Thousands of Sudanese marched in Khartoum, the capital, and other cities on Wednesday in new protests against a military coup in October that threw the African country into political instability and exacerbated its economic troubles.
It was the latest attempt to put pressure on the ruling generals, whose takeover has sparked daily public rallies calling for civilian government. Pro-democracy activists organized the marches in Khartoum and Omdurman, which were held despite heavy security near the presidential palace, which has seen violent clashes in previous protests.
There were other rallies in the east, in Qadarif and Port Sudan, and in the west, in the war-torn Darfur region. Young people are shown on social media putting tires on fire and blocking highways, which corresponds to Associated Press account.
Sudan’s democratic transition was thrown off by the army’s takeover, which came after three decades of brutality and international isolation under autocratic President Omar Al-Bashir. It also threw the country’s already frail economy into disarray, with living conditions degrading swiftly. In April 2019, a public rebellion pushed the military to depose Al-Bashir and his Islamist administration.
According to a Sudanese medical association, a crackdown on protestors has killed more than 90 people, largely young men, and injured hundreds since the coup.
Western governments and international financial organizations have halted aid to Sudan in an effort to persuade the generals to return to civilian rule.
Last month, the UN ambassador for Sudan warned that the country was on the verge of “economic and security collapse” unless the political stalemate caused by the coup was addressed.
The Sudanese Professionals’ Association and the so-called Resistance Committees, which were at the heart of the revolt against Al-Bashir and are now leading anti-coup protests, called for the marches on Wednesday. They want a rapid transition to a totally civilian administration, as well as the ouster of the coup leaders and their prosecution in “quick and fair trials.”
Ned Price, a spokesman for the US State Department, urged Sudan’s military rulers on Tuesday to allow peaceful protests to “continue without fear of violence.”
Sudan’s Central Reserve Police, which it defined as a militaristic element of the country’s police forces, was sanctioned by President Joe Biden’s administration last month for deploying violence against pro-democracy rallies.
The current demonstrations take place on the third anniversary of the start of a sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum, which accelerated Al-ouster. Bashir’s
They also coincide with the 37th anniversary of President Jaafar Al-ouster Nimeiri’s in a bloodless coup in 1985, following a popular uprising. The military rapidly handed authority over to an elected administration at the time.
The unstable regime lasted only a few years before Al-Bashir, a professional army officer, formed an alliance with Islamist hardliners and overthrew it in a coup in 1989.