A person wearing a Sudan's flag stand in front of a burning pile of tyres during a protest in Khartoum, Sudan. Reuters
Sudanese anti-coup protesters are planning mass demonstrations on Saturday to demand the restoration of a civilian-led government to put the country back on a path to democracy after decades of authoritarian rule.
Thousands of Sudanese have already taken to the streets this week to protest against a military takeover that has derailed the country's transition to civilian rule and triggered deadly clashes.
The power grab has sparked a chorus of international condemnation, with the US and the United Nations urging Sudan's military leaders to show restraint.
General Abdel Fattah Al Burhan — Sudan's de facto leader since the 2019 ouster of veteran autocrat Omar al-Bashir after huge youth-led protests — led Monday's takeover.
General Abdel Fattah Al Burhan
He has dissolved the country's civilian-led government, ordered the detention of a number of top civilian officials and declared a nationwide state of emergency.
With at least 11 protesters killed in clashes with security forces this week, opponents of the junta fear a full-blown crackdown and more bloodshed.
Several pro-democracy activists have been arrested.
"The army should go back to its barracks and give the leadership to Hamdok," said an activist who gave his name as Mohamed, who plans to protest. "Our demand is a civilian country, a democratic country, nothing less than that."
Opponents of the junta fear a full-blown crackdown and more bloodshed. File photo
The United States, which is calling for the restoration of the civilian-led government, said how the army reacts on Saturday will be a test of its intentions.
In Sudan, where organisers hope to hold a "million-strong" march against the coup, the mood was defiant.
"We will not be ruled by the military. That is the message we will convey" at the protests, said Sudanese rights activist Tahani Abbas.
"The military forces are bloody and unjust and we are anticipating what is about to happen on the streets," Abbas said. "But we are no longer afraid."
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sudan’s security forces must respect human rights and any violence against peaceful demonstrators is "unacceptable".
The United States continues to stand with "Sudan’s people in their nonviolent struggle for democracy," he said in a Twitter post.
Lashing, frisking, and arbitrary detentions — Sudanese protesters say security forces have resorted to frenzied violence to quash street protests against the country's latest military coup.
The UN secretary general urged Sudan's generals on Sunday to reverse their takeover of the country, a day after tens of thousands of people took to the streets in the largest pro-democracy protest since last week's coup.
On Monday, soldiers detained Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, ministers in his government and civilian members of the ruling council, who have been heading a transition to full civilian rule following the April 2019 overthrow of autocrat Omar Al Bashir.
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