August 16, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese Islamist supporters of the deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi have rallied in Khartoum following Friday prayers to protest against the deadly crackdown in Egypt that claimed hundreds of lives this week.
- Sudanese supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi protest following Friday noon prayers in front of the presidential palace in the capital Khartoum, on August 16, 2013, following the recent violence in Egypt. (ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images)
Around 500 people from various Islamic organizations including the opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP) of Hassan al-Turabi demonstrated near Sudan’s presidential palace, carrying Egyptian flags and pictures of Morsi.
The protest, which was organized by the Higher Committee for Advocating Legitimacy, expressed support for the Egyptian legitimacy alliance, condemning what the Sudanese official news agency (SUNA) described as “the heinous massacre committed by the bloody coup government in several public squares including Rabaa Al-Adawiya and al-Nahdha”.
"O’ coward Al-Sissi, Islam is in the battlefield”, shouted the demonstrators, referring to Egypt’s army chief, Abd Al-Fattah al-Sissi who orchestrated the ouster of president Morsi after millions protested calling for an end to his turbulent year in power.
“Shame on the coup plotters, Al-Sissi is an Israeli agent”, they also chanted.
The rally speakers called for reuniting the Sudanese Islamic Movement (IM) in order confront the challenges facing Islam and Muslims in the Arab and Muslim world, denouncing what they described as “the negative attitudes of some Arab rulers toward what is going on in Egypt”.
The secretary general of IM, Al-Zubair Ahmed Al-Hassan, called on the Sudanese government to mediate between the conflicting Egyptian parties and appealed for the unification of the IM in order to fight "the enemies of Islam".
The IM was created by Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP), following the 1999 schism with its former leader Turabi and his supporters who later formed the PCP.
The IM was designed to exist as a parallel and broader political base to support the Islamist orientation of the NCP regime and mobilize Sufi and radical Islamist groups under its umbrella, while excluding the PCP.
Al-Zubair further said that IM youths are eager for democratic rule, pointing that the coup regime will turn Egypt into another Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.
He added that the Sudanese people stand by the Egyptian people and support the Palestinian cause as well as all the Islamic nation’s issues.
The deputy secretary general of the PCP, Ibrahim Al-Sanousi, for his part, denounced the crackdown of the Egyptian government on the protesters and described the ousting of president Morsi as “high treason”, pointing that the Sudanese IM is an extension of the Egyptian Muslim brotherhood and its founder Hassan Al-Banna.
The Emir (leader) of the Mujahideen (holy fighters) called upon president Omer Hassan al-Bashir, Turabi and IM leaders to unite against tyranny, saying that they are fed up with fragmentation and rupture.
The Islamic leading figure, Isam Al-Bashir, stressed that what is going on in Egypt represents an obvious targeting of the Islamic nation, condemning what he called the human massacres committed by the Egyptian regime against its people.
Several other speakers expressed solidarity with the Egyptian people and called for the immediate release of Morsi, demanding the Egyptian army to stay away from politics.
Sudan’s Islamist government has appeared uncomfortable with the developments in Egypt given the common ideology they shared with Morsi and the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) which brought him to power.
However, Khartoum insisted that it is neutral to the change in Egypt and that it is an internal matter.
After weeks of futile, political mediation, police moved on Wednesday to clear two Brotherhood protest sit-ins in Cairo. Almost 600 people, most of them Islamists, were killed in the mayhem. With no compromise in sight, the most populous Arab nation - which is often seen as leading events in the entire region - looks increasingly polarized and angry.
Thousands of Islamists protested Friday across Egypt, sparking violence that killed at least 70 people and turned parts of Cairo into battlefields after police authorized the use of live ammunition.
The violence drew condemnation from major international players such as the US, France and Germany. This contrasted with support for the clampdown by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and Jordan.
Egypt has lurched from one crisis to another since the downfall of the autocratic Hosni Mubarak in 2011, dealing repeated blows to the economy, particularly tourism.