Sudan is facing the worst and most dangerous crisis, that threatens the transition, and even threatens the entire country, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok emphasised in an address to the Sudanese nation on Friday evening. Thousands of people participated in a demonstration in the capital Khartoum on Saturday.
Hamdok said that “the failed coup attempt on 21 September was supposed to turn from a threat to an opportunity, to alert to everyone to the dangers threatening our country, so that people would pay attention to the causes of the crisis and the door to evil… but instead, the coup attempt became the door through which strife could enter, and all the hidden differences and accusations from all sides came out, putting our revolution in jeopardy.”
Supporters of the parties and armed struggle movements that signed the Charter for the Unity of the Forces for Freedom and Change on Saturday, participated in demonstrations in front of the Republican Palace on Saturday, along with native administration leaders, members of the Sufi sects, and representatives of a number of tribes.
The demonstrators chanted slogans calling for the completion of government institutions, the return of trade unions, and a comprehensive reform that includes all state institutions.
The official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reported that demonstrators gathered in the streets of the centre of the capital. A number of buses ferried demonstrators from the outskirts of the capital and some states.
Observers said that the demonstration was orderly and peaceful, and that the streets in central Khartoum area were free of the road-blocks that the security and police forces used to place routinely in these streets during the demonstrations that Khartoum witnessed before.
Following an aborted coup attempt on September 21, tensions between Sudanese military and civilian leaders resurfaced. The military accused the civilian politicians of quarrelling over positions while civilian members of the government criticised the military leaders for claiming “the sole right” to lead the country through the transitional period”.
At the end of last month, South Sudan, France, and the USA sent high-level envoys to Khartoum to pressure the disputing parties to continue their cooperation during the 39-month transitional period. On October 2, thousands of people in Sudan took to the streets in support of the democratic transition in the country, calling for the establishment of a civilian government.
September also witnessed large protest actions in eastern Sudan. The High Council of Beja Nazirs and Independent Chieftains opted for these actions to put more pressure on the Sudanese government to cancel the Eastern Sudan Track protocol in the Juba Peace Agreement. Protestors have been blocking the main roads in Red Sea state, including the Khartoum-Port Sudan highway, railway lines since September 17. Most of the sea ports also remain closed up to now.
In late September, a group of activists in Khartoum filed a lawsuit against the Beja leaders, based on charges concerning the undermining of civil state authority, inciting hatred, and sabotaging the national economy. The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure reported in early October that the closure of Red Sea state’s Southern Port has already cost the Sudanese treasury “large sums”.