mcloudyn.png
Wednesday November 25th, 2020 10:50PM

Sudanese hold mass marches to protest army rule

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in Sudan's capital and elsewhere in the country Sunday calling for civilian rule nearly three months after the army forced out long-ruling autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

The demonstrations came amid a weekslong standoff between the ruling military council and protest leaders. Talks between the two sides over a power-sharing agreement collapsed earlier this month when security forces violently broke up a protest camp in Khartoum.

The ensuing clampdown killed at least 128 people across Sudan, according to protest organizers. Authorities put the death toll at 61, including three security forces.

The state-run SUNA news agency reported two deaths and dozens of wounded in Sunday's protests. Protest organizers said around 60 people were wounded.

The marches, the first since the June 3 crackdown, also mark the 30th anniversary of the Islamist-backed coup that brought al-Bashir to power in 1989, toppling Sudan's last elected government. The military removed al-Bashir in April amid mass protests against his rule.

The crowds gathered at several points across the capital and its sister city of Omdurman before marching toward the homes of those killed since the uprising began.

"This is a very important day for the Sudanese people," protester Hamdi Karamallah said.

The protest movement erupted in December, triggered by an economic crisis. The protesters remained in the streets after al-Bashir was overthrown and jailed, fearing that the military would cling to power or preserve much of his regime.

Osman Mirghani, a Sudanese analyst and the editor of the daily newspaper al-Tayar, said the marches "changed the equation" in favor of the Forces for Declaration of Freedom and Change, which represents the protesters.

"Now, all pressure cards are in the hands of the FDFC. The marches corrected the situation," he said.

On Sunday, protesters chanted anti-military slogans like "Burhan's council, just fall", according to video clips circulated online. Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan is head of the military council.

Video clips showed protesters running away from security forces in the streets of Khartoum and seeking shelter from clouds of tear gas.

On a highway leading to Khartoum's international airport, a convoy of troops and riot police allowed some demonstrators to pass through as they headed toward the house of a protester who was killed earlier this month.

The protester's mother was standing outside and joined the demonstration. They waved Sudanese flags and chanted slogans calling for civilian rule.

Mohammed Yousef al-Mustafa, a spokesman for the Sudanese Professionals' Association, a leading protest organization, told The Associated Press that security forces used tear gas to disperse protesters in Omdurman and the district of Bahri in the capital.

He said protests also erupted in Atbara, a railway city north of the capital and the birthplace of the uprising that led to al-Bashir's ouster.

The Sudan Doctors Committee, the medical arm of the SPA, said a protester in his 20s was shot dead in Atbara. Nazim Sirraj, a prominent activist, said at least four people were killed in Omdurman.

The SPA later called on protesters to march on the Nile-side presidential palace in Khartoum, as security forces closed off roads and bridges leading to the palace. The groups later said security forces barred the protesters from reaching their destination.

The FDFC called on protesters to head to other squares in Khartoum and Omdurman.

Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, deputy head of the military council, said the generals want to reach an "urgent and comprehensive agreement with no exclusion."

"We in the military council are totally neutral. We are the guardians of the revolution. We do not want to be part of the dispute," he told a gathering of army supporters.

He said three troops from the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces were wounded during the protests in Khartoum. Dagalo, better known as Hemedti, is the leader of the Rapid Support Forces.

"Our mission is to protect people and any peaceful revolution," he said.

The previous day, the military council said it did not oppose the demonstrations but warned protest leaders that they would be held responsible for any vandalism or violence during the marches.

The African Union and Ethiopia have meanwhile stepped up their efforts to mediate an end to the crisis and reach a deal over setting up a new transitional government.

Earlier this week the AU and Ethiopia extended a joint proposal. The generals and the protesters voiced their approval but did not immediately restart negotiations.

The military council said in a statement that it submitted its response to the envoys, and that the generals are ready to resume negotiations on Sunday based on the AU and Ethiopian proposal. Lt. Gen. Shams Eddin Kabashi, a spokesman for the council, said it was hoping to reach a "comprehensive political solution" under the umbrella of the AU.

However, the Forces for Declaration of Freedom and Change, which represents the protesters, said talks could only begin once the military has officially ratified the AU-Ethiopian proposal. Al-Mustafa said talks would resume "directly after the military council signs the proposal."

___

Associated Press writer Hussein Malla reported this story in Khartoum and AP writer Samy Magdy reported from Cairo.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Sudanese hold mass marches to protest army rule
Protesters in Sudan have held their first mass demonstrations against military rule since security forces launched a violent crackdown earlier this month
1:00PM ( 3 minutes ago )
Istanbul police allow LGBT march remarks, launch tear gas
Activists gathered in Istanbul to promote rights for gay and transgender people Sunday before police dispersed the crowd at a pride event that Turkish authorities had banned for the fifth year
12:53PM ( 10 minutes ago )
German rescue ship captain held in Italy defended at home
Celebrities and politicians in Germany voiced support Sunday for the captain of a humanitarian rescue ship who was detained in Italy after defying the country's anti-migrant interior minister by taking 40 migrants into Italian waters and then to a port
12:51PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Tens of thousands protest army rule in Sudan
Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Sudan's capital and elsewhere in the country calling for civilian rule nearly three months after the army forced out long-ruling autocrat Omar al-Bashir
11:36AM ( 1 hour ago )
Afghan Taliban say latest talks with US are 'critical'
Afghanistan's Taliban say peace talks with US 'critical' as both sides push for results
11:07AM ( 1 hour ago )
Hong Kong braces for more protests on handover anniversary
More than 50,000 people have rallied in support of the Hong Kong police as the semi-autonomous territory readies for another day of protests on the anniversary of the former British colony's return to China
10:55AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
The Latest: Trump ends eventful trip to Asia, heads home
President Donald Trump is on his way back to Washington after a four-day trip to Asia during which he became the first American president to set foot in North Korea
6:18AM ( 6 hours ago )
Trump administration agrees to delay health care rule
Trump administration agrees to postpone implementing "conscience" rule that would protect health care workers who object to procedures on moral or religious grounds
6:08AM ( 6 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump tells troops of 'productive' Kim meeting
President Donald Trump is addressing members of the U.S military at an American air base in Osan, just south of Seoul, South Korea, before ending his Asia trip and returning to Washington
5:45AM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Istanbul police allow LGBT march remarks, launch tear gas
Activists gathered in Istanbul to promote rights for gay and transgender people Sunday before police dispersed the crowd at a pride event that Turkish authorities had banned for the fifth year
12:53PM ( 10 minutes ago )
German rescue ship captain held in Italy defended at home
Celebrities and politicians in Germany voiced support Sunday for the captain of a humanitarian rescue ship who was detained in Italy after defying the country's anti-migrant interior minister by taking 40 migrants into Italian waters and then to a port
12:51PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Democrats aren't shying away from debating Biden's record
Democrats don't seem ready to move past arguing about Joe Biden's lengthy political record, particularly on civil rights, after the first round of presidential debates showed the fragile nature of being perceived as an early front-runner in the 2020 race
12:27PM ( 37 minutes ago )
UN chief warns Paris climate goals still not enough
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has taken his message urging immediate climate action to officials gathered in the United Arab Emirates, where production of hydrocarbons remains a key driver of the economy
12:04PM ( 59 minutes ago )
50 years of LGBTQ pride showcased in protests, parades
Five decades of LGBTQ pride was showcased Sunday as crowds gathered outside New York's historic Stonewall Inn to mark the 50th anniversary of the police raid that sparked the modern-day gay rights movement
11:56AM ( 1 hour ago )