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March of Millions: Protestors call for revolution course correction

December 19 - 2020 KHARTOUM
Painting by Mohamed Bairam (Social media)
Painting by Mohamed Bairam (Social media)

Today it is expected that thousands of Sudanese will take to the streets to celebrate the second anniversary of the 2018 December revolution that overthrew the rule of Al Bashir and to demand the correction of the course of the revolution.

Senior Public Prosecutor Tajelsir El Hibir has prohibited police forces in the country from using bullets or tear gas. In Greater Khartoum, the bridges connecting the three cities were closed yesterday evening, and will be reopened on Sunday morning.  

The Council of Ministers has made Saturday a public holiday, imploring people to adhere to COVID-19 regulations.

“The streets do not betray. The revolution has deviated from its course and corrections must be made.” - El Sir Kasha

Several weeks ago, the Communist Party of Sudan (CPoS), which withdrew from the ruling coalition of the Forces for Freedom and Change, launched a campaign for protests on December 19 to overthrow of the transitional government, remove the military from power and to restore the original Constitutional Document.

The CPoS was joined by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) and a number of Resistance Committees in Khartoum.

Ahmed Bataran, leading member of the Resistance Committees called the commemorative marches planned for today “a renewal of the demonstrations that brought down the former regime.”

“Nothing has been achieved so far. We have to call for Freedom, Peace, and Justice again to renew the revolution and improve people's livelihoods,” he said.

The CPoS and some Resistance Committees are also calling for cancellation of the formation of the Transitional Partners Council (TPC). According to a Radio Dabanga interview with economist Hafiz Ismail, “the SPA itself is split” on this issue, which has caused widespread criticism and confusion over the nature of the council over the past week.

Performance evaluation

The Sudanese Congress Party, the Unionist Gathering, the National Umma Party, and the Arab Socialist Baath Party announced their opposition to calls to bring down the transitional government in a joint statement on Friday.

The parties hope the marches will not lead to riots and violence.

On the need to evaluate the government's performance on the anniversary of December 19, they said, “As we represent political parties supporting the policies of that government, we see that it has taken very important steps, the most important of which is reaching the Juba Peace Agreement with the armed movements, who are now able to return to the homeland and engage in rebuilding it”.

The parties lauded the efforts of PM Abdallah Hamdok’s government to reach a peace accord with the remaining rebel groups that did not engage in the Juba agreement and role it played in having Sudan removed from the US list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. However, they criticised its “weak” economic performance, which should now be “a top priority”.

The joint statement further commended the government for “working around the clock” to complete the power structures in the country according to the Constitutional Document and the Juba Peace Agreement, including the formation of the Legislative Council (that has been postponed to December 31), the new governors of the regions and their legislatures, and all the commissions stipulated in the August 2019 Constitutional Document.

Course correction

In a forum of the Sudan News Agency (SUNA) yesterday, El Sir Kasha, representative of the Association of the December Revolution Martyrs' Families, called for the committee investigating the violent dispersal of the sit-in in front of the army command in Khartoum on June 3 last year, whereby 127 people were killed, to publish its results. The perpetrators should be immediately brought to justice, he urged.

Kasha said that the marches today will call on the government “to complete of the tasks of the ongoing revolution, hold the symbols of the former regime accountable, improve people's livelihoods, and take control of the market prices.” He criticised the closure of bridges in Khartoum.

“The streets do not betray,” he said. “The revolution has deviated from its course and corrections must be made.”

He called for a mandate of the revolution’s government over state resources, and the establishment of a Legislative Council without partisan quotas.

This year, the Teachers Union is also demanding the correction of the course of the revolution, along with the Association of the December Revolution Martyrs' Families.

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