KHARTOUM: Sudanese protest leaders called for a one-day nationwide “civil disobedience” campaign on July 14 in an announcement on Monday, a day after they organised mass protests against the ruling generals that rocked the country.
The move, which aims to increase pressure on the ruling generals to hand power to a civilian administration, will be preceded by mass protests on July 13, the Alliance for Freedom and Change said in a statement.
The civil disobedience campaign, the second such general strike in less than a month, comes as protest leaders and ruling generals traded blame for the latest violence during the mass “million-man” march on Sunday that left 10 dead and scores wounded.
The Alliance for Freedom and Change’s announcement of the civil disobedience campaign was posted on the Facebook page of the affiliated Sudanese Professionals Association group.
“On Sunday, July 14, a civil disobedience and total political strike in Khartoum and across all provinces will be held,” the movement said.
On Tuesday, the United Arab Emirates called on Sudan’s army and protesters to continue dialogue and avoid violence after protest leaders called for a one-day “civil disobedience” campaign.
“It is important for dialogue to continue in Sudan away from disputes and towards an agreement regarding transition arrangements,” Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash wrote on Twitter.
He said any transition should guarantee the establishment of a stable constitutional system.
“It is essential to avoid confrontation and escalation. It is clear that the opposition and the army need each other and need to reach agreement and avoid escalation of the crisis,” Gargash said.
Ethiopia and the African Union have been mediating between the two sides but have yet to achieve a breakthrough. The SPA initiated the huge protests in December that finally led the army to topple longtime president Omar al Bashir in April.
In the political instability that followed the generals seizing power, the protest leaders launched a similar civil disobedience campaign on June 9 that paralysed the entire country, although they called it off three days later following mediation by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Tens of thousands took to the streets for Sunday’s “million-man” march, seen as a test for protest organisers after a June 3 raid on a Khartoum protest camp left dozens dead and a subsequent internet blackout curbed their ability to mobilise support.
But that did not prevent vast crowds of men and women, chanting slogans demanding “civilian rule”, flooding the streets of Khartoum, twin city Omdurman and other towns and cities, AFP correspondents and witnesses reported.
Security forces were deployed en masse in key Khartoum squares, firing tear gas in several areas including at protesters attempting to reach the capital’s residential palace.
The official SUNA news agency quoted a health ministry official and police as saying 10 people were killed in protest-related violence since Sunday and more than 180 wounded, including 27 by gunfire.
A doctors’ committee linked to the protest movement said five protesters were killed on Sunday, four of them in Omdurman, across the Nile from Khartoum.
It also said several more were seriously wounded by gunshots fired by “military council militias,” a term used by protesters for the feared paramilitary the Rapid Support Forces. The 10 killed included three men whose blood-stained bodies were found on Monday in Omdurman where protests were held the day before. —AFP