Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Sudanese sign for al-Bashir’s removal in protest against military rule

Sudanese sign for al-Bashir's removal in protest against military rule

The former leader’s 2019 removal has been marked with demonstrations against last year’s military coup.

Khartoum, Sudan – Thousands of Sudanese took to the streets in 2019 to celebrate the anniversary of the mass unrest to overthrow former Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir and to protest the military’s ongoing grip on power.

Rallies were held on Wednesday outside Khartoum and the capital to express public anger over al-Bashir’s removal and a military coup in October that derailed Sudan’s two-year transition period to civilian rule.

The economic situation in Sudan has worsened since the military took power, with hyperinflation reaching 250 percent annually.

“We are going out today as we promised our martyrs” [that we will] Citizens complete the state,” protestor Yousuf Abdullah, 34, said.

“The civil state, with its diversity, … is what we are seeing at the moment,” said Abdullah, a member of the Sudanese activist “resistance committees” network that rallied against al-Bashir’s regime.

Police reportedly fired tear gas at protesters in Khartoum and the army headquarters in the capital was sealed off with soldiers, razor wire and dozens of military vehicles.

In 2019, protesters had been gathering at the headquarters for months and it was not clear whether activists would try to stage a fresh sit-in.

Hundreds of protesters were killed in a bloody crackdown by security forces in June 2019, when a massive pro-democracy sit-in was held against a military council that seized power after ousting al-Bashir.

Sudanese Protesters Take Part In A Rally On 6 April
Sudanese protesters take part in a rally in the capital Khartoum [AFP]

Sajida al-Mubarak, a 22-year-old medical student, told Al Jazeera she was opposed to saying “no” to the military: “not to partnership and not to recognition of the military.”

“We will tell the army that they should go back to their barracks and leave politics to the civilians,” he said.

While resistance committees are accused by critics of being unrealistic in their demands, members of the active network say they believe a military coup should be opposed.

“We can only continue to protest; Whenever they press us, we simply protest,” said Mohammad Tahir, spokesman for resistance committees in Khartoum state.

“It’s whether to die or win for what you believe in,” he said.

In addition to the removal of al-Bashir following the 2019 protests, 6 April 1985 is also the day the people of Sudan took to the streets against former leader Ghafar Niemeri, forcing him to be removed from power.

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