Tens of Thousands Rally in Sudan Demanding Civilian Rule

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Tens of thousands of protesters rallied across Sudan on Sunday against the ruling generals, calling for a civilian government nearly three months after the army forced out long-time leader Omar al-Bashir.   

Chanting anti-military slogans and raising Sudan’s flag, the protesters took to the streets of the capital and headed for the presidential palace, in what organizers were calling a “million-man march.”

In addition to demanding a civilian government, they called for those behind the deadly early June crackdown on protesters to be brought to justice.  Protest organizers said the death toll from the June 3 incident was at least 128, while authorities claim it was 61, including three security personnel.

On Sunday there were reports of tear gas and live bullets being fired in an effort to disperse demonstrators.

One of the protest organizers, the Sudanese Professional Association (SPA), called on the crowds to reach the presidential palace and camp out there until their demands are met.

Mohamed Hassan, one of the protesters, was upbeat but said there was no guarantee the military would not interfere.

“We succeeded to make and we mark the June 30 by our winning, we are now in (the district of) Bahri, we are moving forward now and the RSF (Rapid Support Force) are moving around us. The protesters are moving free so far in this area but we don’t know what will happen in the coming time,” he said.

General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the deputy chairman of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council, claimed an unknown armed group of snipers had attacked the peaceful protesters.

Today, they declared a million-man march and we warned of some perpetrators that may target the demonstration, now I received reports that unknown snipers have targeted the protests and injured 3 of our forces and five or six protesters, he said.

He also stressed that the generals want to reach an “urgent and comprehensive agreement” with no exclusion.

Ethiopia and the African Union have offered a plan for Sudan that calls for a civilian-majority body, which the generals say could create the basis for new negotiations.


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