Sudanese security forces fire tear gas at anti-coup protests as PM recovers

Thousands Of Protesters Have Appealed In The Sudanese Capital, Khartoum, For Their Demand For Civilian Rule To Be Renewed.

Source: AP

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan seized power and detained Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on October 25, but after international condemnation and mass protests, he reinstated the prime minister in a deal they signed on Sunday.

Thursday marked a month since the military coup.

“Initially I went out to protest demanding retaliation for people killed after the coup, and now I’m protesting the Burhan-Hamdok deal,” said protester Soheir Hamad in southern Khartoum.

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This deal “blocks the way to full civilian rule. We don’t want the military to play a role in politics,” she said.

Protests also broke out in other states, including Wad Madani, Kassala and the western region of Darfur, according to witnesses.

Protest organizers have declared “Martyrs’ Day” on Thursday to pay tribute to the 42 people medics say were killed in the deadly crackdown on protesters against the coup.

By evening, demonstrations in Khartoum and other cities began to thin out, according to witnesses.

‘Stop the bloodshed’

Pro-democracy activists in Sudan have accused Hamdok of “treason” and vowed to continue to put pressure on military-civilian authority.

Hamdok, who has been prime minister in the transitional government since the ouster of longtime autocratic ruler Omar al-Bashir in 2019, has defended the deal.

He said on Wednesday he was working with the military to “stop the bloodshed” and “not waste the profits of the past two years”.

Protesters in North Khartoum attacked him, chanting “Hamdok is weak, but the streets are mighty” and “Burhan is dirty” and has been “brought to power by Islamists” linked to Bashir’s regime.

Thousands Of Protesters Rallied Against A Deal To Reinstate The Prime Minister After His Ouster In A Military Coup Last Month.

Source: EPA

At a demonstration in Khartoum, protester Sediq al-Zubair said Hamdok’s collaboration with the military is a “stab in the back of the revolution” that has ousted Mr Bashir.

Another protester, Amany Abdalla, said: “We have no problem with Hamdok”, but “we don’t want an army, we want a purely civilian” regime.

Ahead of Thursday’s protests, Mr Hamdok met with senior police officials and urged them to secure the protests.

Volker Perthes, the UN special envoy to Sudan who helped mediate between military and civilian factions after the coup, said Wednesday the demonstrations were “another test of the credibility” of the agreement.

He urged authorities to allow demonstrations to continue “without bloodshed or arbitrary arrests”.

Hamdok also said the deal with Burhan has set a “clear date” for Sudan’s first free elections in three decades, slated for July 2023.

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Sunday’s deal raised hopes that Sudan will be able to return to its fragile transition process, but critics called the agreement “whitewashing” for the coup.

About 12 of the 17 ministers of Sudan’s main civilian bloc who called for full civilian rule, who were part of Mr Hamdok’s cabinet before the coup, resigned on Monday, saying they rejected the deal that “legitimizes the coup regime” .

Meanwhile, the agreement was welcomed by the United Nations, the African Union, Western countries and the Arab powers Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which have strong ties to the Sudanese military.

Several civilian leaders arrested since the coup were released this week, but key figures remain in custody.

Perthes welcomed the releases, but said that “if the ‘political deal’ is to be taken seriously, all detainees should be released immediately”.

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