Sudan Uprising - Mass Action Following 100 Days of Demonstrations

Khartoum / Darfur — This weekend Sudan saw "the largest demonstrations in living memory" across Sudan, calling for the fall of President Omar Al Bashir and his regime from power, in the culmination of 100 days of ongoing demonstrations throughout the country.

Thousands of people walked toward the headquarters of the Sudanese Army and Al Bashir's residence in Sudanese capital Khartoum on Saturday. Images on social media showed Sudanese soldiers mingling and moving through the crowd, supporting them.

The Sudanese Professionals Association called for "a sit-in in Khartoum along the road of the General Command starting from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs to the Dental Teaching Hospital [..] until the demise of the tyrant's rule".

Tens of thousands of people demonstrated in front of the General Command of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) in Khartoum, calling on the army to intervene in state affairs and make President Al Bashir and his government step down.

Demonstrations also took place in several towns in Darfur, Nuba Mountains, and El Gezira, El Gedaref, Blue Nile and Red Sea states.

On Sunday, professional sectors throughout Sudan began a general strike which will finish "once power has been handed to a transitional government". Large numbers of commuters from Omdurman and Khartoum North were unable to reach central Khartoum because security forces closed the main bridges linking the three cities.

Last night, demonstrations continued into the night in Khartoum, lit by the lights of thousands of mobile phones, during a total power blackout throughout the country and reports of social media app blocks. Even people making use of "prohibited" circumvention methods such as Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) allegedly had no access to online services.

The Ministry of Water Resources, Irrigation and Electricity said in a statement yesterday that an emergency malfunction in one of the carrier lines caused the gradual collapse of all feeding stations. According to the statement, National Control Centre engineers and technicians have begun to restart stations and feed the network to gradually restore electricity.

Killing of demonstrators

The Central Sudanese Doctors Committee announced in a statement on Sunday that the number of deaths during the April 6 demonstrations and the sit-in at SAF headquarters rose to six by late Sunday evening. Amro Jamal, Maab Hanafi, Ahmed Tebeidi, and a fourth person whose name is still unknown, were shot dead by security forces. In addition, many protesters were wounded, some seriously.

Laboratory doctor Abdelmuez Atallah died after being shot in the head during the march at El Dakatra street in Omdurman on Saturday, according to a statement made by the Committee on Sunday.

Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that an employee working for a company located near the Ministry of Defence was fatally shot inside his workplace on Sunday, after they heard the sound of heavy shooting in the neighbourhood. Doctors reported that Muez Osman was shot in the chest in his office which is on the sixth floor of the building.

In Darfur, a displaced woman was killed during a peaceful demonstration calling for the fall of President Al Bashir at the Khamsa Dagayeg camp for the displaced on Saturday.

A community leader told Radio Dabanga from the camp located near Zalingei, capital of Central Darfur, that Badriya Ishag was shot dead by security forces. Three other demonstrators were hit by bullets. Five others sustained breathing problems because of the excessive use of tear gas. The security forces arrested about 17 displaced people in the camp.

Commentary

Bashir has acknowledged that the protesters have legitimate demands but said that the way to address these demands is through peaceful means and the ballot box. The Sudanese Professionals Association has called for the unconditional withdrawal of President Omar Al Bashir and his regime from power and the formation of a national transitional government. The declaration states that well-qualified leaders, agreed on by all factions of the Sudanese people, should govern the country for a four-year period, followed by general elections.

Commentators claim that these demonstrations are different to what has been seen thus far and are questioning how long the president will manage to stay in power. According to Professor Eric Reeves: "Sooner or later the regime will fall, if only because the economy is in a state of free-fall collapse."

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