Sudanese demonstrators maintain Khartoum sit

Clay Curtis
April 12, 2019

Early on Tuesday, Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Service tried twice to disperse the protesters, breaking into the area using pickup trucks, witnesses said.

Protesters and the opposition Sudanese Congress Party (SCP) have called on the country's military leadership to abandon Bashir, whose power base is within the armed forces.

Demonstrators have been camped outside the military complex for days asking the army to back them in demands that Bashir step down.

Witnesses said the troops had stationed several vehicles loaded with machine-guns at the gates of the complex.

Protesters have been responding to calls by the Sudanese Professional Association to take part in the sit-in and to continue the protests outside army headquarters but "there is no real leader", Mohiedeen said. But the party said later that it had canceled the rally for security reasons.

The group spearheading the nationwide demonstrations urged residents of the capital to mass outside army headquarters.

Loyalists of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir called for a support rally in Khartoum on Thursday as protesters demanding his resignation massed outside army headquarters for a fifth straight day.

"Fifteen civilians and 42 from the security forces were injured during the protests while 2,496 have been arrested", he said.

More than 60 people have been killed since the demonstrations began, according to activists.

The sit-in outside the complex, which also houses Bashir's official residence, is the latest in a succession of anti-government demonstrations which have plunged Sudan into a major political crisis.

She chanted: "They burned us in the name of religion, killed us in the name of religion, jailed us in the name of religion", while a crowd around her shouted "revolution".

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Worldwide support for the protests has been relatively slow to materialize although the so-called "troika" countries - the UK, US and Norway - issued a statement on Tuesday backing demonstrations for the first time.

He also announced that the military had suspended the constitution, dissolved the government, declared a state of emergency for three months, closed the country's borders and airspace and imposed a curfew starting Thursday night.

Britain, the United States and Norway said Sudanese authorities must deliver a credible plan for a political transition or risk causing greater instability.

Sudan, along with Iran, Syria and North Korea, is on Washington's blacklist of state sponsors of terrorism.

Bashir, who swept to power in a 1989 coup, was one of Africa's longest-serving presidents and is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of genocide and war crimes.

Gunshots were also heard by protesters and witnesses, but they said it was unclear who was firing.

NISS said it was "monitoring the demonstrations and discharging its duty according to law".

"People want to build a new Sudan", said a banner erected by protesters on a bridge near the military headquarters, while some demonstrators built makeshift stone barricades.

On Wednesday, protesters continued to raise funds to ensure a regular supply of food and water for the crowd.

"Many shop owners and businessmen have offered us free supplies", said one demonstrator.

Some watched soccer matches on giant television screens mounted on special trucks.

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