Sudanese ignore lockdown, stage protest to demand civilian rule

by Akeem Alao
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Protesters gathered despite a coronavirus lockdown to demand greater civilian rule in the transition towards democracy.

Sudanese have ignored the coronavirus lockdown to demand greater civilian rule in the transition towards democracy after the removal of Omar al-Bashir.

On Tuesday June 30, 2020, demonstrators gathered in Khartoum and its twin cities Khartoum North and Omdurman after the government closed roads and bridges leading to the centre of the capital.

Police used tear gas to disperse protesters marching on a road leading to the airport in the capital, Khartoum.

Similar protests also took place in Kassala in eastern Sudan and in the restive region of Darfur.

They chanted “freedom, peace and justice”, the slogan of the anti-al-Bashir movement.

The “million-man march” was called by the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, and the so-called Resistance Committees, which were instrumental in the protests against al-Bashir and the generals who took over power for months after his removal.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, a technocrat, governs the country in tandem with the long-dominant military that helped remove al-Bashir after mass protests against his 30-year rule.

An opposition coalition agreed to joint governance with the military in a two-year transition towards free elections but key parts of the deal have not been implemented, such as appointing civilian state governors and establishing a Parliament.

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