Published: Fri, April 12, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Troop presence reinforced as Sudan sit-in continues for fifth day

Troop presence reinforced as Sudan sit-in continues for fifth day

Ibn Ouf says after the two years, "free and fair elections" will take place.

He also announced that the military had suspended the constitution, dissolved the government, declared a state of emergency for three months, closed the country's borders and airspace and imposed a curfew starting Thursday night.

The sustained protest movement has so far posed the biggest threat to Bashir's 30-year rule, but has not yet persuaded the 75-year-old - one of the longest ruling presidents in Africa - to give up the reins of power.

He denounced al-Bashir's government for "bad administration, systemic corruption, absence of justice", adding: "The poor became poorer and the rich became richer".

Protesters in Khartoum are continuing to demand the resignation of President Omar al-Bashir, staging a sit-in Tuesday outside army headquarters, where heavy gunfire was heard.

The umbrella group spearheading the protests has meanwhile appealed to the army for talks on forming a transitional government.

Security authorities in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Wednesday made a decision to cancel a mass rally that was planned to be organized on Thursday in support of President Omar al-Bashir.

Sarah Abdel-Jaleel, a spokeswoman for the Sudanese Professionals Association, tells The Associated Press they will not back a military coup and insist on an "unconditional stepping down of al-Bashir and his regime".

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"I hope our revolution will achieve its goal", Alaa Salah said after footage went viral of her conducting chanting with demonstrators outside army headquarters.

The video was taken on Monday during a sit-in by the army headquarters and presidential palace.

"People want to build a new Sudan", said a banner erected by protesters on a bridge near the military headquarters, while some demonstrators built makeshift stone barricades.

"There was heavy firing of tear gas after which army soldiers opened the gates of the compound for protesters to enter", a witness said. There were also unconfirmed reports that the airport in the Sudanese capital had been closed.

"Sudanese women have always participated in revolutions in this country", Alaa Salah said after footage went viral of her standing on a auto, singing and conducting crowds outside the army headquarters in Khartoum. State TV ceased regular broadcasts, showing only the statement promising the statement and urging the public to "wait for it". The marchers waved flags, flashed "V for victory:" signs and sang and danced.

But it remains unclear whether any such transition would usher in an era of another military ruler, or a civilian government especially if the protest movement fails to produce a viable alternative to Bashir.

Sadiq al-Mahdi, chief of the National Umma Party said armed men in masks had been attacking people at the sit-in every morning since it began. The dysfunctional administration lasted only a few years until al-Bashir - a career army officer - allied with Islamist hard-liners and toppled it in a coup in 1989. "The government has killed innocent people and has killed many in Darfur since 2004", Haman told South Sudan in Focus.

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