Published: Tue, July 02, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Thousands march demanding civilian rule in Sudan

Thousands march demanding civilian rule in Sudan

The death toll in Sunday's anti-government protests in Sudan has reached seven people, while 181 were wounded, local media reported, citing the country's Health Ministry.

Demonstrations in Sudanese cities then turned into a protest against the power of General Bashir, who ruled the country with an iron fist for almost three decades.

Mahdi's moderate Islamic Umma party is among opposition groups who have been pressing for a transition to civilian rule in talks with the TMC that ground to a halt last month.

Organizers of Sunday's marches, mainly the opposition Coalition of Freedom and Change, said the protesters wanted to deliver a message to the military transitional council of Sudan, which the opposition describes as the authority of fear and coup, that the Sudanese want to see a concrete change that would lead to a democratic Sudan.

The official said 10 of those injured were members of regular forces, including three conscripts of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), led by Hemedti, who were injured by gunfire.

"Today has been a glorious day in Sudan, not only because of the multitude of people who participated in the protests, but also due to their unfailing commitment to non-violent resistance", the Sudanese Professionals Association, a leading protest organisation wrote in a tweet.

The SPA warned of potential violence against protesters ahead of Sunday's mass demonstrations, calling on the worldwide community to not allow the TMC to "get away with another massacre" of demonstrators.

In a statement released Monday, the military council said many thugs and saboteurs were among the crowds, and that some of them opened fire on both military personnel and the protesters themselves.

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Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, deputy head of the military council, told army supporters, "Our mission is to protect people and any peaceful revolution", The Associated Press reported.

But, he added, "the Sudanese have proven that they will not back down". "I expect large numbers. and it's very possible that security forces will use force", said Mustafa, 25.

At least 600 people blocked off the main road leading to White Nile bridge, which connects Omdurman to Sudan's capital, and set up barricades as riot police looked on.

The generals insists it did not order the dispersal of the sit-in, but acknowledge "excesses" after orders were given to purge a nearby area allegedly a notorious hotspot for drug dealers.

On Saturday, the generals warned that they would hold LAC "fully responsible" for "human loss" or any "act of vandalism" during the demonstrations.

However, Al-Mahdi, who was ousted by Al-Bashir in 1989, conveyed that Sudan can not take the risk during the turbulence, adding: "All our thoughts will be focused to avoid this catastrophic development lurking on the horizon".

Ethiopia and the African Union have offered a plan for a civilian-majority body, which the generals say could be the basis for new negotiations. Huge crowds headed to the presidential palace and to the defence ministry to demand "freedom, peace, justice, and a civilian government". Demonstrators' "right to peacefully protest and express their views on 30 June, or on any other date, remains key", the European Union said.

The ruling military council blamed protest leaders for the deaths after they diverted the routes of marches. "The world is watching".

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