Saturday, 24 August, 2019


Businesses remain shut on day three of Sudan strike

Sudanese soldiers stand guard a street in Khartoum on June 9 Businesses remain shut on day three of Sudan strike
Bennie Garza | 11 June, 2019, 21:26

Opposition leaders have put forward a list of demands before they will agree to return to negotiations with the army over the country's political transition.

"A number" of soldiers have been taken into custody following the killing of dozens of peaceful protesters in Khartoum last week, Sudan's Transitional Military Council (TMC) said late Monday.

The SPLM joined the alliance of Forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change, the movement that led protests against Al-Bashir.

In response, the opposition called a general strike that began on Sunday, the first day of the workweek in Sudan, to keep up pressure on the military, which had cancelled a power transfer agreement that called elections within nine months following the dismissal in April of the civilian regime of Omar al-Bashir.

Day two saw a sweeping nationwide internet blackout which rocked the country for several hours, after internet lines from the main provider Sudatel stopped working.

The military council, in what could be a gesture to the protesters, announced on Monday that several government troops have been arrested pending legal action, after a preliminary investigation into the dispersal of the protesters last week found evidence of wrongdoing.

The top USA diplomat to Africa is heading to Sudan in an attempt to negotiate between the ruling generals and protest leaders and to call for an end to violence and intimidation by paramilitaries loyal to the junta.

Speaking from a hotel after arriving in South Sudan's capital, Juba, Arman said on Monday: "I was deported against my will".

Stability in Sudan is crucial for a volatile region struggling with conflict and insurgencies from the Horn of Africa to Egypt and Libya.

"I came together with comrade Ismail Khamis Jalab and comrade Mubarak Ardol".

Arman said on Twitter he had been deported by military helicopter and has also claimed the three of them were tied up during the flight.

Protest organisers said the campaign would run until the generals handed power to a civilian government.

The council could not be reached for comment.

Opposition doctors say at least 118 people have been killed since the raid on the sit-in.

Lieutenant General Jamaleddine Omar, a military council member, said on state television late on Sunday: "The military council has made a decision to reinforce the presence of armed forces, RSF [Rapid Support Forces] and other regular forces to help normal life return".

Witnesses said the RSF, which grew out of Arab militias that fought in Darfur, led the assault on the protest sit-in in Khartoum last week. The government has confirmed 61 deaths, including three members of the security services.

Shops remain shut and the streets of the capital Khartoum and the neighbouring city of Omdurman are largely empty.

"If I work it does not mean that I don´t support the revolution", said bus driver Abdulmajid Mohamed.

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