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Sit-ins and protests continue in Sudan

September 11 - 2020 KHARTOUM / MUGLAD / GHUBEISH / KENANA / EL FASHER
Protestors march in Ghubeish in West Kordofan on August 23, 2020 (Social media)
Protestors march in Ghubeish in West Kordofan on August 23, 2020 (Social media)

The sit-ins in Ombadda in Omdurman and in Muglad and Ghubeish in West Kordofan continue to hold, while new protests begin in Khartoum and North Darfur.

The sit-in in front of the offices of the densely populated Ombadda locality entered its 15th day on Thursday.

Members of the sit-in committee have given the governor of Khartoum 48 hours to respond to their demands.

They said in a press conference in Khartoum yesterday that they will escalate their peaceful protests and deal with the Khartoum state government as “an enemy of the revolution” if their demands are not met.

The committee presented 20 demands, including the dismissal of the directors of Ombadda locality, its administrative units, corrupt employees, and those related to the former regime. It also demands dismissal of the managers of the Water Corporation and the Zakat [Muslim alms] Chamber.

They have called for restructuring of the locality administration and the Zakat tax system.

Within a week, there should be a plan to deal with the consequences of the rainy season, including failed machinery, according to the statement.

Furthermore, the Ombadda protestors demand the collection of garbage to be improved by increasing vehicles and workers, acceleration of the extension of the water and electricity network, especially in the outskirts of the locality, in addition to improvement of health, education, and insurance services.

Muglad

The protestors in Muglad in West Kordofan also say they will only lift the sit-in, which has been running for 30 days, and unblock the government facilities in the town if all their demands are met.

El Naeem Ali, member of the Forces of Freedom and Change Coordination in Muglad locality, told Radio Dabanga that Governor Hammad Abdelrahman responded positively to their demands during his meeting with the sit-in committee.

He promised to address their needs, including provision of clean drinking water, restoration of the power grid, health and education, in addition to connecting the state to other parts of Sudan and improving the electricity network.

Ghubeish

In Ghubeish, people took to the streets yesterday, in solidarity with the town sit-in which has been ongoing for 20 days.

An activist told Radio Dabanga that hundreds of people “loudly but peacefully” marched through the town before carrying out public speeches at the town market, in front of the locality offices.

They demand the provision of clean drinking water and electricity, better health services, and replacement of officials in the locality linked with the former regime.

White Nile state

In White Nile state, staff members of the Kenana Sugar Company continued to strike and sit-in in front of the Kenana Workers Union for the 22nd day.

They have previously demanded recognition of the union’s new steering committee by the company’s management and for staff who were dismissed because of their participation in the revolution to be re-employed. Yesterday, they began to insist on the dismissal of company’s managing director.

However, the Board of Directors of the Kenana Sugar Company expressed in a statement its renewed confidence in the managing director and his two deputies yesterday.

They hold the leaders of the protest responsible for the strike. “The rest of the protestors must return to work within 48 hours,” according to the statement. “In case the striking workers do not respond, they will be dealt with in accordance with the Sudanese Labour Law and company regulations”.

Khartoum Water Authority

In the national capital, workers of the Khartoum Water Authority held a protest vigil yesterday in front of the General Secretariat of the state government.

The workers in particular stressed the need to accelerate the formation of the Anti-Corruption Committee* in Khartoum state.

The protestors have demanded that the director general and the directors of the various departments be dismissed, after which the corporation should be restructured. In addition, the statement demands new financial regulations and a review of procurement procedures, along with oversight of fuel distribution in company vehicles.

North Darfur

The North Darfur Artists Initiative organised a protest vigil in front of the Cultural Complex in the state capital El Fasher on Thursday, demanding the return of its artistic activities.

A large number of artists participated in the vigil, carrying banners calling for “Freedom, Peace and Justice of the Arts” and “No to injustice to artists”.

The Cultural Complex housed a theatre, a cultural library, and music and folk arts departments before it was converted into administrative offices during the former regime.

The governor of North Darfur, Mohamed Arabi, told them that he will certainly work to restore the building “to revive cultural and creative work in North Darfur”.

* The Empowerment Elimination, Anti-Corruption, and Funds Recovery Committee was established by the new government in the end of last year, with the aim to purge Sudan of the remnants of the Al Bashir regime. Empowerment (tamkin) is the term with which the ousted government of Omar Al Bashir supported its affiliates in state affairs by granting them far-going privileges, including government functions and the setting-up of various companies.


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