CAIRO (AP) – Protests in Sudan’s capital and across the country yesterday demanded a faster pace to democratic reforms, in demonstrations that marked the two-year anniversary of the uprising that led to the military’s ouster of strongman Omar al-Bashir.
The protests come amid rising tensions between military and civilian members of Sudan’s transitional government, which was set up after al-Bashir’s arrest in April 2019 and has promised sweeping reforms.
Tensions have largely centred on the Sudanese military’s economic assets, over which the civilian-run finance ministry does not have control.
Yesterday’s ‘million-man march’ was called by the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, and the Resistance Committees, which were instrumental in leading protests against al-Bashir and demanding the army generals who replaced him share power with civilian officials.
Security forces closed off major roads and streets leading to government and military headquarters in Khartoum ahead of the protests.
Footage circulating online yesterday showed thousands of protesters marching in Khartoum and its twin city, Omdurman, as well as in other cities across the country. Protesters set tires ablaze in some areas in the capital. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
The protesters have called for a swift formation of a legislative body. Creating an interim Parliament was part of a power-sharing agreement signed in August 2019 between pro-democracy protesters and the country’s powerful military.
The demonstrations have also renewed calls for a government-led investigation into the violent dispersal of a protest camp outside the military headquarters in Khartoum in June 2019.