Sudan opposition warns of fresh bid to break up sit-in

Publication date: 
May 17 2019
Opposition accuses ‘certain parties’ of staging attacks on sit-in outside army HQ in Khartoum
Sudan’s opposition Freedom and Change coalition on Friday warned of a fresh bid to disperse an ongoing sit-in outside army headquarters in Khartoum, where protesters continue to demand that the ruling Military Transitional Council (MTC) hand over power to a civilian authority.
In a Friday statement, the opposition coalition asserted that “certain parties” were attempting to remove barricades set up by protesters to protect the sit-in.
“Certain parties have renewed their attempts to tear down the barricades,” the statement read without identifying the “parties” in question.
The coalition called on Sudanese “revolutionaries” to converge on the area with a view to protecting the sit-in and its participants.
“We warn against the harming of any protester or any encroachment on the sit-in area,” the statement read. “We hold the MTC entirely responsible for the protesters’ safety.”
The MTC, for its part, has yet to comment on the opposition coalition’s assertions.
On Wednesday evening, an attack on the sit-in left 14 people injured, including seven wounded by gunfire, according to the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors.
And on Monday, six people were killed -- including five protesters -- when the sit-in was attacked by unidentified gunmen.
The following day, opposition leaders hinted at the possible involvement of Sudan’s army-affiliated Rapid Support Forces in Monday’s attack.
Early last month, the Sudanese army ousted President Omar al-Bashir following months of popular demonstrations against his 30-year rule.
The MTC is now overseeing a two-year “transitional period” during which it has pledged to hold presidential elections.
Demonstrators, however, have remained on the streets to demand that the military council relinquish power -- at the earliest possible date -- to a civilian authority.
Hiba Sait - Anadolu Agency