Security forces deployed at every corner in the capital city of Khartoum, citizens continuing to fight for a civilian rule, and media blackout throughout the country – this is what the situation of Sudan is right now since the past few days.
Although the North African country’s President Omar Al-Bashir has been ousted, the citizens of Sudan continue their fight for a civilian rule while the Sudanese military refuses to give in. The Guardian reported that at least 124 people were killed and more than 700 injured in the last 10 days in the strife-torn country.
With news of sexual violence, murders, mass arrests, gunfires, and bodies floating in the river Nile, the crackdown was an alarming turn in the two-month standoff between the Sudanese people and the military.
Sudan has witnessed two revolutions since its independence in 1953. Both the past movements had elite and urban participants and were followed by smooth transitions of power, unlike the current unrest in the North African country.
Protestors call off general strike
On Wednesday, the protestors called off the general strike and the civil disobedience movement as the Forces of Declaration of Freedom and Change called on the citizens to return to their work.
“We are highly optimistic that the negotiations will be resumed, and things will be back to normal and they will achieve an agreement,” said Yousef Hassan, a teacher from Khartoum.
The move came amid continued efforts by Ethiopia to end the standoff between the two sides. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, in his visit to Khartoum on Friday, set out to revive the negotiations.
Sudan’s unrest – Where it all started
Demonstrations across Sudan started on December 19 last year when bread prices steeped as a result of a deep economic crisis. Though the government stepped in to curb the inflation, natives were angered by the sudden surge in prices.
Soon, a peaceful protest turned into a series of anti-government rallies demanding the resignation of President Bashir. To curb the rallies from turning into heated protests, the government declared an emergency in the country on 22 February 2019.
This step gave more power to the military of Sudan. They created a Transitional Military Council (TMC), which took over the country and started attacking peaceful demonstrators and protesters of the country. While the military crackdown has killed more than 100 people, including children across the country, the protesters are still going strong against the military, demanding a civilian government.
Meanwhile, after ruling the country for nearly three decades, President Bashir refused to step down but was overthrown by the military coup on April 11. While the violence increased death toll in the country, the protesters have vowed to hold their ground until their demands for a civilian rule are met.
Currently, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan of the Sudanese Army is serving as the de-facto Head of the State.
Role of Sudanese Professionals Association
The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which is an umbrella of 17 trade unions consisting of doctors, lawyers and journalists across the country, played a pivotal role in helping the protesters to stay in the course of their protest.
After President Bashir was ousted, the military and the civilian coalition spoke about peace talks in the country, but nothing substantial emerged out of it as both the parties fell out over the violence carried out by the Military Council and the Rapid Support Force.
A civil disobedience movement by the SPA was called in on June 9 after a crackdown between the military commanders and the civilians resulted in the death of a dozen people in Khartoum.