Published: Sun, July 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Sudan activists call for 'justice' marches in wake of deal

Sudan activists call for 'justice' marches in wake of deal

The Sudanese Professionals' Association, which has been spearheading the protests since December, says the "Justice First" marches mark 40 days since a deadly dispersal of their protest sit-in outside the military headquarters.

The deal is meant to break the political deadlock that has gripped the country following the overthrow of autocratic President Omar al-Bashir in April and led the deaths of scores of protesters.

Hundreds also gathered on nearby open ground, chanting "civilian rule, civilian rule". "We want a civilian rule now", said Abdelgadir Omar, an English teacher participating in a rally in the capital.

Waving a Sudanese flag, an 11-year-old boy said "all the mothers were crying in their homes when their children were killed".

The announcement came as the generals and protest leaders went through the details of the agreement at a luxury hotel in the capital, Khartoum.

Earlier, security forces had closed all roads leading to the presidential palace and deployed along the road leading to the airport.

Protesters rallied in the eastern cities of Madani and Kassala and in the central city of Al-Obeid, witnesses said by telephone.

Witnesses said many protesters were carrying banners that read: "Justice for Martyrs" while others held photographs of demonstrators killed in the raid.

The protest organisers hoped that large numbers would take part in the marches, similar to massive demonstrations on June 30, when tens of thousands of demonstrators flooded the streets in the biggest show of numbers in the uprising.

Protesters continued their sit-in, demanding that the generals themselves step down, ahead of the brutal dispersal on June 3.

In the meantime, the African Union mediating team that sponsors power-sharing talks between the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) and opposition alliance of Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) said dialogue between the two sides was in its final stages.

The new governing body aims to install an overall transitional civilian administration for a period of a little over three years. A military leader is to head the 11-member council for the first 21 months, followed by a civilian leader for the next 18.

"The meeting, which was scheduled to be held Saturday between the TMC and the Freedom and Change Alliance, has been delayed to Sunday", Lebatt told reporters.

"We are in a real partnership".

Gen. Mohammed Hamadan Dagalo, deputy head of the military council, told a gathering of military supporters in the Nile River province, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of Khartoum, that his forces, the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, "are not angels and we will try all offenders".

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