Sudan is facing its biggest crisis since Omar al-Bashir’s government ended two years ago as thousands of protesters demand the military dissolve the transitional government.
The military-aligned demonstrators gathered outside Khartoum’s usually off-limits Presidential Palace gate on Monday, setting up tents at the intersection of two of the city’s main thoroughfares.
The rally was called for by a coalition of rebel groups and political parties supporting the Sudanese military and accusing civilian political parties of mismanagement and power-monopoly.
The demonstrations began on Saturday, but by Sunday, the crowd had thinned to hundreds. The number of people was back to about 2,200-3,000 by Monday afternoon, according to reports.
A coalition of pro-civilian political parties plans a demonstration on Thursday, which marks the anniversary of the 1964 revolution that overthrew the first military regime of Ibrahim Abboud.
Abdalla Hamdok, Sudan’s prime minister, warned that the country is facing the “worst crisis” in its transition from military rule since the removal of long-time ruler al-Bashir two years ago.
He described the current political turmoil as between those who believe in a transition towards democracy and civilian leadership and those who do not.
The military has shared power with civilians in Sudan’s transitional authority since months-long mass protests precipitated al-Bashir’s military removal in April 2019 after three decades in power.
In a war of words that began after the September 21 coup attempt by al-Bashir loyalists, civilian leaders have accused the military of trying to stage a coup.
Several politicians and others have suggested the military was responsible for the coup, but Hamdok dismissed these claims, saying the military did not bear the burden.
Early this month, several political factions in Sudan announced the formation of a separate alliance to the main civilian bloc, the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC).
Several basic commodities have also been in short supply in Sudan following anti-government protests that blocked a key Red Sea port.
Due to the closure, Sudan’s government has warned it may run out of life-saving medicines, fuel, and wheat stocks.
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