Sudan.. Al-Burhan confirms that his decisions will not be retracted, and Hemedti considers them a correction to the course of the revolution
The commander of the Sudanese army, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, said that he would not back down from the decision to dissolve the government and declare a state of emergency, while the commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemedti) confirmed that Al-Burhan’s decisions came to correct the course of the people’s revolution.
In a recorded speech, Hemedti said that “the decisions of last October 25 were caused by the failure of reform due to the adherence of a small group to power,” stressing the commitment to “democratic transition, holding elections in 2023, and forming an independent civilian government.”
Al-Burhan said that what he did last October 25 is not a coup, and that discussions are taking place with various political forces to form a civilian government of independent civilian competencies.
In an interview with Al Jazeera English, Al-Burhan confirmed that he would not back down from the decisions of last October 25, praising the “international community’s efforts to support the transitional period.” He also rejected what he called “threats”, and said that he would not be part of any government that comes after the transitional period.
He pointed out that peaceful demonstration is a legitimate right, and that incitement to sedition will not be allowed, pointing out that the Alliance of Forces for Freedom and Change includes about 100 political components and the decision is in the hands of only 4. He stressed that the Sudanese army does not kill citizens, “and there are investigation committees to reveal what happened.”
Yesterday, Sunday, the official Sudanese TV said that Al-Burhan had met with the delegation of the Arab League. Sudan TV did not mention any further details.
Later, the delegation met the ousted Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok. The Arab League had said that it had sent a delegation to Khartoum to contribute to “addressing the crisis situation.”
An official source in the General Secretariat of the Arab League stated that the delegation is scheduled to meet with Sudanese leaders from the various components in order to support efforts to cross the current political crisis, in light of the signed agreements governing the transitional period, in order to achieve the aspirations of the Sudanese people towards peace, development and stability.
On the ground, Sudanese demonstrators closed on Sunday some main streets in the capital, Khartoum, and the cities of Bahri and Omdurman, in response to the calls for civil disobedience called by the gathering of professionals in protest against the military’s monopoly rule of the country and the overthrow of civilians.
Yesterday morning, the French Press Agency monitored some closed shops, while others remained open, and eyewitnesses reported the establishment of barriers in some streets of Omdurman and Bahri.
An eyewitness in Omdurman told the agency – who refused to reveal his name for fear of reprisals – that “the movement in the streets is less than usual, but there is no complete closure of the streets, and some shops are working and others are not.”
The Sudanese police forces dispersed – by firing tear gas canisters – a protest sit-in organized by the Teachers’ Committee in front of the Ministry of Education headquarters in Khartoum, in rejection of the decisions of the Sudanese army chief, Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan.
A source in the Sudanese Professionals Association reported the detention of 20 teachers who participated in a protest sit-in at the Ministry of Education headquarters.
The participants in the vigil raised banners calling for the return of the civil government and the employees of the ministry who were dismissed, and chanted slogans confirming their commitment to the calls for civil disobedience called for by the gathering of professionals yesterday, Sunday and today.
South Khartoum demonstrations
Simultaneously, the police forces fired tear gas and ammunition canisters into the air to disperse hundreds of demonstrators rejecting Al-Burhan’s decisions in the Al-Shajara and Al-Azozab neighborhoods (south of the capital, Khartoum). According to eyewitnesses, the police chased the participants in these demonstrations into the neighborhoods.
The Sudanese Professionals Association – one of the leaders of the 2019 protests that led to the fall of former President Omar al-Bashir – called on Saturday to prepare for the “comprehensive rebellion on Sunday and Monday,” adding, “We begin to patrol (close) the main streets without friction.”
The call for the gathering of professionals received a response from professional unions, political and party forces, as well as about 30 labor organizations.
On October 25, Al-Burhan announced a state of emergency in the country, the dissolution of the Sovereignty Council, which he headed, and the dissolution of the government headed by Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok, who was arrested for a short period, before his release to move to his home, where he was placed under house arrest. Most of the government ministers are civilians, and some activists and politicians.
The country – especially the capital – has witnessed a wave of protests, during which demonstrators have closed the streets and declared civil disobedience, since those decisions were issued.
The security forces confronted the protesters several times with a repression that resulted in the death and injury of many protesters, and according to the statistics of the Central Doctors Committee against the decisions of Al-Burhan, 14 people were killed.
Last Friday, the United Nations Human Rights Council condemned the series of human rights violations in Sudan, the killing of demonstrators, the wounding of more than 300 people during the protests, and the cutting off of the internet from the capital to prevent the population from accessing information.
As a result of mounting international pressure against his decisions, Al-Burhan issued a decision last Thursday to release 4 ministers, but the protesters continue to refuse.