20 May 2019

Sudan: Protesting Aviation Workers Threaten to Close Sudan's Airspace

Photo: Omar Dafallah/Radio Dabanga
Sudanese professionals, military junta brief western diplomats

Khartoum / En Nahud / ED Daein / Delling — The people at the sit-ins in front of the General Command of the Sudan Armed Forces in Khartoum and military units in various state capitals are continuing their protests for the sixth week in a row, to press for the fulfilment of their demands. Aviation workers threaten with a strike and locking the airpspace above the country if the military junta refuses to hand power to the people. Other professional groups staged demonstrations. Protest actions also took place in other towns in the country.

The Sudanese protesters demand the handover of power to a civilian government, the prosecution of the leading members of the old regime, and the restoration of democracy in the country.

They get support from various professional groups. Aviation workers in Sudan have threatened with "a comprehensive strike and locking the airspace above the country in the event of any procrastination by the military rulers or delay in the smooth transition process in accordance with the terms of the Declaration of Freedom and Change".

The Aviation Workers Association said in a statement on Sunday that they will make use of "the good means of peaceful resistance, by setting up air barricades, for the sake of the people shot dead on Ramadan 8 [April 13] and those who were killed during earlier protests until we reach our goals".

On Sunday as well, dozens of employees of El Baraka Bank in Khartoum held a vigil in support of the demands of the Sudanese protesters at the sit-ins in the country for a civilian government and the punishment of the killers of dozens of protesters.

Staff members of the Petro Energy E&P company carried out a similar protest in the Sudanese capital on Sunday.

The Committee for the Restoration of the Sudanese Journalists Syndicate organised a demonstration in downtown Khartoum on Sunday afternoon. The journalists demanded the dissolution of the Journalists Union established by the former regime and the dismissal of the registrar of trade unions.

New arrivals

On Sunday, people from En Nahud in West Kordofan arrived in five travel buses to Khartoum in support of the sit-in in front of the army headquarters.

Activist Ayman El Jeili told Radio Dabanga from En Nahud that the buses left at 4 am that morning. They will spend three days at the sit-in to support the protesters.

The sit-in in front of the military garrison in En Nahud continued as well.

El Jeili said that members of the Alliance for Freedom and Change (AFC) in the town organised a number of speeches and political seminars at the sit-in "in order to enlighten the residents, especially after imams of mosques here preached in favour of the former regime, against the uprising".

Beaten-up

In the East Darfur capital of Ed Daein, a force of the Rapid Support Forces, Sudan's main militia, used excessive violence to prevent a public speech by members of the AFC at the Zariba Market in the western part of the town on Saturday evening.

In a press statement on Sunday, the AFC strongly condemned the use of batons and whips to disperse the crowd.

The commander of the Rapid Support Forces in East Darfur called on his troops to stop using violence against "the revolutionaries".

'Resistance committees'

In Delling in South Kordofan, members of the AFC have begun forming "resistance committees" in the 35 districts of the town.

Abdullah Abuham, leading member of the AFC in Delling, said they managed to establish many committees already. "In this way, we are able to easily inform the people about new developments. Also, we can quickly act in case of members of the old regime are wreaking havoc."

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