December 18, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Several Sudanese officials have downplayed the December 19th civil disobedience describing the general strike as “big zero” and “nonsense”.
Large segments of the Sudanese people have engaged in a three-day civil disobedience act from 27 to 29 November to protest the recent austerity measures and the lack of freedoms.
Activists have launched a wide electronic campaign to mobilize the Sudanese to engage in a second civil disobedience action on December 19th.
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.
Last week, President Omer al-Bashir said his government wouldn’t be overthrown by the “WhatsApp”, pointing he wouldn’t hand over the country to the activists who hide behind the “keyboards”.
Sudan’s Presidential Assistant and Deputy Chairman of the ruling party Ibrahim Mahmoud told reporters Sunday that “the outcome of the previous call for civil disobedience was zero and the upcoming one would be a big zero”.
He denied that his government is holding any political detainees, but he was so quick to say “that is not part of my job”.
Commenting on the recent crackdown on the press, Hamid said the authorities have the right to take all the necessary measures to maintain the security and stability if there is any security threat to the country.
The National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) has recently intensified crackdown on newspapers for publishing news reports and articles on the nationwide civil disobedience act which took place between 27 and 29 November. During the last three weeks, it seized copies of various dailies 23 times.
Also, the NISS launched a large arrest campaign and detained more than 40 opposition figures from the Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP) , National Umma Party (NUP), Sudanese Communist Party (SCP), Arab Ba’ath Party, National Alliance Forces (NAF) as well as civil society activists and journalists.
Meanwhile, vice-president Hassabo Mohamed Abdel-Rahman said the civil disobedience “wouldn’t achieve anything”, calling on the youth to launch an electronic media campaign to increase production in the country.
Abdel-Rahman, who addressed the program “Youth for Production” in Khartoum on Sunday, said true independence is to achieve national will and self-sufficiency, sending a message to who he called the “saboteurs” saying you “won’t be able to break our will”.
For his part, the chairman of the Liberation and Justice Party (LJP) party and Health Minister, Bahar Idris Abu Garda, has criticized the opposition forces who supported the civil disobedience call, saying they are “unserious and have no political alternative”.
Commenting on the National Umma Party’s (NUP) support for the general strike, the former Darfur rebel leader told reporters on Sunday that “al-Sadiq al-Mahdi has no alternative political project”, saying any person has the right to oppose or change the government through the “legitimate means”.
He called on the opposition to lay out its alternative programme first and then call for general strike, saying “any civil disobedience without an alternative programme is doomed to fail”.
On the other hand, the leader of the rebel Sudan people’s liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) Malik Agar on Sunday released a short audio message where he calls on the Sudanese army and other regular forces to stand by the sudanese people and to join the general strike.
DETENTION CAMPAIGN CONTINUES
Meanwhile, the opposition forces have announced more detentions among its members across the country as the date of the civil disobedience approaches.
The Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) on Sunday said the NISS arrested a number of its members in various parts of Sudan including Ahmed Hassan Ahmed in the White Nile state, Zaki Masour and Ahmed Bort in Atbara, River Nile state, Mohamed Koko and Mohanad Ramadan in Khartoum East and Mohamed Al-Tayeb in the Gazeera state.
It added the NISS has also summoned Zaineb Ahmed Abdel-Bagi, Kamal Mohamed Al-Ni’ma, Hamad Kashar and al-Amin Maarouf to its headquarters in Al-Managel, Gazeera state.
Also, the National Umma Party (NUP) on Sunday said the NISS detained its member Aymen Hamad Bakr in Al-Obayyed, North Kordofan state.