The once largely peaceful Sudan protest has been marred by violence. This happened when Sudanese forces attempted to remove the demonstrators who have camped out for months at the military headquarters at central Khartoum. The military who demanded that protesters clear roadblocks injured at least 14 people in the process of forcefully clearing the roadblocks.
Both the military and the opposition blamed each other for the violence that happened on Wednesday. “We hold the military council responsible for attacking civilians. They are using the same methods as the previous regime in dealing with rebels,” Amjad Farid, a spokesman for the Sudanese Professionals’ Association (SPA) told Reuters news agency.
On the other hand, the head of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC), Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, accused the demonstrators of breaking an understanding on the de-escalation process while talks were under way and said protesters were disrupting life in the capital by blocking roads outside a protest zone agreed upon with the military.
Just yesterday, both parties reached an agreement with the country’s popular opposition movement for a three-year transition to civilian rule, agreeing that two bodies— a sovereign council and a 300-member legislature, dominated by the opposition grouping— will be formed to govern Sudan until the country goes to polls. Unfortunately, violence has endangered negotiations.
Ever since President Omar al-Bashir, who ruled the country was toppled last month, the military has been in charge and have been in talks with the leaders of the protests. However, given the violence talks have been suspended to help prepare an atmosphere for completing the deal.
Meanwhile, in South Sudan President Salva Kiir has warned against planned protests, saying any forceful attempts to seize power in the country would be met with violent resistance.
In the past two weeks, a new group calling itself the Red Card Movement has been circulating calls online for a protest today May 16. The hashtags #KiirMustGo and #SouthSudanUprising were flaunted to be used for the planned protest.
According to Kiir, “Violent attempts to usurp power from the people would be met with violent resistance and the cycle of violence cannot end.”