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Sudan: Thousands of demonstrators demand restructuring military establishment

Sudanese leader General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, 5 February 2020
Sudanese leader General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, 3 February 2020 [Twitter]

Thousands of Sudanese citizens demonstrated in the capital, Khartoum, Thursday, demanding the restructuring of the military establishment and the removal of elements of the former regime from its ranks.

The demonstrators carried the national flag and chanted slogans about the President of the Sovereignty Council, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Al-Burhan, and Commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Muhammad Hamdan Daglo, aka Hamidati while expressing their support for the officers who were recently referred to retirement.

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) (leader of the protest movement) and the resistance committees in the country called the Sudanese people to demonstrate, under the slogan: “In support of the Sudanese army’s honourable officers.”

The demonstrators called for restructuring the military establishment, removing elements affiliated with the former regime, dismantling the militias, forming a national army and reintegrating all the officers who have been excluded earlier.

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The security services closed the streets leading to the headquarters of the army’s general command, the presidential palace and the council of ministers, reported the Anadolu Agency’s correspondent.

The reporter indicated that several protesters were injured, but the Sudanese medical authorities did not issue any statement about the number of injuries.

The resistance committees, which were formed in Sudanese cities and villages after the outbreak of the protests on 19 December 2018, played a central role in managing the demonstrations in the neighbourhoods and cities until former President Omar Al-Bashir was ousted on 11 April 2019.

On Tuesday, Al-Burhan issued retirement statements that included officers who sided with the revolution that overthrew Al-Bashir’s regime.

READ: Al-Bashir’s trial at the ICC will be a victory for the popular revolution 

The retirement statements, which the Anadolu Agency obtained a copy of earlier, listed 74 officers, including officers who had previously declared their support to the December 2018 revolution and the sit-in in front of the army headquarters in Khartoum, the most prominent of whom were First Lieutenant Muhammad Siddiq Ibrahim, and Captain Suleiman Babiker.

Thousands of Sudanese protested in front of the army headquarters in Khartoum for two months to pressure the military council (dissolved) to accelerate the handover of power to civilians after the overthrow of Al-Bashir regime.

However, the Sudanese authorities dispersed the sit-in by force at the time, which led to the death of 61 people, according to the Ministry of Health, while Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC), which led the protests, estimated the death toll at 128.

Sudan has seen rapid developments, since the army overthrew Al-Bashir, under the pressure of popular protests, which began in late 2018, denouncing the deterioration of the economic conditions in the country.

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