Huge crowds of protesters yesterday thronged the Sudanese capital Khartoum a week after the army’s ouster of president Omar al-Bashir, determined to complete their revolution seeking civilian rule.
Roads leading to a sit-in outside the army headquarters were filled with demonstrators as people converged on the site chanting “power to civilians, power to civilians” and “freedom, peace, justice”.
On April 11, the army brought Bashir’s three-decade rule to an end as tens of thousands of protesters camped by the military complex in central Khartoum to demand its backing.
Numbers at the site dwindled in the days following the veteran’s toppling, but protesters returned in force to keep up pressure for a civilian government to replace the military council now in charge.
“We are sending a message that we are not leaving this area until we achieve our goal,” said protester Ahmed, who had been at the rally since yesterday morning. “The idea is to keep the fire burning.”
Yesterday’s rally was not convened by protest organisers who have campaigned for four months against Bashir, but was a result of widespread calls by activists and individual demonstrators on social media networks.
Bashir, who took power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989, headed a brutal regime that saw conflicts across the country, the secession of South Sudan and regular arrests of opposition leaders, activists and journalists.
Protests broke out on December 19 in response to the tripling of bread prices, swiftly turning into nationwide rallies against Bashir.
Cities, towns and villages echoed with chants of “freedom, peace, justice,” and “just fall, that’s all”.
The 75-year-old faces charges
from the International Criminal Court
of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity relating to the
conflict in the western region of
But despite detaining him, the military has resisted sending him to The Hague, saying his handover is a matter for a future civilian government which it has pledged to deliver.
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