Sudanese set for nationwide protests against military coup

Sudanese demonstrators march and chant during a protest against the military takeover, in Atbara, Sudan October 27, 2021 in this social media image. Ebaid Ahmed via REUTERS
Sudanese demonstrators march and chant during a protest against the military takeover, in Atbara, Sudan October 27, 2021 in this social media image. Ebaid Ahmed via REUTERS

Opponents of a military coup in Sudan have called for nationwide protests to demand the restoration of a civilian-led government.

Khartoum committee activist Hussam Ibnauf said the protest on Saturday had been well-advertised and he was confident of a big turnout.

“Everyone on the street … they know about October 30. If they know, the rest is easy,” he said.

There was now “no fear factor”, he said.

“The army should go back to its barracks and give the leadership to Hamdok,” said an activist who gave his name as Mohamed, who plans to protest. “Our demand is a civilian country, a democratic country, nothing less than that.”

With at least 11 protesters killed in clashes with security forces this week, opponents of the junta fear a full-blown crackdown and more bloodshed.

Thousands of Sudanese have already taken to the streets this week against the coup led by General Abdel Fattah al Burhan, who dissolved Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s cabinet in a coup that has led Western states to freeze hundreds of millions in aid.

With internet and phone lines restricted by the authorities, opponents of the coup have sought to mobilize for the protest using fliers, SMS messages, graffiti, and neighborhood rallies.

Neighborhood-based resistance committees, active since the uprising against deposed President Omar al Bashir that began in December 2018, have been central to organizing despite the arrests of key politicians.