BBC | Letter from Africa: ‘Sudan’s revolutionaries offline but not silenced’

In our series of letters from African journalists, Zeinab Mohammed Salih describes what life is like without the internet for Sudan’s revolutionaries.

Many Sudanese are still in shock after the crackdown by security forces who brutally broke up the crowds at the sit-in outside the military headquarters on 3 June.

The opposition says more than 100 people were killed in the capital, Khartoum, that day – and doctors say 40 of those who died were dumped into the River Nile.

In the wake of the massacre the internet was shut down by ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC), which said it was necessary in the interests of “national security”.

In the heady days of the mass protests that prompted the military’s ousting of Omar al-Bashir as president – nearly everyone in Khartoum was glued to their phone.

The main body organising the demonstrations – the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) – would make its announcement via its Facebook page, which has more than 800,000 followers.

Thousands used Twitter and Facebook to galvanise their efforts to demand a return to civilian rule.

Now that the sit-in site – which covered a vast area from the military’s HQ to the campus of University of Khartoum and north to the River Nile – is in ashes, there is an overwhelming feeling of isolation.

Not only are the demonstrators no longer able to gather, but they have found it difficult to communicate and share their disappointment, frustration and anger at the turn of events.

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