Hundreds demonstrate for civilian rule in Sudan - GulfToday

Hundreds demonstrate for civilian rule in Sudan


Women dance around a singer in Khartoum on Thursday. Reuters

Hundreds of Sudanese demonstrated in state capitals on Thursday, putting pressure on the ruling military council to cede power to civilians in ongoing tumult since the overthrow of former president Omar Al Bashir more than two months ago.

There were gatherings in each of the state capitals of Wad Madani, Al Ubayyid and Port Sudan to call for the Transitional Military Council to relinquish power.

Hundreds of protesters chanting ”civilian rule, civilian rule,” took part in demonstrations in several other cities.

”We came out today because our revolution is still incomplete. Our main demand is civilian rule and I’m sure we will achieve it,” said Mohamed Khalil, a protester from Port Sudan.

Witnesses said dozens of employees from private companies and ministries, including oil and information, held silent demonstrations outside their offices in Khartoum.

Some carried banners that read ”Murderers of June 3 must face trial,” a witness said.

On Thursday, the military council named Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah as new public prosecutor, after firing Al Waleed Sayyed Ahmed officially from the post, days after charges of corruption were brought against Bashir, judicial sources said.

No reason for the removal was given.

Abdullah had recently been appointed prosecutor for Khartoum, a role in which he was overseeing an investigation into the storming of the sit-in, state news agency Suna said.

The military council called for a renewal of negotiations on Wednesday, but there was no response from the opposition.

There have been no direct talks since the dispersal, but Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the African Union have been trying to mediate.

An envoy for Abiy would soon return to Khartoum with proposals for both sides, opposition sources said.

Stability in the nation of 40 million is crucial for a volatile region struggling with conflict and insurgencies from other African countries.

Deputy military council chief, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, said on Thursday that the mastermind behind the raid had been ”identified.”

But he declined to name the suspect, saying ”there’s no need to impact the investigation.”

”Whoever it is, whether from regular forces or a civilian, will be brought to trial. The investigation will be transparent and the trial will be public,” he said.

On Wednesday, Burhan called on protest leaders to resume talks without any conditions.

Protest leaders have expressed readiness to resume talks but on certain conditions.

They insist an internet blackout imposed after they launched a civil disobedience campaign this month be brought to an end.

They are also seeking an international probe into the killings and the acceptance of all earlier agreements reached in previous negotiations with the generals prior to the crackdown.

Bashir appeared on Sunday in front of another prosecutor to face charges of corruption and illegal possession of foreign currency.

Talks between the military and an opposition alliance collapsed when security forces stormed a protest sit-in outside the Defence Ministry on June 3, killing dozens.

The two sides had been wrangling for weeks over whether civilians or the military would control a new sovereign council to lead the Sudan to elections after the military deposed and detained long-time president Bashir in April.

The prolonged chaos has concerned world powers including the United States, which sanctioned Sudan under Bashir over its alleged support for militant groups and the civil war in Darfur.

The opposition accused the military council of ordering the sit-in’s bloody dispersal and wants an international inquiry. Witnesses said the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), headed by the military council’s deputy, carried out the violence.

The military said a crackdown on criminals spilled over to the sit-in area, but some officers have been detained for presumed responsibility.

Last week, the military acknowledged that security forces committed violations when they moved in to disperse the sit-in camp.

The spokesman for the ruling military council, General Shams Eddin Kabashi, said that an investigation was underway and that several military officers were already in custody for alleged “deviation” from the action plan set by military leaders.

Kabashi did not elaborate on the violations beyond describing them as “painful and outrageous.”


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