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Sudan’s opposition says it will start preparing for ‘revolutionary escalation’

Published: June 18, 2019
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Sudan’s opposition coalition known as Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change said that it will launch a campaign for popular activism and prepare for “revolutionary escalation.”

This came after the deputy head of the ruling military council, Lt. Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, vowed to hold accountable those responsible for killing protesters during the dispersal of their sit-in camp that was staged in Khartoum outside the army’s General Command building.

In a speech that he gave to a public audience and was aired on Sudanese state-run TV, Daglo denied that involvement of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces in any acts of violence during the sit-in’s dispersal.

On their part, the Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change called for continued opposition to the transitional military council through holding popular seminars and staging night-time protests. The opposition coalition’s call came in a statement that was published on Facebook.

Negotiations between the transitional military council the Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change had stopped. The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry has made efforts as a mediator towards restoring negotiations in Sudan.

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For almost a week, Sudan has been completely cut off from the internet. It started slowly, with a series of intermittent disruptions during months of protests against former President Omar al-Bashir's 30-year rule. Al-Bashir was toppled in April, but the protests did not end and demonstrators began demanding that the Transitional Military Council (TMC) call new elections. On June 3, as security forces violently dispersed a protest camp in the capital, Khartoum, all mobile access to the internet was cut.

Sudan's public prosecutor has charged jailed former President Omar al-Bashir with corruption, according to state media. Al-Bashir was overthrown and arrested in a coup by the military on April 11 after months of mass protests against his 30-year autocratic rule. The SUNA news agency on Thursday quoted an official source as saying that al-Bashir "had been charged under foreign exchange possession materials, the heinous and suspicious wealth and emergency orders".

Protest campaign will continue until military transfers power to civilian government, organisers say. Sudanese police have fired tear gas at protesters taking part in a "civil disobedience" campaign, called in the wake of a deadly crackdown on demonstrators, that began on Sunday. Protesters gathered tyres, tree trunks and rocks to build new roadblocks in Khartoum's northern Bahari district, an unnamed witness told AFP news agency, but riot police swiftly moved in and fired tear gas to disperse the crowd. "Almost all internal roads of Bahari have roadblocks. Protesters are even stopping residents from going to work," said the witness.

Sudan’s military has used live ammunition to disperse protesters in the capital, Khartoum, according to reports. A medical association close to the protesters said that at least 13 people have been killed and dozens injured. 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.

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