Skip to main content

Sudanese protesters urged to resist dispersal and return to streets

SPA rejects transitional military council, pressuring it to cede power to civilian government
Protesters continue to camp outside the armed forces' headquarters and eyewitnesses said army vehicles have tried to disperse the vigil (AFP)

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which has spearheaded protests that ended the three-decade rule of President Omar al-Bashir, renewed calls for the military transitional council to cede power to a civilian council with limited military representation.

The calls came amidst attempts to disperse a 10-day vigil at the armed forces' headquarters.

"We call on the army to accept the demands of the Sudanese street, who came together and are united" behind these demands,  Mohamed Naji, a senior leader of the association, told reporters during a televised press conference on Monday.  

Among the demands voiced during the press conference was the dismantling of Bashir's National Congress Party, the sacking of judiciary chiefs, dismissal of the general prosecutor and removal of the ruling military council.

Naji said that until the popular demands were met, protesters would resort to all peaceful means of opposition, including continuing their vigil in front of the army's headquarters.

Earlier on Monday, rally organisers called on protesters to flock to the defence of the headquarters in order to resist attempts to break up a sit-in demanding a civilian government to lead the transitional period.

"State forces tried to disperse the vigil through deploying forces to the eastern and western sides of the vigil location, with speakerphones through which were made announcements of dispersing the sit-in and the reaching of an agreement, to dissuade protesters from reaching the site," SPA said in a tweet on Monday.

An earlier tweet urged protesters to join those who continue to camp in front of the armed forces' headquarters, to "defend their revolution and their gains".

Translation: There is an attempt to disperse the vigil in front of the armed forces headquarters now, and remove the barricades. We urge everyone to head immediately towards the sit-in to defend your revolution and gains.

According to AFP, witnesses said several army vehicles had surrounded the area and that troops were seen removing the barricades demonstrators had put up as a security measure.

A military council that claimed power after deposing Bashir on Thursday has said it would steer the country through a two-year transitional period.

But the council is coming under mounting pressure from protesters who have camped outside the army's headquarters for 10 days.

The council has made several concessions in an attempt to appease the masses, including jettisoning its initial head, Awad Ahmed ibn Auf, the then-defence minister appointed by Bashir.

The council also oversaw the arrest of prominent Bashir figures and the sacking of several others. 

Reuters reported that some 4,000 protesters were at the vigil on Sunday.