Politics

Sudan security forces fire teargas on anti-coup demonstrators


Anti-coup demonstrators built street barricades in and around Khartoum following calls for civil disobedience by the Sudanese Professionals Association.

Activists were seen working in darkness to pile up bricks and large slabs to block streets in Khartoum and neighbouring cities.
Activists were seen working in darkness to pile up bricks and large slabs to block streets in Khartoum and neighbouring cities.
(Marwan Ali / AP)

Sudanese security forces have fired tear gas at an anti-coup rally in Khartoum to protest last month’s military takeover.

“We organised a silent stand against Burhan’s decisions, outside the Ministry of Education,” Mohamed al Amin, a geography teacher who took part in a protest Sunday against the country’s top general, Abdel Fattah al Burhan.

“Police later came and fired tear gas at us though we were simply standing on the streets and carrying banners” which read: “no, no to military rule,” and called for transition to “full civilian rule,” he added.

There were no immediate reports of casualties but a union of Sudanese educators said “a large number of teachers were detained.”

Sudanese anti-coup demonstrators built street barricades in and around the capital following calls for civil disobedience by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), an umbrella of unions to protest last month’s military coup.

Activists were seen working in darkness to pile up bricks and large slabs to block streets in Khartoum and neighbouring cities overnight Saturday, according to witnesses and AFP news agency correspondents.

The SPA circulated its appeals via text messages to bypass internet outages since October 25, the day of the putsch.

“The Sudanese people have rejected the military coup,” the SPA said on Twitter, vowing “no negotiation, no partnership, no legitimacy”.

READ MORE: Sudan protest movement rejects power-sharing agreement with military

By Sunday morning, some shops were still open but others were shuttered in Khartoum and its twin cities of Omdurman and Khartoum-North, according to witnesses.

“Movement on the streets is less than usual but there is not full blockage of streets or closure of shops” after the civil disobedience call, said a witness from Omdurman who declined to give his name fearing reprisals.

Earlier, the SPA was instrumental in the 2018-2019 protests which ousted the longtime autocratic President Omar al Bashir.

READ MORE: Sudan blames Omar al Bashir’s supporters for attempted coup

Another military takeover

Almost two weeks ago Sudan’s top general Abdel Fattah al Burhan dissolved the government as well as the ruling joint military-civilian Sovereign Council that was supposed to lead the country toward full civilian rule.

He also declared a state of emergency and detained Sudan’s civilian leadership, including Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and members of his government.

Hamdok was later placed under effective house arrest and the military has since Thursday released four civilian members of his government.

Other key figures remain in detention.

This move triggered nationwide protests – including by tens of thousands on October 30 – and have been met by a deadly crackdown.

At least 14 demonstrators have been killed and about 300 wounded, according to the independent Central Committee of Sudan’s Doctors.

The military takeover sparked international condemnation, including punitive aid cuts and demands for a swift return to civilian rule.

Burhan insists it “was not a coup” but a move to “rectify the course of the transition.”

READ MORE:
International criticism to Sudan coup swells amid rise in protest deaths

Source: AFP



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