April 18, 2019
Protesters hold a banner calling for the release of political prisoners, during a march by members of the Sudanese medical profession syndicate, at the sit-in inside the Armed Forces Square, in Khartoum, Sudan, Wednesday, April 17, 2019.
By Naba Mohiedeen
KHARTOUM, SUDAN – The main protest group camped out in Khartoum since the ouster of former President Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese Professionals Association, called for a mass rally Thursday. Protesters are demanding that the transitional military council, which replaced Bashir and says it has been detaining symbols of his regime and subjugating loyalist forces, allow for a civilian transitional government.
Thousands of protesters responded to calls by the Sudanese Professionals Association to rally on Thursday in central Khartoum.
Protesters flooded streets leading to Sudan’s army headquarters, calling for Sudan’s Transitional Military Council to allow a swift return to civilian rule.
SPA co-founder Mohamed Naji says they are demanding the military deliver power to the people.
He says they called for a civilian presidential council, but with military representation, to fulfill the Sudanese revolution’s demands.
The SPA has urged all parties to nominate leaders for a civilian transitional council.
The demonstrators were divided into groups of doctors, lawyers, journalists, bankers and engineers.
Protester Mohamed Ahmed is with the doctors’ committee.
He says they will stay in the sit-in until the revolution’s demands are fulfilled, and they won’t go back (to their homes) before this happens.
The protesters have been camped in front of army headquarters since April 6, refusing to disperse even after the military said last week it had ousted former President Omar al-Bashir.
Sudan’s military says it placed Bashir under house arrest, but reports on Wednesday quoted sources saying he had been moved to a federal prison.
On Wednesday night, Sudan’s military council said it had detained Bashir’s brothers, Abdullah and Abbas, as part of efforts to remove symbols of what it called a “corrupt regime.”
The military council announced also the dissolution of security forces loyal to Bashir, saying they would come under the authority of the army and police.
Despite the reported arrests, protesters such as Mai Noor remain skeptical.
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She says they heard that Bashir is in jail, but they don’t want him to be sent to another place. They want a public trial for all the crimes he committed in Darfur, says Noor, for the genocide and killing protesters.
The council on Monday gave Sudan 15 days to allow a civilian-led transitional government or face suspension in the African Union.
Sudan’s protests began in December when fuel and food shortages led to price hikes and calls for Bashir to step down. And then a military coup that removed him from three decades in power.