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A 19-minute short film from the UK's Guardian newspaper, by director Phil Cox, highlights how one man has been honouring the memory of his best friend, killed by security forces in Sudan. Dressed as the intrepid hero Spiderman, he has been an eye-catching presence at protests in Sudan since 2019 – initially against the former dictator Omar al-Bashir (who was finally overthrown by a military coup in 2021) and now against the military regime ruling the country.

Remaining anonymous (much like the character from the comic book and big screen), he explains in the film, “We had a 30year dictatorship in Sudan. People died but in 2019 we won our revolution. Now, the generals, Burhan and Hemeti stole that revolution. They took all our new freedoms and my best friend from me.”

In the last six months around 95 protesters have been killed and hundreds injured and arrested but true to form, ‘Spiderman’ has escaped and remains a symbol of resistance.

When he is not demonstrating in the streets for the freedom of his country, he is teaching young homeless children the art of robotic dancing.


July Independence Day celebrations

1 July 2022 marks the 60th anniversary of Independence Day for Rwanda and Burundi.

Colonised by the German Empire in 1894, RuandaUrundi, now modern-day Rwanda and Burundi, was later occupied by Belgian forces in 1916 and under the Treaty of Versailles following World War I, offi cially came under Belgian rule.

The two states finally gained their independence in 1962 but it was a further two years before they were fully separated into the countries we know today.

In Rwanda, the celebration will be a low-key event as three days later marks Liberation Day (known locally as Kwibohora), marking the 1994 defeat of the genocidal regime – and it is then that the celebrations will truly begin.

Burundi will mark the occasion by a public holiday and celebrate not only independence but also a nation coming together following a turbulent and violent past. Colourful processions, dancing and parties are just part of the revels.

On a similar note, on 5 July, Algeria will celebrate its 60th anniversary of independence from France following a brutal eight-year war where many lives were sacrificed. The nation’s flag will fly proudly across the country and offi cial parades, concerts and cultural events will abound.

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