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SudanTribune.com: Large protests erupt in Khartoum after declaration of emergency order

Posted by: Berhane.Habtemariam59@web.de

Date: Sunday, 24 February 2019

Sudanese protesters wave the national flag during an anti-government demonstration in Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman on 31 Jan 2019. Photo AFP.jpg
February 23, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Large protests have erupted in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum Friday night following a speech delivered by President Omer al-Bashir in which he dissolved the government and declared a one-year state of emergency.

Following the end of the speech, hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Khartoum, Khartoum North and Omdurman demanding the removal of the regime and calling on al-Bashir to step down.

The demonstrators flooded streets and alleys of a number of neighbourhoods in Burri, Jabra, Al-Daim, Al-Manshia, Al-Mawrada, Al-Thawra, Al-Mazad, Al-Sha’abia and Shambat.

The protests came in response to a call from the Sudanese Professional Association (SPA), an umbrella organization of trade union spearheading the protests that have been ongoing since last December.

Meanwhile, the Sudanese opposition said al-Bashir’s speech hasn’t met the people’s demands aiming at removing the regime and establishing a transitional government.

In a press statement following the president’s speech, a leading figure at the opposition National Consensus Forces (NCF) Satei Al-Hag said al-Bashir’s call for dialogue came too late.

He said the government must stop the crackdown on protesters, calling to abolish all laws that restrict freedoms as well as releasing political detainees and allowing general freedoms.

Deadly protests have rocked Sudan since December 19, with demonstrators holding nationwide rallies calling on al-Bashir to resign.

The government said 31 people have died in the violence, while other credible reports including from Human Rights Watch says at least 51 people have been killed.

Also, dozens of demonstrators have been injured and hundreds arrested during the protests.

Speaking to SkyNews Arabic Service, Sudanese journalist Faisal Mohamed Salah said that the imposition of the state of emergency increases the confrontations between the security authorities and the opposition and weakens the chances of political solutions.

Saleh added that the regime now is pushing towards violence and called on the international community to increase pressure on the government to avoid the repetition of civil wars that occurred in other countries following the Arab Spring.

"The regime has rejected all the advice and the time has come to take serious steps against him," he stressed.

ARREST CAMPAIGN

On the other hand, media sources told Sudan Tribune the security authorities have launched an arrest campaign on the bases of the emergency order.

They pointed out that the Chief-Editor of Al-Tayyar newspaper Osman Mirghani has been arrested at late night on Friday from the premises of the news daily.

Also, the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors said security forces have stormed its doctors’ residence in Khartoum using tear gas.

It pointed out that all doctors inside the residence have been arrested after they took to the streets to protest against the president’s speech.

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U.S., UK should penalize Sudan for declaring state of emergency: opposition


February 23, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese opposition Sudan Call alliance said that the declaring state of emergency disqualifies the regime of President Omer al-Bashir from the normalization of bilateral relations with U.S. and UK and the removal of sanctions imposed on his regime.

President al-Bashir on Friday evening declared the state of emergency, delayed a constitutional reform to enable to run for an additional term, and dissolved the government as well as appointed military governors for the 18 states.

The announced measures were perceived as security solutions and political manoeuvres to remain in power more than a serious attempt to find a solution to the political problems and economic crisis. Immediately, they triggered protests during the evening across the country.

In a statement released in the first hours of Saturday, the Sudan Call alliance said that Friday measures and the wave of arrests after the announcement indicate that the ICC wanted President is preparing for more repression in response to two months protests.

"Therefore, we appeal to the international community to first stop the strategic dialogue between the democratic countries in the European Union and the U.K. with the genocidal General, who is committing more crimes and giving no space for political and economic reforms and peaceful exchange of power," said the opposition alliance in a statement released by its Secretary of External Affairs Yasir Arman.

" Secondly, we appeal to the United States in particular, to stop de-listing Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism and to put more pressure on Bashir" and to respond to the Sudanese demand for "democratic transformation and ending wars as key pillars for de-listing Sudan as state sponsors of terrorism".

Before to leave Sudan on Wednesday, Special Assistant to the U.S. President and Senior Director for Africa at the National Security Council (NSC), Cyril Sartor, warned that the violent crackdown on protesters threatens Sudan’s removal from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism.

He told the AFP that the ongoing talks with the government "which could eventually lead to the lifting of state sponsors of terrorism designation... is being threatened by the current developments," he said pointing to the excessive use of violence against civilians.

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), on Friday evening, rejected the declaration of the state of emergency and vowed to continue the protests until the fall of this regime.

"Yes, our masses of Sudanese people in all cities and neighbourhoods will continue to go out to the streets to demonstrate and use all the kinds of peaceful revolutionary expression until all their demands are met".

The SPA, which coordinates the anti-government protests that continue for more than two months, further called to protest on Saturday, Sunday in the different areas of Khartoum state.

Further, it called for "the Procession Of Rejection" to the presidential palace in Khartoum and in the states.

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