In central Khartoum on Sunday morning, December 19, the streets were empty, a journalist from Agence France-Presse (AFP) noted. Three years after the start of the revolution in Sudan, which overthrew Omar Al-Bashir after thirty years of dictatorship, supporters of a civilian regime are preparing to take to the streets on Sunday afternoon against the army, which suspended the democratic transition.
Shops closed as riot police deployed at major crossroads. In the morning, authorities placed concrete blocks on several bridges connecting the center of the capital with the suburbs of Omdurman and Bahri, west and north of Khartoum.
Armed soldiers in vehicles were also positioned near bridges with machine guns placed on some of them. All roads surrounding the army headquarters in the city center were closed with armed vehicles, barbed wire and concrete barriers.
“Fall of the country into the abyss”
On December 19, 2018, faced with the economic slump in which Sudan was plunged, under an international embargo, hundreds of thousands of Sudanese took to the streets, forcing the army to dismiss the dictator four months later. If the Sudanese had chosen that day, it was because in 1955, on the same date, the country’s Parliament (still under British supervision) had proclaimed independence.
Since then, the country has tried to complete its democratic transition, but the military coup of October 25 by General Abdel Fattah Al-Bourhane led to a new repression, killing 45 and injuring hundreds.
On Saturday, on the eve of this demonstration called by political and trade union organizations, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok warned the population in a speech against the “Fall of the country into the abyss”. “Today we are facing a major regression in the progress of our revolution which threatens the security, unity and stability of the country and risks leading the State into an abyss which will leave us neither homeland nor revolution”Mr. Hamdok said.
Since the coup, the military has reinstated the civilian prime minister and promised free elections in July 2023, but has yet to form a government. Opposite, the procivils also accuse Mr. Hamdok of ” treason “.