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Sudan’s opposition calls for new protests ahead of general strike

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July 1, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The opposition coalition Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) Monday called on the military junta to hand over power to a civilian-led authority and announced a series of protests before a general on July 14.

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Women massively participated in nationwide protests of 30 June 2019 (Photo Reuters)

The escalation comes as the Transitional Military Council (TMC) clings to the leadership of the Sovereign Council during the transitional period. While its contested generals continue to pursue a political campaign aimed at mobilizing popular support from tribal and traditional leaders in the rural areas against the urban population.

The FFC issued two separate statements calling for the formation of an AU-backed independent commission to investigate the killing of civilians after April 11, 2019, the date where the military junta took power in the country.

In a first statement, the opposition called on the Council to immediately hand over power to a transitional civilian-led authority consisting of a sovereign council, a council of ministers with full executive powers, and a legislative assembly, in line with the Declaration on Freedom and Change.

Opposition sources in Khartoum say the military junta is still adhering to its demand to take over the presidency of the Sovereign Council during the transitional period and rejects a proposal by the African-Ethiopian mediation to alternate the leadership of the collective presidency with the FFC, 18 months for each side.

The TMC says they want to be the guarantor of stability in the country until the end of the transitional period after three years and the election of a democratic government. The opposition accuses the council of wanting to protect its members from criminal accountability for crimes committed in the country.

In a second statement issued late on Monday, the freedom and change forces announced a series of protest activities until the 13 July where they plan to organize rallies across the country before to launch a general strike on 14 July.

On June 30, Sudan witnessed unprecedented popular demonstrations in the country’s history in support of the opposition demand to hand over power to a civilian government.

Seven people have been killed and more than 181 people have been wounded in the demonstrations, according to health authorities. For its part, the military council said unknown elements have fired at demonstrators in Omdurman.

At the same time, eyewitnesses said that military vehicles of the Rapid Support Forces threw the bodies of three people north of Almutamar School and South Khor Abuanja, Omdurman, and quickly fled the area.

The military council did not issue a statement or made a comment on this incident.

The ruling council had formed an investigation commission into the attack on the pro-democracy sit-in on 3 June, but its findings on the killing of over a hundred people have not yet been released.

(ST)

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