| 30 May 2024, Thursday |

Sudan security forces use tear gas against anti-coup rally: Witness

According to a witness, Sudanese security forces fired tear gas at an anti-coup rally in Khartoum on Sunday to protest last month’s military takeover.

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

“Police later came and fired tear gas at us, despite the fact that we were simply standing on the streets and carrying banners that read, ‘No, no to military rule,'” he added, calling for a transition to “full civilian rule.”


Street barricades

Following calls for civil disobedience to protest last month’s military coup, anti-coup protesters built street barricades in and around the capital overnight Saturday.

According to witnesses and AFP correspondents, activists were seen working in the dark to pile up bricks and large slabs to block streets in Khartoum and neighboring cities.

Their preparations came in response to calls for civil disobedience issued by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), an umbrella of unions that played a role in the 2018-2019 protests that ousted longtime President Omar al-Bashir.

Since October 25, the day of the putsch, the SPA has used text messages to bypass internet outages.

“The Sudanese people have rejected the military coup,” the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPA) declared on Twitter, vowing “no negotiation, no partnership, no legitimacy.”

“We will begin by barricading the main streets in preparation for mass civil disobedience on Sunday and Monday,” it said, urging protesters to avoid clashes with security forces.

Protests across the country, including tens of thousands on October 30, have been met with a deadly crackdown. According to the independent Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, at least 14 demonstrators have been killed and approximately 300 have been injured.

According to witnesses, some shops remained open on Sunday morning in Khartoum and its twin cities of Omdurman and Khartoum-North, while others were closed.

“There is less movement on the streets than usual, but there is no full blockage of streets or closure of shops” following the civil disobedience call, according to an Omdurman witness who declined to give his name for fear of retaliation.

Sudan’s top general, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, dissolved the government and the ruling joint military-civilian Sovereign Council, which was supposed to lead the country toward full civilian rule, almost two weeks ago.

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

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

Other key figures are still detained.

The military takeover elicited international condemnation, including punitive aid cuts and calls for a speedy return to civilian rule.

Burhan insists that it “was not a coup,” but rather an attempt to “correct the course of the transition.”

  • AFP