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Nierteti sit-in lifted, other protest vigils continue in Sudan

July 16 - 2020 ED DAEIN / AMRI / NIERTETI / KHARTOUM
The sit-in in Amri, Northern State (RD)
The sit-in in Amri, Northern State (RD)

While the protesters of the sit-in of Nierteti in Central Darfur decided to stop their protest, sit-ins calling for security, justice, and improved services are still ongoing in several parts of Sudan. Yesterday, Sudan’s Sovereign Council adopted a package of measures to enhance security and stability in the country.

Following the positive response by Khartoum on the sit-in of Nierteti in Central Darfur, similar vigils were launched in Kutum and Kabkabiya in North Darfur, Ed Daein, Bahr El Arab and Yasin in East Darfur, Misterei in West Darfur, Port Sudan, Sinkat, Kassala, and El Hawata in eastern Sudan, in Soba El Aradi in Khartoum and Amri in Northern State.

The sit-in in the East Darfur capital of Ed Daein witnessed heavy deployment of security forces on Wednesday.

“A police force attempted to enter the area this morning, but they retreated after being prevented by the people at the sit-in,” the spokesperson for the sit-in leaders told reporters yesterday afternoon.

He expressed his surprise about the attempted raid. “Prior to setting up the sit-in, we have notified the regular forces. We have handed them a map of the area. Members of the Resistance Committees of Ed Daein are securing the sit-in.

“According to the Constitutional Charter [of August 2019], we have the legitimate right to hold peaceful sit-ins,” the activist leader said.

“Certain parties related to the ousted regime [of Omar Al Bashir] of trying to split the revolutionaries by creating negative public opinions and stirring tribal fanaticism,” he stated. “We organised a peaceful sit-in to lend force to our demands concerning the dismissal of officials affiliated with the regime of Al Bashir and the provision of better services.”

On Monday, militiamen attacked the sit-in of Fata Borno in North Darfur’s Kutum, leaving ten people dead and 17 others wounded.

Residents of Amri in Northern State set up a sit-in on Tuesday “after exhausting all protest means in the past 14 years”.

The High Amri Sit-in Committee published a list of 22 demands, including retribution for people killed during protests against the construction of dams in the region, investigation into corrupt practices during the building of the Merowe Dam, the restoration of security in the area, as well as improved electricity and water services, better irrigation for the new Amri agriculture project, and preservation of the environment.

The sit-in of Nierteti in Central Darfur, July 14 (RD)

Lifted

On Wednesday morning, the Nierteti sit-in committee decided to stop their public protest and to remove the barricades at the roads and nearby highways. Visiting protesters from nearby villages and other localities would be transferred to a school in the town centre.

Demonstrators in Nierteti began a sit-in on June 28, in protest against the rampant insecurity in the locality. About a week later, a high-level government delegation from Khartoum visited the protest vigil, and pledged to implement their “just demands”. A number of officials were dismissed, and a joint security force will secure the agricultural season.

Member of the sit-in committee Yasir Suleiman told reporters on Wednesday that they decided to lift their protest actions because their demands are being met in reality. “Furthermore, we all hope that the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement will bring security and stability to the region.”

New measures

On Wednesday, the Sovereign Council decided to establish a mechanism to organise the provision of improved services, the strengthening of the role of the judiciary and police, maintain security by implementing the Rule of Law, achieve peace on the ground, and “carry out political, economic, administrative, societal, and cultural programmes at various levels” in order “to mend the social fabric in the country”.

The Sovereign Council members as well discussed the necessity of heeding environmental security and preserving forest resources in Sudan.

Minister of Information Feisal Mohamed Saleh, July 15 (SUNA)

 

The Sudanese government has again affirmed the right of every citizen to demonstrate, organise and particpate in sit-ins or other peaceful protests.

Information Minister Feisal Mohamed Saleh said in a press statement following a meeting of the Council of Ministers on Wednesday that the sit-ins in the various Sudanese “reflect the atmosphere of democratic openness”.

He praised the Sudanese who resorted to peaceful protests instead of taking up arms, and stressed the responsibility of the authorities to protected the protestors. He apologised for the fact that Khartoum cannot send a delegation to all sit-ins in the country, as happened with the Nierteti protests.

Saleh further welcomed the idea of the Darfur Bar Association (DBA) of converting the sit-ins in the country into grassroots conferences, “to broadly and formally discuss the issues in a broad manner”. The Cabinet will support the Darfur lawyers with developing the proposal.


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