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Protests in Khartoum against West Darfur violence

January 18 - 2016 KHARTOUM
A sit-in organised by the Sudan Women Solidarity Movement in Khartoum against the violence in Darfur, 17 January 2016 (RD)
A sit-in organised by the Sudan Women Solidarity Movement in Khartoum against the violence in Darfur, 17 January 2016 (RD)

The Sudan Women's Solidarity Movement staged a sit-in in downtown Khartoum on Sunday afternoon, “in support of the victims of the incidents in the West Darfur capital El Geneina and other victims of war” in Sudan.

Asmaa Mahmoud Mohamed Taha told Radio Dabanga that the main reason for the protest was to call for peace and the ending of the bloodshed in Darfur and the other conflict areas in the country. Large numbers of women and a few men joined the protest.

The sit-in, held near the central bus station and Jakson Square, drew the attention of large numbers of people, who lauded the protesters, drew victory signs, and ululated.

Taha said that the sit-in that began at 3 pm lasted for about 45 minutes. “We were dispersed by security men who confiscated our banners. Many protesters then began chanting slogans calling for support for Darfur and the fall of the regime.

“This sit-in will be followed by more, that will strengthen the sense of resistance, break the barrier of fear, and lead to the desired change,” she added.

Reformist

Asmaa is the daughter of Mahmoud Mohamed Taha, an Islamic reformist who was publicly hanged in Kober prison in Khartoum North in 1983, after being convicted of apostasy. Taha had been detained in Omdurman two weeks earlier for distributing pamphlets calling for an end to the Sharia law, imposed by President Jaafar El Nimeiri in September that year.

His followers have arranged peaceful sit-ins on 18 January each year. “Many times before, security agents raided the Mahmoud Mohamed Taha Centre in Omdurman’s El Sawra on the 18th, preventing the commemoration ceremony, and briefly detaining those who attend,” his daughter told Radio Dabanga on 19 January last year, after the security apparatus closed the Centre indefinitely.

The Republican Brotherhood, formed by Taha in the 1950s, and known for its resistance to Islamic fundamentalism, still has numerous followers in the country.


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