10, June 2019
At least four people have been killed across Sudan on the first day of a “civil disobedience” campaign, which was launched in the wake of a deadly crackdown on protesters by the ruling generals.
The Central Committee for Sudanese Doctors said that two people were shot dead in the capital Khartoum, while two others died in a hospital in Omdurman city after being stabbed on Sunday.
Protesters set about building roadblocks in different parts of Khartoum on Sunday morning. But riot police swiftly moved in, firing gunshots in the air before clearing the makeshift barriers.
Several vehicles of the feared Rapid Support Forces (RSF), blamed for the killings during the recent crackdown, were seen Sunday moving across some parts of the capital, loaded with machine guns.
Public transport was barely functioning and most commercial banks, private companies and markets were shut.
The Sudanese Professionals Association, a key protest group, on Saturday announced a nationwide “civil disobedience” campaign it said would run until Sudan’s ruling generals transfer power to a civilian government.
“The civil disobedience movement will begin Sunday and end only when a civilian government announces itself in power on state television,” the SPA said in a statement, adding, “Disobedience is a peaceful act capable of bringing to its knees the most powerful weapons arsenal in the world.”
The call by the SPA, which first launched protests against longtime President Omar al-Bashir, came days after a bloody crackdown on protesters crushed hopes for a swift democratic transition.
Meanwhile, the doctors committee linked to demonstrators also blamed the ruling military council and paramilitary forces for the latest deaths. A total of 118 people have been killed since a crackdown was launched in early June to disperse a sit-in protest outside the military headquarters in the Sudanese capital.
The assault on a sit-in outside the army complex was led by the RSF, which has its origins in the notorious Janjaweed militia, accused of abuses in the Darfur conflict between 2003 and 2004.
Middle East Eye quoted a Sudanese military expert as saying this week that the head of Sudan’s ruling military council was given a “green light” by Saudi Arabia and its regional allies to crack down on protesters.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates backed the military council in the aftermath of the coup against Bashir by pledging $3 billion in cash and aid to the country.