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Sudan protest group SPA calls for nationwide 'civil disobedience'

UN human rights office says monitoring team should be deployed quickly to Sudan to examine alleged violations during this week's military crackdown
In Khartoum, all key roads and squares have been deserted since Monday's crackdown (AFP)

A key protest group in Sudan on Saturday announced a nationwide "civil disobedience" campaign it said would run until the country's ruling generals transfer power to a civilian government.

The call by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which first launched protests against longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir, came days after a bloody crackdown on demonstrators left dozens dead in Khartoum and crushed hopes for a swift democratic transition.

"The civil disobedience movement will begin Sunday and end only when a civilian government announces itself in power on state television," SPA said in a statement quoted by AFP. "Disobedience is a peaceful act capable of bringing to its knees the most powerful weapons arsenal in the world."

It was unclear how the campaign might unfold on the streets, especially in Khartoum, where all key roads and squares have been deserted since Monday's crackdown.

Led by men in army fatigues, the raid on the weeks-long sit-in outside a  key army complex left at least 113 people dead, according to doctors close to the demonstrators.

Witnesses say the assault was led by the feared Rapid Support Forces (RSF), whose origins are in the notorious Janjaweed militia, accused of abuses in the Darfur conflict between 2003 and 2004.

The United Nations human rights office said a monitoring team should be deployed quickly to Sudan to examine alleged violations during this week's military crackdown, the Associated Press reported.

A spokesman said the UN rights office is seeking the cooperation of Sudan's government to deploy the monitoring mission.

The spokesman in Geneva said the UN is "gravely concerned" about the situation in Sudan after more than 100 people were killed.

Sudan's military council seized power in April after ousting Bashir on the back of months-long protests against his three-decade rule.

Since then, it has resisted calls from protesters and Western nations to transfer power to a civilian administration.