathy.

Watching this crisis unfold from the USA has only strengthened my sense of connection to Sudan and the urgency for international intervention. It brings to light the vital role of the international community in addressing crises beyond their borders, underlining the universal responsibility we all share when it comes to upholding human rights and democratic values.

In a world where we are more interconnected than ever, geographical distance should not dilute the urgency of a humanitarian crisis. As an Ethiopian immigrant living in the USA, I implore my fellow citizens and our leaders to leverage the power and influence of our great nation. Let’s push for diplomatic action, humanitarian aid, and for increased media attention. Let’s be the allies that the Sudanese people need in their fight for stability and peace.

Sudan’s generosity to its neighbors in their time of need must not be forgotten. The Sudanese people have demonstrated admirable strength and compassion in providing refuge to Ethiopian immigrants during the darkest of times. It is a testament to their spirit, a spirit that now needs our support to overcome the trials they face.

We owe it to them, to stand up, to raise our voices, and to help draw the attention of the world to their plight. Let us not allow the stories of Sudanese suffering to remain untold, let us not let the silence persist. It’s not enough to merely see or hear – we must feel, we must empathize, and most importantly, we must act. It’s time we amplified the stifled cries of Sudan, it’s time we ensured that they are not just heard, but that they lead to significant change.

As an Ethiopian, I know the debt of gratitude we owe to Sudan. As an immigrant in the USA, I understand the immense potential of a unified, vocal response to a crisis. As a global citizen, I recognize the shared responsibility we have towards each other. In this spirit, let’s stand in solidarity with Sudan, breaking the silence and working towards a peaceful resolution.

Our shared humanity should be our guide during these trying times. For in our collective strength lies the power to influence change, to offer refuge in the face of adversity, and to prove that the world has not forgotten Sudan. For the sake of Sudan, and for us all, let’s break the silence and act now.

(The author of this article can be contacted via email at Essulesanu@gmail.com)

Editor’s note : Views in the article do not necessarily reflect the views of borkena.com 

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1 COMMENT

  1. a) “indifference of the international community.” >>> routine when it comes to the BLACK RACE
    b) ” Western nations and Europe have moved on to other agendas, seemingly turning a blind eye to the escalating crisis”.
    >>>>> Not “seemingly”; it is deliberate as always.
    c) “I urge the world to listen to Sudan, ” >>>> Are you serious Dear Ato Essayias Lesanu
    d) ” Why does the world turn away when Sudanese civilians are bearing the brunt of political discord…. ” The world knows
    why, fro A to Z. Please Dear My Country Man be frank and open.
    e) ” As an Ethiopian, as an immigrant, and as a global citizen, I carry Sudan’s stories within me, stories of kindness,
    resilience, and hope. I urge the world to listen to Sudan…” Dear Essayias Lesanu), my Dear Continental Friend: YOU
    ARE THE MOST HONEST HUMAN BEING. But COLONIALISM HAS DEAF EARS, BLIND EYES and IRON FEELING when
    it comes to BLACK SKIN HUMAN BEINGS. THERE IS NO IRON SKIN FEELING MORE THAN THAT ON OUR
    HUMAN BEINGS
    f) “Our shared humanity should be our guide during these trying times. For the sake of Sudan, and for us all, let’s break the
    silence and act now. ”

    DEAR FRIEND,
    YOU ARE AN ANGEL and for that matter it is well known that BLACK AFRICANS ARE THE KINDEST HUMAN BEINGS ON OUR PLANET EARTH. NO BODY CAN DENY THAT CHARACTERISTIC , except we know who. SADLY, NOT KNOWING THE MYSTERY of OUR PLANET, WE WILL KEEP ON GOING WITH OUR DIGNITY — NOT WITH >>>>>>……………… I better not finish it!!!!!!!!!!!

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