Africa

Election results can provide an important barometer of the mood in society. The results of the Sixth National and Provincial elections on 8 May confirm that there is a deep ferment in South African society. The sharp drop in voter turnout, together with the high abstention from the election process, especially by the youth, meant that, for the first time ever, a minority of the voting-age population voted in the elections. This is highly significant in a country where the working class conquered the right to vote from the ruling class only 25 years ago.

We publish here a second round of May Day reports, from Pakistan, Indonesia, El Salvador and Nigeria. In all these countries, the on-going capitalist crisis has led to great exploitation and injustice, and workers are engaged in struggles on several fronts for decent wages and living conditions. Many are drawing radical conclusions, and responded very well to our comrades’ message of revolutionary class struggle!

Libya is gripped by civil war. General Haftar has launched an offensive to oust President Fayez al-Serraj and his Government of National Accord (GNA), which is recognised by the UN. The offensive began on the same day that the General Secretary of the UN, António Guterres, arrived in Tripoli to secure a national reconciliation conference, scheduled on 14 April. His visit was useless, as the UN has been in Libya since 2011.

The removal of Sudan’s former dictator, Omar al-Bashir, on 11 April did not spell the end of the Sudanese Revolution. On the contrary, far from meeting the main demands of the revolution, the army power grab is an attempt to disorientate the masses and steal their accomplishment. However, the masses are not letting go of their hard-earned victory that easily.

After the removal of the now former President Omar al-Bashir from power yesterday by the military, the people of Sudan remain on the streets. They are rejecting the curfew and military transitional council led by Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf, the former First Vice President of Sudan. Yesterday, in response to the new transitional government formed by the regime old guard, chants could be heard saying “We won’t replace Koaz [An Islamist leader - ed] by another, Ibn Auf we will crush you, we are the generation that will not be fooled” and "the revolution has only just begun".

Yesterday, 11 April, on the back of a revolutionary movement that has lasted for more than four months, the Sudanese people have overthrown General Omar al-Bashir. The overthrow of Bashir, a man who had ruled Sudan with an iron fist for thirty years, is an important victory, not only for the Sudanese people, but for the whole region. However, it is important that this be only the first step in a revolutionary process, which must end with the overthrow of the regime as a whole.

After almost three decades in power, Omar al-Bashir has been ousted as president of Sudan by popular protests. The masses have come onto the streets in what can only be described as a revolutionary movement, although one without clear leadership or demands. Bashir himself has been arrested and is being “kept in a safe place” by the military.

Late last Friday (5 April), the Casablanca Court of Appeal upheld the verdicts handed down by the Court of First Instance on Tuesday 26 June 2018 against detainees from the Rif movement, and the journalist Hamid Mehdaoui. Collectively, the defendants will face sentences of more than 300 years, including 20 years for four detainees, 15 years for three, 10 for seven, and so forth.

Since the start of the academic year, there has once again been a major upsurge of mass protests at nearly all universities in South Africa. These protests are a continuation of the mass movement in the universities in 2015 around the issues of affordability of higher education.

Algerians poured onto the streets in celebration yesterday night, after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced his resignation. This comes after one-and-a-half months of mass protests against his rule. But this alone will not solve anything, and the masses are now calling for the downfall of the whole regime.

On Tuesday (26 March), the old general, Gaid Saleh, appeared again on Algerian state television to read a statement, with great difficulty and many errors. He was keen to start, as usual, by warning the Algerian people that their protests “might be exploited by hostile local and external forces, which resort to suspicious manoeuvres aimed at destabilising the country”, without specifying who these forces are.

As strikes get underway throughout Algeria, the ruling class is yet again retreating in the face of the revolutionary masses. More and more top officials are calling for the resignation of Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

The revolutionary movement in Algeria is keeping up its momentum as the regime begins to crumble. Millions of people took to the streets again on Friday 22 March and a new general strike movement is developing, which could bring down the whole rotten regime.

Yesterday, millions of Algerians took to the streets for the fourth consecutive Friday to protest against the regime of Abdelaziz Bouteflika. According to initial accounts, the protests were even bigger than the record protests that shook the regime last Friday (8 March). Long accustomed to carrying out all of its crimes with impunity, the regime is now being forced to realise that the revolutionary masses are not going to give up easily.

Yesterday evening, the streets of Algeria erupted with joy after the announcement that the hated, de facto dictator-for-life was withdrawing from the presidential election scheduled for April. “No fifth term for Bouteflika!” was the rallying cry of the masses for weeks. Now it seems that they have achieved their goal.