In the face of a growing movement of Sudanese opposition, protesting rising costs of bread and other essentials, security forces of the government of President Omar al-Bashir moved forcefully to end the demonstrations using tear gas, night sticks and live ammunition, according to witnesses.
States of emergency and curfews have been declared in several of the protesting cities.
Ironically, the crisis comes as a page was being turned for the controversial leader of Sudan. The U.S. ended two decades of sanctions, new investment was promised and hope was beginning to take shape for an economic rebirth.
But when Mr. Bashir ended fuel and wheat subsidies, reportedly at the suggestion of international lending partners, protests broke out.
On the sixth day of protests, a mass procession to the presidential palace was planned. Another group, the Sudanese Professional Association, announced plans to hand over a memorandum to the Parliament demanding the regime “give up the political and executive power to the Sudanese people who flooded the cities with their sole demand to end the regime’s 30 years of dictatorship.”
One of Sudan’s largest political groups, the Democratic Unionist Party, called on its supporters to join the Tuesday march. The Sudanese Conference Party, a small group with an inclusive agenda, also said it supports the march.
Supporters of the opposition used the occasion of a soccer game over the weekend to chant slogans and stand up to police, now shooting rubber bullets, said witnesses.
Video from the event showed fans chanting “The people want to bring down the regime” – a popular slogan of the Arab Spring uprisings of 2010 and 2011. The video showed that not all the fans took part.
Sudan’s doctors, meanwhile, began an indefinite strike Monday, with organizers reporting a widespread response. The strike is mainly focused on government hospitals, but the organizers said some doctors in private clinics were joining in.
“The Bashir regime has been facing a crisis of legitimacy,” said Zachariah Mampilly, a professor of political science at Vassar College and the author of “Africa Uprising: Popular Protest and Political Change.”
The union of pharmacists are also planning an indefinite strike starting this week.
Source via Global Information Network