Huge crowds march in Sudan in support of civilian rule

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Protesters marched through the streets of the capital Khartoum, chanting anti-military slogans and waving flags. Pro-civilian protests also took place in other Sudanese cities on Thursday, news agency Reuters reported.

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The Sudanese Professionals Association, a body that helped organize the 2019 Sudan uprising, said protesters protesting against the military were found with tear gas at the gates of parliament in Omdurman. The organization said in a statement that the tear gas was “intended to incite and push violence”, but called on its supporters to remain peaceful.

“There is no turning back from the streets until power is handed over,” it said.

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Since the overthrow of longtime president Omar al-Bashir in 2019, military and civilian groups have been sharing power in the East African country in an uneasy coalition called the Sovereign Council.

The protests were organized in response to another group of protesters, who have been staging a sit-in at the Rashtrapati Bhavan since Saturday and calling on the Sudanese military to dissolve the government and take over.

A civilian leader, Mohamed al-Feqi, told Granthshala that the pro-civilian protesters were calling for the preservation of the values ​​of democratic transition and revolution that were achieved after the 2019 uprising.

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“We are all moving forward to support a democratic change and give an elected government [to the people],” he said.

A Granthshala reporter said the military headquarters had been closed by the protests, but there was little security among the protesters. Trucks carrying protesters reached Freedom Square in the capital.

Reuters reported that plumes of smoke could be seen as protesters burned tires and waved Sudanese flags.

Supporters of Sudan's transitional government protested as rival demonstrators staged a sit-in to demand a return to military rule.

The news agency said the protests took place on the anniversary of the country’s 1964 October Revolution and had been preceded by smaller neighborhood protests. The military says it is committed to the transition to democracy and elections in late 2023.

A military coup attempt in Sudan in late September failed and most of the officers involved were arrested, further bolstering the unstable transition coalition.

“We encourage protesters to remain peaceful and remind them of the strong US support for Sudan’s democratic transformation,” the US embassy in Khartoum tweeted on Wednesday ahead of the protests.

Yasir Abdullah reported from Khartoum and Mustafa Salem from Abu Dhabi.

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Credit : www.cnn.com

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