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Sudan’s Bashir says civil disobedience “won’t topple government”

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December 12, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir on Monday said the civil disobedience wouldn’t topple his government stressing he won’t hand over the country to those who hide behind the “computer keyboards”.

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Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir (AFP Photo/Ashraf Shazly)

Groups of activists have launched a wide electronic campaign to mobilize the Sudanese to engage in a civil disobedience action on December 19 th to protest recent government decision to lift fuel, electricity and drug subsidy.

Sudanese opposition forces and armed groups expressed support for the general strike and called upon their affiliates to play an active role to ensure its success.

In his address before a crowd in Sudan’s eastern city of Kassala on Monday, al-Bashir said the government wouldn’t be overthrown by the “WhatsApp”, pointing he wouldn’t hand over the country to the activists who oppose the government via the social media.

“You hear about those who seek to defeat you through the keyboard and the WhatsApp..I won’t hand over the country to them, and I say to them: If you want to topple the regime, meet us on the streets, however, we are certain that you won’t take to the streets because you are aware of what had occurred in the past,” he said.

In September 2013, over 200 people were killed according to rights groups in the spontaneous popular protests after the announcement of the first austerity plan.

The Sudanese president urged his supporters not to listen to the calls of those who he called the “mercenaries” who want to “sell the country for a few dollars”.

He further pointed to the crowed with his cane saying “Inqaz (salvation) regime is not the government or Omer al-Bashir, it is you”.

“Some said the president has fled the country..I won’t flee because I represent the pride and dignity of the Sudanese people.. Sudan is precious,” he added.

It is noteworthy that al-Bashir’s speech in Kassala was the first of its kind since the government announced the second austerity plan in November.

The government decision stirred up large protests across Sudan last month. Also, large segments of the Sudanese had engaged in a three-day civil disobedience action from 27 to 29 November.

In an interview with the UAE-based Al Khaleej newspaper on 29 November, al-Bashir said the general strike was a “one million percent failure”, pointing that all residents were keen to go to their workplaces.

(ST)

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