2 lessons from these times

We write this from a London where the streets are, at this very minute, thronged with people trying to pay their last respects to Queen Elizabeth II. Many of those making this pilgrimage have migrated to the UK during her reign, and some remember Britain being the colonial power in their home country.

Queen Elizabeth II’s role in the twilight of Britain’s empire makes her a figure of controversy for some, and offers abiding joy for others. Sudan is not free from such tensions, as it became independent from Britain and Egypt in 1956, nearly three years after Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation.

We hear from those for whom Britain’s role in Sudan was meddling and burdensome, and from others who still hold deep love for British culture, people, customs, and traditions because of this time.
Queen Elizabeth II visits Sudan in 1965, pictured here with then Sudanese President El Tigani El-Mahi

At Waging Peace, we are reflecting on 2 lessons from Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.

Firstly, the presence of so many Paddington bears among the tributes left to the Queen suggests that the British public still holds space in their hearts for the exiled, the dispossessed, and those seeking refuge here.

Floral tributes garden for Queen Elizabeth II, Green Park, London
Secondly, while not perfect, we are witnessing what a peaceful handover of constitutional power to a new head of state can look and feel like.

Meanwhile Sudan will, as of this October, be marking a year since a military coup which derailed the country’s progress towards freedom, peace, and justice, and reversed the gains of the 2018-2019 people’s revolution.

Sudan’s coup leadership would do well to consider what their real duty is to the Sudanese population and to their wishes.
Thank you Ma’am, for everything
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