No End in sight for Sudan’s Protests

Despite President Omar Al-Bashir’s ouster, Sudanese are still organising peaceful protests/ sit-in, demanding the full dismantling of the “deep state” left behind by the ousted leader and that power be handed to a civilian transitional government.

To appease the protesters, the transitional military council stated that key figures from the former government had been arrested but the protesters are not buying any of the talks as they want their demands fulfilled. The over 5,000 protesters chanted “freedom, freedom” and “revolution, revolution” while appealing to the army to protect them.

On Sunday, April 14, the military council met political parties, urging them to agree on an “independent figure” to be prime minister. A council member, Yasser al-Ata stated that “We want to set up a civilian state based on freedom, justice and democracy.”

Meanwhile, during the meeting, a 10-member delegation representing the protesters delivered a list of demands but the council’s spokesman did not respond to the protesters’ latest demands, according to a statement by the Alliance for Freedom and Change umbrella group.

Given that the demands did not get any response, protesters remained camped outside the military headquarters, demanding a civilian administration as well as the trial of the leaders of the past regime. However, their sit-in witnessed various hiccups.

Earlier today, there were attempts by the forces to disperse the sit-in but the protesters moved to block their efforts by joining hands and forming a ring around the sit-in area. The troops had gathered on three sides with tractors in preparation to remove stone and metal barricades. However, the organizers of the protests, Sudanese Professionals’ Association (SPA), urged supporters to foil any attempt to disperse the sit-in and after various attempts, the troops let go to avoid a confrontation.

“We hope that everyone will head immediately to the areas of the sit-in to protect your revolution and your accomplishments,” SPA, had said in a statement.

This is not the first attempts to disperse the demonstrators. Privately owned Darfur 24 news website reported that gunmen attacked protesters at a camp for displaced people about 17km (10 miles) in the troubled region of South Darfur, killing 13 over the weekend.