Sudanese protesters remain defiant despite international condemnation of the coup

Sudanese demonstrators take to the streets of the capital Khartoum to demand the government's transition to civilian rule. | Photo Credit: AP

On Tuesday, Sudanese protesters were defiant in the streets, demonstrating against a military coup as the worldwide condemnation of the country's security forces grew. The UN Security Council set to meet later.

"Returning to the past is not an option," screamed the masses, who remained outdoors despite the military opening fire, killing at least four people, according to reports.

On Monday, soldiers seized Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, his cabinet ministers, and civilian members of the ruling council as part of a transition to complete civilian administration following the fall of tyrant Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.

The subsequent declaration of a state of emergency and dissolution of the government sparked an outpouring of international condemnation. The United States, a key supporter of Sudan's transition, harshly criticized the military's actions and suspended millions of dollars in aid.

The UN called for Hamdok's "immediate release," and diplomats in New York told AFP that the Security Council would convene on Tuesday to discuss the matter.

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Sudan's top general, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, announced the state of emergency, saying the army had taken the necessary steps "to rectify the revolution's course."

Before soldiers invaded the national broadcaster's headquarters in Omdurman, the capital's twin city, internet services were interrupted across the country, and highways into Khartoum were closed.

After Burhan's address, however, fighting erupted in Khartoum.

The marchers, who carried flags and built flaming barricades out of tires, screamed, "Civilian rule is the people's choice,"

According to the information ministry, soldiers "fired live bullets on protesters outside the army headquarters,."

According to the Sudan Doctors' Central Committee, at least four demonstrators were murdered, and about 80 more were injured.

Security forces allegedly fired live bullets on protesters, according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

"The United States strongly condemns the actions of the Sudanese military forces," Blinken said, urging for the civilian-led transitional government to be restored.

US officials have been unable to contact the jailed prime minister, according to State Department spokesperson Ned Price.

The United States has halted $700 million in funding.

'Revolutionary betrayal'

"the actions of the military represent a betrayal of the revolution, the transition, and the legitimate requests of the Sudanese people for peace, justice and economic development" a troika of countries formerly involved in mediating Sudanese issues - the US, UK, and Norway - said.

According to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the incarceration of civilian leaders was "unlawful" who also criticized "the ongoing military coup d'etat."

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet warned that Sudan was the verge of reverting to oppression.

She stated:

It would be disastrous if Sudan goes backwards after finally bringing an end to decades of repressive dictatorship.

Concerns were also made by the European Union, African Union, and Arab League.

After being convicted of corruption, Bashir, who ruled Sudan with an iron fist for three decades, is currently serving a prison sentence in Khartoum.

The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for him in connection with the Darfur civil conflict.

Sudan was administered by a Sovereign Council of civilian and military representatives after his collapse in 2019 to oversee the transition to a genuine civilian government.

According to Jonas Horner of the International Crisis Group, the coup is an "existential moment for both sides."

He stated, 

This kind of intervention... really puts autocracy back on the menu.

The leadership's fractures had widened in recent weeks.

Hamdok earlier regarded splits in the transitional government as the "worst and most dangerous crisis" facing the transition.

In recent days, two sections of the anti-Bashir movement have demonstrated opposing sides of the issue, one asking for military rule and the other for a complete turnover of power.

Tensions within the movement, known as Forces for Freedom and Change, had been simmering for some time, but they erupted following what the government described as a failed coup attempt on September 21 this year.

During a news conference in Khartoum stormed by a mob over the weekend, one FFC leader warned of a "creeping coup."

The mainstream FFC called for widespread "civil disobedience" on Monday.

Haitham Mohamed, a demonstrator, said:

We will not accept military rule, and we are ready to give our lives for the democratic transition in Sudan.

Publish : 2021-10-26 14:06:00

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