Social Media all over the world is going blue. The reason? To raise awareness about the devastating conflict in Sudan which has led to the loss of dozens of lives over the last 2 months. Protesters have claimed that the military recently ordered a deadly crackdown on them last week after protests over who should lead Sudan's transition to democracy. The opposition claims that as many as 118 people were killed during the crackdown and hundreds were injured.
The east African country has been rocked by months of protests that erupted over a hike in bread prices before transforming into nationwide demonstrations against President Omar al-Bashir's iron-fisted 30-year rule.
The devastating conflict in Sudan is very real and needs global attention. But as soon as #BlueForSudan and #IAmTheSudanRevolution started gaining momentum on social media, a number of new pages on social media platforms have come up claiming that the owners/moderators of those pages will provide humanitarian aid to Sudanese people if their pages are followed and their posts are shared.
It is evident that these pages are not trustworthy due to a number of reasons. These pages are new, most of these pages have shared their first post just 2 days ago and don't have any website, any office address or any clear way of how they will provide the aid to Sudan now that travel is restricted. These pages are also sharing images and videos that seem to be morphed and in some cases, aren't even related to Sudan.
Some of these pages are also being used to peddle fake news, which can make the situation worse in Sudan.
What you can do?
There are genuine humanitarian organizations working in Sudan such as Save The Children, UN OCHA Sudan, UNICEF Sudan; you can support them as required to help Sudanese people.
Children's rights do not expire. Our team on the ground is today transporting 22,000 cartons of Ready to Eat Therapeutic Food (RUTF) and life-saving medication to the hardest to reach children under 5, in #Sudan . pic.twitter.com/aFqPDcC4Kv— UNICEF Sudan (@UNICEFSudan) June 12, 2019
Verify every post, an Instagram story that you share, genuine awareness-raising posts must be shared to increase global attention towards Sudan. But peddling fake news can become a disaster for Sudan and needs to be avoided.