Sudan has been ruled by the Transitional Military Council since the ousting of authoritarian president Omar al-Bashir in April. The crackdown comes as participants in a long-running sit-in outside the army’s HQ have been demanding democratic reforms and for generals to hand over power.
On Monday, security forces started an operation to clear protesters from the camp. There have been reports of gunfire and explosions heard in the centre of Khartoum and neighbouring city Omdurman. Videos by Arab media and on social media show people fleeing the site of the sit-in. The central committee of Sudanese doctors, which confirmed the deaths of protesters, accused the military council of firing live bullets at people. The council has dismissed the accusation, saying the security forces had targeted criminals.
News of the attack caused sporadic unrest in the capital, with some protesters building barricades made of rocks and burning tyres. Roads, as well as one of the bridges connecting Khartoum and Omdurman, have reportedly been blocked.
The Sudanese Professionals Association, the group that initiated nationwide protests last December, has called on people to “go out to the streets” and “build barricades” while emphasizing the peaceful nature of the protest. “We call for continued struggle with full civil disobedience until the fall of” the Transitional Military Council, the group’s statement says.
The protesters and Sudan’s army chiefs have been stuck in a deadlocked negotiation over who should govern in a transitional period. The military said it would let protesters form a government but insists on maintaining authority during an interim period which is opposed by protesters.
The African Union (AU) yesterday gave the Sudanese Transitional Military Council another 60 days to hand over power to a civilian transitional authority or face the country’s membership being suspended. On 15 April, the AU gave the council 15 days to cede power, however, the TMC ignored the deadline.
Here's more from the statement by Sudan's Minister of Defense, Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf. He confirmed that President Omar al-Bashir had been forced from power and his government dissolved after months of demonstrations calling for his ouster. A two-year military council has been established to oversee a transition of power, ending Bashir's three decades of rule. The defense minister said that Bashir had been forcibly removed and was now being "kept at a safe place."
President Omar al-Bashir declared a state of emergency last month in response to the protest that erupted in mid-December of last year. This state of emergency is described by many as being a last ditch effort to quell the uprising in Sudan that threatens Omar al-Bashir’s presidency and his 30-year reign as a dictator.
Sudan announced that it had released some 2,430 protesters from custody yesterday, as US officials warned that the violent crackdown on demonstrators threatens Sudan’s removal from Washington’s terror blacklist.
A Sudanese political party has withdrawn from the country’s National Consensus Government and called on President Omar Al-Bashir to step down, after weeks of mass protests that have rocked the nation. The Umma Federal Party (UFP) led by Ahmed Babikir Nahar announced its support of the demonstrations, pointing to the failure of the government to provide basic commodities to the people. The withdrawal makes the UFP the third main political party to denounce Al-Bashir since protests against austerity measures and political autocracy began last month.
Protesters in Sudan are trying to imitate the Arab Spring uprisings that shook the region in 2011, President Omar al-Bashir said on Sunday during a visit to Egypt, Reuters reports. Bashir is facing the most sustained challenge since he came to power in a coup in 1989. Demonstrators have turned out almost daily across the country to call for an end to his rule.
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