Sudan protests continue fight to end military rule

By Roy Landersen
December 20, 2021
AP/Marwan Ali

Defying tear gas attacks by Sudanese security forces, tens of thousands of people rallied in the capital, Khartoum, Nov. 30, above, as they continue to mobilize in opposition to military rule after an Oct. 25 coup. Neighborhood resistance committees called the demonstrations in spite of the military’s reinstatement of civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok the previous week. The protests, which also took place in Port Sudan, Kassala, Nyala and Atbara, demanded “Soldiers, go back to the barracks!” and “The people want to bring down the regime.”

The Sudanese Professionals Association, an umbrella group including trade unions that has called most of the protests, denounced Hamdok’s deal with the military and vowed to continue demonstrating until “the corrupt military junta is brought down and persecuted for their crimes.” Dozens of demonstrators have been killed since the military took over.

The civilian-military coalition was established, supposedly to lead a transition to civilian rule, after a popular upheaval overthrew the three-decade-long autocratic rule of Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

Hamdok appeared on TV and signed a new power-sharing agreement with coup leader Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. The military hopes the arrangement will defuse international opposition to the coup, including the freeze on aid from Washington and the World Bank and suspension of Sudan from the African Union.

But the civilian coalition that nominated Hamdok as prime minister two years ago refused to go along with the deal. “The future of the country will be determined by the young people on the ground,” the group told BBC.