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Thousands of Sudanese protesters want army out, demand civilian rule

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Sudanese protesters join a rally in support of a civilian-led transition to democracy in Khartoum, on September 30, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Thousands of Sudanese have stages rallies in the capital of Khartoum against the country's military rulers and demanding the formation of new transitional authorities that would exclusively consist of civilians.

 The demonstrators on Thursday converged on the central Khartoum to demand an exclusively civilian transitional government and accusing the generals now in power of derailing its transition to democracy.  

The angry protesters chanted anti-junta slogans such as "the army is Sudan's army, not Burhan's army", in reference to General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, leader of Sudan's military and its ruling sovereign council.

The similar rallies were also organized in several other cities and towns across Sudan.

The African country is currently ruled by a transitional government dominated by military representatives that was installed in the aftermath of the ouster of president Omar al-Bashir in a palace coup more than two years ago.

Months after al-Bashir’s toppling, the ruling generals agreed to share power with civilians representing the protest movement. It then signed a power-sharing deal with the civilian Forces of Freedom and Change coalition (FFC), which supported the Thursday's demonstrations.

The latest protest rallies come following a coup attempt last week, which laid bare divisions between military and civilian groups sharing power.

In the days and hours after the coup attempt, civilian officials accused the military of overstepping its bounds.

Sudan authorities last week said that they had thwarted an attempted coup in the early hours of Tuesday, after containing “a limited number of people involved” in the putsch. 

They said the plotters had attempted to take over the state radio in Omdurman, across the river Nile from Khartoum, but "they failed.”

A senior military source said a group of officers associated with the overthrown administration of al-Bashir “were involved in the attempt but were immediately suspended."

Commenting on the alleged coup attempt, Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of London-based Rai al-Youm, in an analysis on last Thursday wrote that  the claim of the failed coup had been “fake” and was “fabricated” to win the West's sympathy.

"Information about the coup is scarce and comes from a single source, the current military regime and its spokesman," he wrote.

Atwan quoted a professional journalist in Khartoum, who described the coup as "completely fabricated" like the seven attempts previously claimed by the current military regime.

According to the Atwan, the situation across Sudan keeps worsening since Sudan surrendered its weapons to the US-led camp in the last days of Bashir's rule, and its misfortunes escalated with the Sudanese junta "flirting" with the Zionist regime.

Sudanese protesters cheer as they greet fellow demonstrators upon their arrival on a train from Madani, the capital of Sudan's east-central al-Jazirah state, to join a rally in support of a civilian-led transition to democracy, on September 30, 2021. (Photo by AFP)


The anti-junta sentiments are also on the rise after Sudan signed a normalization deal with Israel. Last year, under pressure from the US, Sudan joined the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in agreeing to normalize ties with Israel.

Israel has been especially thankful to the United States, for pushing the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan, to normalize ties with Tel Aviv.

The Palestinian issue was once a unifying cause among Arab countries but Israel, backed by the United States, has apparently managed to divide the Arab states more than ever.

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