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Blue wave sweeps social media in solidarity with Sudanese protests

On Instagram, Twitter and elsewhere, people are changing their photos to the favourite colour of a protester slain as he reportedly tried to protect two women
Profile pictures on social media are being changed to shades of blue in solidarity with the Sudanese revolution

A wave of blue is sweeping social media in solidarity with the Sudanese revolution.

Social media users are changing their profile pictures to the colour as part of a campaign to raise awareness about a Sudanese protester killed by a notorious militia. 

Mohamed Mattar, a 26-year-old engineer and graduate of London's Brunel University, was shot by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on 3 June, reportedly as he attempted to shield two women from harm.

He was killed in the peaceful sit-in demonstration that had massed outside the military headquarters in Khartoum demanding the armed forces hand power over to a civilian administration.

The hashtag #BlueForSudan has spread across social media platforms as a tribute to the protester, as blue was believed to be his favourite colour.

Both the profile pictures and the hashtag have begun to be used as a symbol of solidarity with all Sudanese protesters, not only Mattar.

Sarah al-Amoudi, a Yemeni Instagram user, told Middle East Eye: “The blue profile pictures alone make people inclined to read why so many of us are blue. There is minimal news coverage for a country that is bleeding.”

Instagram’s story feature has been a key tool in raising awareness, with many people sharing details of the protests, particularly as internet access has been intermittent in parts of Sudan since the protests started. 

“In a relatively short amount of time we went from slight optimism to absolute disgust, yet it is still not being given the news coverage that it deserves," Mohamed Abdelrahman, who describes himself a part of the Sudanese British diaspora, told MEE.

"The more people who make their display picture blue, the more people are likely to look into it and consequently spread awareness of the issue.”

One Sudanese social media user, who wished to remain anonymous, told MEE: “Since there are internet cuts, we as humans have to tell the world about Sudan.”

Sudan has experienced a “near total blackout” of internet services in recent days as the military has cracked down on protesters.

Since a military coup in April that removed longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir, a Transitional Military Council has held power and entered into sporadic negotiations with protest leaders about transferring control of the country.

Last week the military and RSF cleared the sit-in, killing more than 100 people.

Protests began in Sudan in December, when citizens in the northern town of Atbara, exasperated by a surge in living costs, burned down the ruling party’s headquarters.