Thousands of Sudanese protesters rallied Thursday against last month’s military power grab, rejecting an agreement reached between the top general that saw the prime minister reinstated.
In Khartoum, demonstrators chanted “the people want the downfall of the regime”. In the capital’s twin city Omdurman others shouted “power to the people, a civilian government is the people’s choice”.
General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan seized power and detained Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on October 25, but after international condemnation and mass protests, he reinstated the Prime Minister on Sunday, with conditions.
Protest organisers however accused Hamdok of “treason” and vowed to maintain pressure on the military-civilian authority. The Darfur Bar Association (DBA) reported that there are more than 250 detainees in police stations, detention centres and prisons in Khartoum, and many other detainees in the states.
Activists took to social media this week to call for “Martyrs’ Day” demonstrations on Thursday, in honour of the 42 protesters killed in the post-coup crackdown, according to an updated toll from physicians.
Hamdok, who has been prime minister in the transitional government since the removal of autocratic ruler Omar al-Bashir in 2019, said Wednesday he had partnered with the military in order to “stop the bloodshed” and to “not squander the gains of the last two years”.
Twelve out of seventeen ministers from a bloc calling for a purely civilian government resigned on Monday, rejecting Hamdok’s strategy of engaging with the military.
Reserving their ire for Burhan, protesters in North Khartoum chanted that “Burhan is dirty”, and had been brought to power by cronies connected to the old regime of Bashir.
During a meeting of its delegation with the head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), Volker Perthes, on Tuesday the DBA called for the international community to follow up on the conditions of detainees and to demand the immediate release of all detainees.
The lawyers explained that the failure to hold the perpetrators accountable for the killing of peaceful demonstrators encouraged the widespread phenomenon of systematic killing and impunity.
Lawyers organised a demonstration on Tuesday in front of the Supreme Court in Khartoum to protest against the killing of demonstrators and the urgent demand for retribution and the rejection of military coups.
The Sudanese Professionals Association said that the El Burhan-Hamdok agreement means accepting the guardianship of the Military Council over the political process. The move is considered a serious setback, and “could lead to a new coup”.
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