Sudan on tenterhooks: Mass protests against the military coup
Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Mass protests are expected today in Khartoum and throughout the country against the recent military coup. Hence, the people of Sudan are on tenterhooks, given the possibility of further loss of life.
International nations have frozen economic assistance that is needed. Thus, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan faces an array of serious issues after his coup against the cabinet of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.
Voice of America reports, “Burhan has said military forces were compelled to take over because of quarrels between political parties that he claimed could lead to civil war. However, the coup also comes just weeks before Burhan would have had to hand over the leadership of the Sovereign Council, the ultimate decision-maker in Sudan, to a civilian, in a step that would reduce the military’s hold on the country.”
The State Department of the United States said, “We call on the security forces to refrain from any and all violence against protesters and to fully respect the citizens’ right to demonstrate peacefully.”
The Guardian reports, “Sudan’s six-day-old military junta faces its most serious challenge with pro-democracy groups, civilian politicians and trade unions attempting to gather for planned mass demonstrations against Monday’s coup.”
It is known that at least 11 protesters have been killed since the coup against Hamdok took place. Other sources, including an official from America, put the death toll between 20 and 30 people. Therefore, with protests expected to be high in numbers, the fear is that more deaths will flow.
Hamdok insists that tensions have existed within the civilian and military structure of Sudan since Omar al-Bashir lost power in 2019. He said, “The serious political crisis that we are living in right now, I would not be exaggerating to say, is the worst and most dangerous crisis that not only threatens the transition but threatens our whole country.”
General Burhan knows that Hamdok – former senior United Nations (UN) official – holds considerable UN clout. Hence, Hamdok was allowed to return to his home after initially being held against his will.
It is hoped that all parties can solve their differences because the fragile nature of the economy of Sudan means new convulsions will only weaken this country. Hopefully, General Burhan will take note of the protests, the international community, the UN, the African Union, and leading international nations that are pressurizing him to find an immediate democratic solution.
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