“Down with the rule of the military.”
Thousands of Sudanese demonstrators chanted today, Thursday, the fall of “military rule”, and renewed their rejection of the political agreement between army chief Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan and Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok, who recently returned to his position after his dismissal and detention for about a month.
“The people want the fall of the regime,” protesters chanted on Sitteen Street in central Khartoum, borrowing the same slogan that has been echoed in Cairo, Tunisia and several Arab capitals since the Arab Quarter protests in 2011.
The demonstrators also chanted against the army chief, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, accusing him of being linked to the Islamists and the regime of Omar al-Bashir, who fell following a popular uprising in 2019.
In Khartoum, loudspeakers were also hung that began broadcasting songs that were also heard during the demonstrations against Al-Bashir.
In Omdurman, they chanted, “The rule of the military is not thankful” and “Civility is the choice of the people.”
Demonstrations also took place in Darfur (west), North Kordofan (central) and southern Khartoum.
After his return to office, Hamdok promised to relaunch the transitional phase to democracy.
A member of the Central Council of the Forces of Freedom and Change, Babiker Faisal, said that the political declaration between Army Commander Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan and Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok stripped the latter of his duties in favor of the army.
Faisal added in statements to Al-Jazeera that Hamdok returned to his position under the command of the armed forces and did not return to the powers that he enjoyed before the coup, as he put it.
On Thursday, Sudanese police forces dispersed protests in the cities of El Obeid and Nyala, rejecting the political agreement between the President of the Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, and Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok.
The resistance committees in North Kordofan state (central of the country) stated that what they called the coup police are subjecting the processions (demonstrations) to the city of El-Obeid with excessive violence, causing injuries and cases of gas suffocation among the protesters, and said that they are currently monitoring the cases and the extent of violence.
Eyewitnesses also informed Anadolu Agency that security forces fired tear gas at demonstrators in Nyala, which led to injuries. Witnesses added that the city’s streets witnessed hit and run cases between police forces and demonstrators. There was no official comment from the Sudanese authorities.
For his part, Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok called for securing demonstrations today, Thursday, and for the start of releasing detainees during the previous demonstrations.
betrayal and suicide
Al-Burhan had responded to the demands of the international community to return Hamdok to the prime ministership, and pledged to release the politicians who were arrested after his coup against his civilian partners in the institutions of the transitional authority, which is supposed to lead the country towards civilian rule through general elections in 2023.
However, the demonstrators did not accept this agreement, and the “Professional Association” described it as “treason” and “political suicide” for Hamdok.
Several days ago, activists on social networks called for new demonstrations today, Thursday, which they called “a million loyalty to the martyrs”, who fell during the security forces’ response to the protests against Al-Burhan’s decisions, which led to 42 deaths and hundreds of injuries, according to the Sudanese Medical Syndicate.
Despite Hamdok’s return to his position, Al-Burhan maintained the new formation of the Sovereignty Council, the supreme authority during the transitional period, from which representatives of the forces of freedom and change were excluded.
Al-Burhan retained the presidency of this council, as well as retaining his deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as “Hamditi”, the commander of the Rapid Support Forces accused of committing numerous abuses and violations in Darfur.
In an interview on Wednesday with local media, Hamdok defended his decision. He stressed that his main motive is to “stop the bloodshed” and not waste what has been achieved at the economic level “during the past two years” since the overthrow of Al-Bashir.
While international human rights organizations and the international community have condemned in recent weeks the repression of demonstrators, the United Nations envoy to Sudan, Folk Perthes, called for avoiding “bloodshed and arbitrary arrests” during Thursday’s demonstrations.