Sudan: Protests, Vigils Continue in Various Parts of Sudan

Omdurman / Dongola / El Gedaref / El Obeid / Ghubeish / El Mujlad / Buram — Yesterday, Sudan witnessed a number of vigils in which the protestors demand justice and better basic services.

The Resistance Committees active in the densely populated Ombadda district in Omdurman continue their sit-in for the third day in a row.

They demand the Governor of Khartoum to visit the sit-in, where they want to hand him personally their petition with demands.

Mohamed Ismail, member of the sit-in committee, said they will not retreat from the sit-in until their "legitimate demands are fulfilled". Residents of the area are providing them with water and food.

The protestors demand the replacement of officials in the district who are affiliated with the former regime of Omar Al Bashir, the formation of a branch of the national Anti-Corruption Committee*, and the improvement of basic services in the district populated by many displaced and other people from the peripheries.

Land problems

Villagers in El Golid locality in Northern State organised a protest vigil in front of the state government secretariat in Dongola, demanding the restitution of their lands that were taken from them to be turned into foreign investment projects during the 30-year reign of President Omar Al Bashir (1989-2019).

Governor of the Northern State, Amal Ezzeldin, addressed them, and promised to find appropriate solutions to the land problems in the state.

The newly appointed governor acknowledged that the corporate responsibility of a number of foreign investment projects is unclear. She further said a legal committee will be formed to review the investment law in the state, which she described as defective.

Ezzeldin as well pledged to address the issue of a number of detained villagers accused of torching one of the investment projects during a protest years ago.

Army companies

The Salvation Initiative organised a march in El Gedaref, demanding the confiscation of companies belonging to the military.

Mutaz Abdallah, a leading member of the Salvation Initiative, told Radio Dabanga that a military force prevented them from reaching the base of the Second Infantry Division.

"A military officer attacked the media vehicle accompanying the march, and the heavily armed force refused to receive our memorandum," he said.

In the memorandum, the residents of El Gedaref urged the companies set up by military leaders during the Al Bashir regime to be confiscated and transferred to the government.

They also demand the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces be removed from El Fil Forest. The 17th Battalion in El Fashaga locality should return farmlands to their owners.

Farmlands in the border area of El Fashaga, now occupied by Ethiopian gunmen, should be returned as well.

Protestors in El Obeid (RD)

Insecurity

Hundreds of young men and women in El Obeid, capital of North Kordofan, organised a vigil in front of the locality offices on Thursday, in protest against the rampant insecurity in the city.

Participants in the vigil explained to Radio Dabanga that El Obeid is witnessing a security breakdown. "During the past few days, we received many reports about thefts and robberies whereby firearms were used," one of them said.

Justice

On Thursday, Ghubeish in West Kordofan witnessed various protests. They all interacted with the sit-in in the town that began a week ago, demanding the improvement of basic services in Ghubeish locality.

The new demands concern the dismissal of the former regime's figures from the locality, the former commissioner of Ghubeish locality to be brought to justice, and compensation for "the huge damages" following fighting between Sudanese military forces and rebel combatants of the Justice and Equality Movement in end 2004.

The sit-in of West Kordofan's El Mujlad that started 10 days ago, continues to demand better basic services in the area.

One of the participants told Radio Dabanga that they also keep the government offices in the town and the roads leading to the town closed. They will only break up after their demands concerning improved provision of water, electricity, health care, and better roads, are met.

Governor Mousa Mahdi visits the sit-in in Buram (RD)

Basic services

The Governor of South Darfur, Mousa Mahdi, has responded to the protesters at the ten-day old sit-in in Buram.

In his speech to the sit-in yesterday, the governor assured that his government will respond to "all their legitimate demands" including better water and power provisions and improved health and education services.

He said technical teams will soon arrive in Buram locality to study the situation and plan the improvement of the services.

* The Empowerment Elimination, Anti-Corruption, and Funds Recovery Committee was established by the new government in the end of last year, with the aim to purge Sudan of the remnants of the Al Bashir regime. Empowerment (tamkin) is the term with which the ousted government of Omar Al Bashir supported its affiliates in state affairs by granting them far-going privileges, including government functions and the setting-up of various companies.

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