Sudanese protesters demand civilian rule, want army out

Thousands of Sudanese have rallied in the capital of Khartoum against the country's military and demanding the formation of new transitional authorities that would exclusively consist of civilians

Via AP news wire
Thursday 30 September 2021 20:00
APTOPIX Sudan
APTOPIX Sudan

Thousands of Sudanese rallied in the capital of Khartoum on Thursday to demand an exclusively civilian transitional government and accusing the generals now in power of derailing its transition to democracy. Security forces fired tear gas as protesters neared a central street housing government headquarters.

Sudan has been ruled by an interim, joint civilian-military government since 2019. The military ousted longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir in April that year, following four months of mass protests against his rule. Months after al-Bashir’s toppling, the ruling generals agreed to share power with civilians representing the protest movement.

“The objective of these marches is to protect Sudan’s democratic transition and there is no way to achieve that without ending any partnership with the military council,” said a statement issued by the Sudanese Professionals Association, which spearheaded the nationwide uprising that kicked off in December 2018 and culminated in al-Bashir’s ouster.

Tensions between the civilians and generals in the transitional government have increased since Sudan’s interim authorities last week said they foiled a coup attempt within the military. Officials blamed al-Bashir loyalists for the move.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok the civilian face of the government, described the coup attempt as an effort to undermine Sudan’s democratic transition. The interim government has been under pressure to end wars with rebel groups as it seeks to rehabilitate the country’s battered economy, attract much-needed foreign aid and deliver the democracy it promised.

On Thursday, demonstrators waved Sudanese flags and chanted pro-democracy slogans. They accuse the military of dragging its feet on the transfer of power to civilians, purging state institutions of remnants of al-Bashir's regime and bringing to justice those responsible for the killing of dozens of protesters in June 2019, when security forces dispersed a sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum.

In a scene reminiscent of the 2018 uprising, a train carried protesters from other Sudanese provinces to Khartoum. Train cars were packed, with demonstrators waving Sudanese flags from windows and making victory signs, while others rode on the rooftop of the slow-moving train.

The protesters were expected to march to the Republican Palace, the seat of the ruling Sovereign Council. The council was created by a power-sharing agreement signed in August 2019 by the military and pro-democracy activists. It consists of five military and six civilian members and is headed by Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan.

___

Elhennawy reported from Cairo Associated Press reporter Marwan Awad in Khartoum, Sudan, contributed to this report.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in