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The Lions of Kharoum

On October 25, 2021, the army arrests civilian members of a power-sharing transitional council installed after the military's ouster of al-Bashir in April 2019 following a popular uprising.
Those arrested include Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. A state of emergency is declared and militia kill seven protesters and wound dozens in the following civil uprising against the military coup d'état.

Since the coup there are daily protest in the City of Khartoum. The military responds with inhumane violence. The protesters are targeted with rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades.
In January and March 2023, shortly before the outbreak of the civil war, various groups fought against the military government with daily demonstrations. “The Furious” or “The Lions of Diem” are loosely organized groups that strive for a democratic society.

Their meetings take place in the dark in the dusty areas away from the city center. Most of the activists are under 25 years old, and many have been repeatedly mistreated by the police or severely mutilated by military bullets. If you also see women at the demonstrations, the picture changes in the evening hours. Only men are at the meetings, planning the next few days' activities, drinking tea and eating together.

Members of "the Angry Ones" prepare for the demonstration the next day.
Ahmed Mohamed Margani, 19 with an injured hand and Adrob, 17 (nominal name). Adrob was hit in the head by a grenade and is wearing a surgical mask to protect his open wound. They are both members of the group “The Angry Ones” around Faith Ibrahim.

Faith Ibrahim, 39 (nickname Zigi von Siegfried). He lived in Germany from 1989 to 1999 and then in Holland until 2009. After his mother's death, he decided to return to Sudan in 2009. Faith reports how the Muslim brothers and the communists are trying to get him and his movement "Radbanu" - the angry ones - to their side. The people in the Diem district are tired of the corruption, the lies and the influence of radical Muslims. They want to live in a free world , live in a democratic country. "Shihada Sheik" is the motto - Whether you kill us, hurt us or imprison us, we will not back down!

In 2022, Faith was imprisoned for 21 days for allegedly killing a police officer or inciting a group of people to kill a police officer. He insists that he is not a leader of the uprising, but rather "a good spirit" for the many young people in his neighborhood. Their goal is a freely elected government for all Sudanese. Zigi attributes the movement's success to family solidarity. Many of the activists are related to one another.

Young adults relaxing in front of Ziggi house.

Nasrah Ajbna, 35, is one of Walid's younger sisters.
She is a member of the resistance committee in Diem. Nasrah had her last encounter with police at a court hearing against her uncle. She was forcibly denied access. She led protests against police violence from 2013 to 2017. In 2013, they destroyed the police station in the Diem district in a spontaneous uprising. Her sister Umnia was injured in the head by a grenade during the protests. Their shared uncle was recently arrested by the police and taken into custody for 41 days. The reason was military disobedience, as it had extended to shooting at demonstrators.
Nasrah and Sarah support the current December Revolution protests. Both take to the streets with the protesters and march to the presidential palace. They want justice, peace, stability for country. Since her sister's death, Nasrah is no longer afraid of the injustices in her country; she was too humiliated by the police and sees a meaning in her life: to make her sister's death a benefit for the entire country. Her sister's death was the trigger for the entire country to protest.

Main street of Diem, groups of young men stand in front of improvised roadblocks. A few women stand by, but mostly stay in the background. One has taken off her headscarf in protest. The approximately 500 young people want to march to the presidential palace. A union with the groups from the Quanduram and Bahir districts is not possible because the police have blocked all the bridges over the Nile. Some carry homemade body shields made of aluminum or thin sheet metal. They are the spearhead of the demonstration. The others follow behind because the police are deliberately firing tear gas grenades at the protesters. Half of the young people in the group around Ziggi have gunshot wounds from rubber bullets and hunting ammunition, which they show just as proudly as the homemade leather talismans they wear around their necks. Each of them shows a young man killed by the police or the militia. Their names are omnipresent in Khartoum, they are written on house walls and on photocopied posters that can be seen in every house.

Fatma Dafalla Ali, 20 on the left and Selma Mohammad Abbas, 20 on the right are best friends and have both been at the demonstrations from the very beginning of the uprising, which began on August 19, 2021 at the university in Khartoum. They are organized in the Faculty Council and FASTA. Selma is studying to be a civil engineer and Fatma is studying to be a surveyor.

Said, 36, was arrested three times during the 2021 protests, severely mistreated and was detained for a total of more than 5 weeks. He now heads the committee to commemorate the victims of police violence during the 2021 revolution in the Diem district. Since the severe mistreatment by the police, he has had multiple health problems, the most visible being a stiff left leg. The diem resistance committees in Diem has a lion's head (diamat qiama) as a symbol.

A boy carries a captured police shield through the market of Diem.

Sarah, 56, suffered a gunshot wound to the hand. She was also injured in the head and mouth by blows with rifle butts. She received only superficial treatment in the public hospital. Due to connections, she was able to have her injuries properly treated free of charge by the Faisal Private Hospital. She still suffers from pain in her arm and, like many others, has been denied compensation from the government.

In many houses and apartments in the city, people kept casings from stun or tear gas grenades. They serve as trophies and as confirmation of their activism against the military junta.

Waleed Ajbna, 38, is an artist in Diem and is responsible for many of the protest gafities in the district and in the city. Since the violent death of his sister Umia during the protests in 2019, he has been committed to democratic development in Sudan.

The mother of a boy who died in the protests speaks at a protest.

Muhammad, 32, was jailed for three months on October 25, 2021. His arrest was arbitrary as he sat in his car on the street. He was held in the approximately 1x1 meter prison cell with 10 other men from his Diem neighborhood. No charges were filed for three months. He was tortured several times, like the others. Electric shocks and beatings were the most common torture methods used on him. He had to have his head and knee injuries, which he suffered as a result of the torture, treated in Egypt for safety reasons.

Rana Abdel Rahim is a human rights lawyer. She defends the protesters, especially from the Diem district. She herself has been imprisoned several times for short periods by the military government.

Khalid Badradil's fighting name is Ankesh. On December 19, 2021, during a demonstration next to the parliament building, he picked up a stun grenade and threw it back towards the police forces. The grenade exploded in his right hand. He then had to walk to the hospital in the Ondruman district, on the other side of the Nile. Meanwhile, friends tried to stop his blood loss by temporarily binding his forearm. When he arrived at the hospital he had to state the cause of his injury, whereupon the police confirmed the cause of his injury in writing. Since then he has been listed as a terrorist by the police and is constantly at risk of being arrested.