Sudan: Tear Gas Used in Khartoum Amid Massive Support for General Strike

Khartoum — Journalists told Radio Dabanga that members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Sudan's main government militia, wearing uniforms of the anti-riot police, used tear gas in El Mazad district in North Khartoum, where a young activist named Waleed Abdelrahman was shot dead on Sunday. Several others suffered from the huge amount of tear gas that the RSF deployed.

RSF militiamen took five pilots from their homes and forced them to fly a civilian aircraft to transport military personnel. Khartoum International Airport seems completely closed for commercial flights. The site http://www.flightradar24.com shows no confirmed landings or take offs.

A member of the Sudanese Pilots Association said the commitment among pilots, pilots' assistants and air traffic control to the general strike was "significant and influential". He confirmed that the Sudanese Pilots Association contacted regional and international airline companies and unions in order to try to prevent foreign pilots from working for Badr Airline.

Hospitals

Rapid Support Forces militiamen closed several public and private hospitals in Khartoum on Sunday. They also occupied administrative buildings and stores of the National Fund for Medical Supplies for several hours.

The Sudan Doctors Central Committee said in a statement that the troops are still in front of the gates and entrances, creating a situation that directly threatens the lives of the wounded, injured and sick as it is not possible to deliver medical supplies.

The doctors said in their statement that the Transitional Military Council is responsible for every loss of life that results from the closing of hospitals.

Massive following

The general strike that the Sudanese Professionals Association called for had massive following throughout Sudan.

Most of the ministries and governmental agencies in Khartoum were completely closed on Sunday, including the judiciary and ministries. All the banks, many shops and petrol stations, and the main market were closed as well. Traffic was completely disrupted.

In Port Sudan, capital of Red Sea state, all banks, the southern port, all the telecommunication companies, and the market were closed. More than 90 per cent of the people joined the strike.

In the capitals of the five Darfur states, El Fasher, El Geneina, Zalingei, Nyala, and Ed Daein the strike involved markets, commercial banks and professionals such as lawyers, doctors, teachers, engineers and employees of public and private institutions. The same was the case in El Obeid, capital of North Kordofan.

The Sudanese Professionals Association stressed that the peaceful civil disobedience is "a moral position to honour the blood of martyrs and their dream of freedom, peace and justice in our homeland". The aim of the general strike and the civil disobedience is to force the Transitional Military Council out of power.

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