By Staff Writer
One protester was reportedly killed and around 120 injured in ensuing protests in Sudan against the 25 October military coup.
Sunday’s protests were the largest since the coup, and they marked the third anniversary of the December 2018 protests over bread, which resulted in the fall of long-time autocrat Umar Al Bashir in April 2019. Protests were met with tear gas and live ammunition from military forces, including the notorious Rapid Support Forces; however, despite this, the presidential palace was still breached for a while.
Protests have been common since the 25 October coup, with most calling for the fall of the military’s head, Abdul Fattah Burhan. A 21 November decision to reinstate then ousted Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok has so far failed to quell the protests, with protesters lamenting Hamdok’s deal with the military as a betrayal of the uprising.
Former minister Khaled Omar warned that “If the main political actors don’t get their act together and the military establishment doesn’t distance itself from politics … then all scenarios are on the table,” with protesters warning that they will have to change tact soon if the military continues its intransigence.
Meanwhile, Hamdok on Saturday cautioned against the current divisions, which he argued risks the security and territorial integrity of the country. He also called for a renegotiation and a new agreement to continue the transition. Hamdok’s seeming criticism of political forces is likely to weaken his now diminishing popularity and authority, as protesters now seem to have supported the establishment. Early elections for 2022 have been mulled to transfer the country out of the current impasse.
However, protesters and civilian political forces are understandably wary about the military’s role in the country and the organisation of an election, especially since it has acted to protect its interests, even deposing Hamdok to ensure it remained at the helm of the transition.