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Hundreds of Sudanese protesters demand dissolution of transitional govt. over economic woes

Sudanese protesters take part in a rally demanding the dissolution of the transitional government, outside the presidential palace in Khartoum, Sudan, October 16, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Hundreds of Sudanese have taken to the streets of the capital Khartoum in a public display of discontent with the transitional government, demanding its dissolution as the current authorities have purportedly failed them economically and politically.

The anti-government rally on Saturday was organized by a small fraction of the Forces for Freedom and Change, a civilian alliance that led the protests against Omar al-Bashir and became a key plank of the transition.

“We need a military government, the current government has failed to bring us justice and equality,” said one of the protesters.

Sudan has been embroiled in a political crisis, driven mostly by deteriorating economic woes.

The African country is currently run by the transitional government, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who is the army chief and also leads the Sovereignty Council, composed of both civilian and military representatives that was installed in the aftermath of the ouster of President Bashir in a palace coup some two years ago.

The government, which over the past months has witnessed nationwide protests, says it will fix the economy battered by decades of corruption, internal conflicts, and international sanctions.

Demonstrators on Saturday carried banners calling for the “dissolution of the government,” while others chanted, “One army, one people” and, “The army will bring us bread.”

“We are marching in a peaceful protest and we want a military government,” said another protester.

However, the demonstration on Saturday, according to some critics, was driven by members of the military and security forces and involves sympathizers with the former regime.

The protest rally came just a day after Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok warned that the transition was facing “the worst and most dangerous” crisis.

Discontent with the current government has been growing in recent months, mainly following a tough raft of economic reforms backed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), including slashing subsidies on petrol and diesel.

On September 30, thousands of Sudanese rallied in Khartoum against the military rulers. They demanded the formation of new transitional authorities that would exclusively consist of civilians. The angry protesters chanted anti-junta slogans such as “the army is Sudan’s army, not Burhan’s army.”

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.

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