The people want Burhane down, chanted the demonstrators in reference to General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, who led the coup, witnesses told AFP.
Riot police were deployed at main crossroads in Khartoum, while Sudanese authorities closed all roads surrounding the army headquarters in the center of the capital with barbed wire and concrete blocks, according to a journalist. from AFP.
These protests come three years after the start of the
revolution in Sudan which overthrew Omar al-Bashir after 30 years of dictatorship.
A murderous repression
After the October 25 coup and a crackdown that has since left 45 dead and hundreds injured, the spearheads of the
revolution anti-Bashir want to relaunch a movement that has run out of steam among the 45 million Sudanese stuck in inflation at over 300%.
On the day of the putsch, General Burhane had arrested most of the civilians who were ruling the country with him.
On November 21, he signed an agreement with the civilian prime minister, Abdallah Hamdok, who was then able to leave his house arrest and return to his post. General Burhane also pledged free elections in July 2023, but he still has not formed a government.
The new understanding between General Burhane and Mr. Hamdok has been denounced as a
treason, even a
return to the old regime militaro-Islamist of General Omar al-Bashir, by the pro-civilians.
Our revolution seeks to establish institutions, not individualsa protester, surrounded by thousands of others waving the Sudanese flag, told AFP.
This agreement does not represent the people, said another protestor in his thirties.
” We only have one request and that is the formation of a civilian government independent of the army. “
The day before, Mr. Hamdok had warned against further violence that risks
to drag the country into an abyss, calling on the demonstrators to restraint.
Today we are facing a major regression in the progress of our revolution which threatens the security, unity and stability of the country., said the civilian prime minister.
On Sunday, the authorities cut the bridges linking the capital to its twin city Omdurman, but this measure did not prevent the gatherings of demonstrators.
Protesters are very numerous and security forces fail to control them, a witness told Omdurman.
The Sudanese chose the day of December 19 to demonstrate, because in addition to marking the third anniversary of the start of the anti-Bashir revolution, it was on this day, in 1955, that the Parliament of the country still under British control had proclaimed independence.
” The coup d’état cut the road to democratic transition: with it, the military took full control of political and economic life. “
Long before the putsch, Khartoum recognized that 80% of the country’s resources were still not under its control.
For Khaled Omer, minister ousted during the putsch and executive of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FLC), the civilian spearhead of the
revolution, this putsch gives
the opportunity to correct the faults of the previous system.
This team had rallied in 2019 under the same anti-Bashir banner civilians, soldiers and paramilitaries, joined in 2020 by rebels from remote regions of the country.
But if the sacred union fizzled out – the civilians intended to regain power on their own soon, the military imposed the extension for two years of General Burhane’s tenure as de facto head of the country – the civilians did not not yet presented an action plan, repeat the diplomats who meet them regularly.