World Sudan: Security forces fire tear gas to disperse protesters
East Sudan protests snarl trade, deepen economic woes
Hundreds of trucks packed with goods stand idle in Port Sudan, dozens of container ships lie anchored and untouched. For more than a month demonstrators have blockaded Sudan's key sea port. Roads to other provinces and the capital Khartoum have been cut, docks shuttered and even Port Sudan airport was closed for a time. Four weeks since the crisis erupted in mid-September, basic supplies to the rest of the impoverished northeastern African nation have been delayed, triggering a fresh wave of shortages nationwide.
Sudan’s security forces have fired tear gas at pro-military protesters who blocked major roads and bridges in the capital, Khartoum, amid growing tensions between the generals and the pro-democracy movement that fuelled the uprising against former president Omar al-Bashir.
Protesters briefly blocked major roads and bridges in Khartoum on Sunday, cutting off the central area from the northern neighbourhoods.
Sudan's mass protests back civilian rule but army remains strong
Mass protests in Sudan show strong support for a civilian-led democracy, but analysts warn street demonstrations may have little impact on powerful factions pushing a return to military rule. Under a 2019 power-sharing deal after the ouster of long-time dictator Omar al-Bashir, Sudan is ruled by a sovereign council of civilian and military representatives tasked with overseeing a transition to a full civilian government. But cracks in theUnder a 2019 power-sharing deal after the ouster of long-time dictator Omar al-Bashir, Sudan is ruled by a sovereign council of civilian and military representatives tasked with overseeing a transition to a full civilian government.
They also cut off the Mec Nimr Bridge, which links Khartoum’s downtown with other areas of the capital, according to activist and rights defender Tahani Abbas.
The move caused traffic to clog the streets early on Sunday, the first workday of the week, especially Nile Street, a main traffic artery in Khartoum.
The souring ties between the military and civilians in the ruling government threaten Sudan’s fragile transition to democracy since the military’s removal of al-Bashir in April 2019 after nearly three decades of autocratic rule.
Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan, reporting from Khartoum, said these protesters want the military to take over, replace the current cabinet with a new one, inclusive of everyone who took part in the protests that took off in December 2018.
US says it will evaluate ‘entire relationship’ with Sudan
The Biden administration announces pausing $700m in aid to Sudan after military takeover and arrest of civilian PM.Department of State spokesperson Ned Price told reporters on Monday that Washington will evaluate its “entire relationship” with Khartoum unless the country returns to the “transitional path” to democracy.
“They are trying to expand the area of the sit-in from the presidential palace to block every single road that leads there, to put pressure on the transitional government and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok to dissolve his cabinet and appoint new members that include those from the Forces of Freedom and Change, the national charter alliance,” she said.
The protests are largely a result of a split within the coalition which led anti-government protests against al-Bashir, she said.
“But not everyone in the coalition feels like they have enough representation in the government, because that coalition included armed groups, [and] opposition members who were outside the capital when protests were ongoing,” Morgan said.
“So some of them say they feel left out of government participation and they want the PM to dissolve his cabinet.”
Fears of military hijacking civilian rule
The current crisis surfaced following last month’s coup attempt.
Sudan’s military says it seized power to prevent ‘civil war’
Protesters demonstrate against takeover while Sudan’s army chief defends the military’s power grab.Speaking at his first news conference since announcing the takeover, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said on Tuesday that the army had no choice but to sideline politicians who were inciting against the armed forces.
Officials blamed al-Bashir’s loyalists for the move but the generals lashed out at the civilian part of the government, accusing politicians of seeking government posts rather than helping ease people’s economic suffering.
General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of the ruling Sudan Sovereign Council, said that dissolving Hamdok’s government could resolve the continuing political crisis. That suggestion was rejected by hundreds of thousands of pro-democracy protesters who took to the streets across the country on Thursday.
Pro-military protesters rallied in Khartoum earlier this month, echoing Burhan’s demands.
The protesters have since held a sit-in outside the presidential palace in the capital. Last week, they attempted to storm the cabinet headquarters as PM Hamdok met with his cabinet. Security forces dispersed them using tear gas.
On Saturday, dozens of pro-military protesters stormed the reception area of the headquarters of the country’s state-run news agency and set tyres ablaze outside the offices.
It delayed a news conference for pro-democracy activists, according to Mohamed Abdel-Hamid, director of SUNA news agency.
The development came a day after US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman met military and civilian leaders in Khartoum to find a compromise to the dispute.
Feltman “emphasised US support for a civilian democratic transition in accordance with the expressed wishes of the Sudanese people”, the US Embassy in Khartoum said.
The tensions come weeks ahead of a scheduled rotation of the leadership on the ruling sovereign council from the military to civilians, according to the constitutional declaration that established the joint government in August 2019.
Sudan anti-coup protesters gear up for mass rallies .
Sudan anti-coup protesters gear up for mass ralliesThe power grab has sparked a chorus of international condemnation, with the US and the United Nations urging Sudan's military leaders to show restraint.