Home | News    Wednesday 30 November 2016

Sudanese activists call for open-ended general strike in December

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Girls covering their faces with scarf write slogans on a wall calling for civil disobedience on Sunday 27 November in Wad Madani, Sudan (ST Photo)

November 29, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Hours before the end of a three-day civil disobedience in Sudan, a group of activists claimed the responsibility of its organization. They further vowed to continue their nonviolent protest against the government, calling for an open-ended general strike next December.

The three-day protest against the austerity measures was successful in the schools and universities. However Schools reached by Sudan Tribune on Tuesday said 70% of their students were present. Others said they reduced the teaching time and close at 01:00 pm instead of 02:pm. Also, a college student said they didn’t study on Tuesday due to the absence of teachers.

In the Sudanese capital life returned to normal on Tuesday as traders resumed their activities and employees went to work. According to a commercial bank employee, work dropped by more than half during the first two days but returned to normal Tuesday.

Also, there was no participation in the general strike among the public sector employees. However activists reported that an employee at the ministry of finance was relieved due to its participation in the protest.

For the first time, a group of activists dubbed KHALAS or ’Deliverance’ claimed the responsibility of the organization of the civil disobedience which was entirely organized through the social media.

"(Khalas) Preliminary Committee is working with all the Sudanese people sectors for the continuation of civil disobedience until its success," said a statement extended by the group to Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.

Khalas further said it plans to build up the nonviolent revolt against the regime through several preparatory stages to reach an open-ended civil disobedience that will begin on 19 December, the day where Sudanese MPs passed a resolution to declare the independence of Sudan in 1955.

The groups said the open-ended strike would continue until the fall of the regime, hoping "to raise the banner of true independence on the first of January" 2017 as it had been done in 1956.

The group further said they plan to set up local committees of disobedience in every city in Sudan to actively and effectively mobilize for the 19-December general strike.

They called to turn off lights on 29 November from 9:00 to 10:00 pm, and to declare the 6 December a day of national unity to commemorate the Black Sunday events of 6 December 1964 in Khartoum where thirty-eight individuals were killed in political violence after October Revolution.

The electronic campaign to mobilize the Sudanese against the regime is seen successful, as some activist Facebook groups have got large number of followers.

However, government officials continue to minimize its impact on the street, saying the call for the strike was a failure.

Commenting on the three-day civil disobedience, Government spokesperson and Information Minister Ahmed Balal Osman, said "The whole issue is full of rumours .. I mean everyone walks out, takes a picture of the street and says, it was empty and that the protest succeeded. I think this talk is not proper".

Osman in a statement to Alyoum Altali stressed that the civil disobedience was a big failure and people continue to carry out their activities normally.

The head of Darfur peace office and government chief negotiator Amin Hassan Omer denied that the possible internet shutdown to prevent activists from using the social media.

"The people reject any threat to stability and security that the country enjoys and which is an exception to the surrounding Arab and African countries," he stressed.

(ST)

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