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Sudan security forces continue to crackdown on media, politicians

Sudanese demonstrators gather to protest demanding a civilian transition government in front of military headquarters outside the army headquarters in Khartoum, Sudan on 3 May, 2019 [Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency]
Sudanese demonstrators gather to protest demanding a civilian transition government in front of military headquarters outside the army headquarters in Khartoum, Sudan on 3 May, 2019 [Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency]

Sudanese security forces have announced today that they are continuing a widespread campaign of arrests throughout the country, particularly on journalists and political leaders.

The latest developments in the nationwide crackdown by the military junta that currently rules Sudan include the arrest of the leader of the Islamic Reform Movement Osama Tawfiq this morning, and last night's arrest of Sadiq Al-Ruzaiqi, the President of the East African Journalists' Union and Sudanese Journalists' Syndicate.

Amongst the arrests that took place yesterday were those of the Chief of the Sudanese Joint Staff, General Hashim Abdul Muttalib Babakir; the Commander of the Armoured Corps, Major General Nasruddin Abdul Fattah; the Commander of the Central Region, around which the army headquarters is located, Major General Bahruddin Ahmed Bahr; the leader of the National Congress Party Kamal Abdul Latif; Secretary General of the Islamic Movement Zubayr Ahmed Al-Hassan; and former Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti.

In a statement the Transitional Military Council today said the arrests were conducted because "we accuse some of its leaders of participating in a coup attempt, which does not agree with the movement's vision of the importance of stability and reconciliation at this stage."

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The crackdown on media and political figures comes after the Sudanese military announced yesterday that it had foiled a "coup attempt" which aimed to stop "the glorious revolution of the people and the return of the former National Congress system to rule and blocking the way to a political solution that aims at establishing the civil state the Sudanese people dream of".

Since December 2018, protests have held in Sudan against the then-President Omar Al-Bashir, who was deposed in April this year by the Sudanese military. The Transitional Military Council was then set up with the promise of installing a civilian government after two years, leading to further protests as demonstrators called for an immediate transition of power to a civil system. The protests were then followed by weeks of atrocities committed by the Sudanese military and its Rapid Support Forces (RSF). A crackdown on protestors, media and opposition continues to be enforced by the military government.

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