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Sudanese professionals criticise Al Bashir speech

January 21 - 2019 WHITE NILE
Al Bashir waves his cane during a rally (file photo)
Al Bashir waves his cane during a rally (file photo)

President Omar Al Bashir’s accusation of anti-government demonstrators killing each other during demonstrations, using weapons that are not in use of Sudanese armed forces, has met fierce backlash.

Sudanese professionals have met Al Bashir's speech with condemnation and denunciation, calling him a “liar” and demanding escalation of demonstrations until he will be toppled.

Yesterday, Al Bashir said in a public speech at El Kireida area, White Nile state, that  “saboteurs and secret agents took advantage of demonstrations expressing everyday hardships to wreak havoc, vandalise, and kill demonstrators".

He also claimed that detained rebel fighters from the Sudan Liberation Movement faction headed by Abdelwahid El Nur admitted that they received instructions to kill the demonstrators. According to him, they were motivated to ignite dispute, increase strife, and destroy Sudan. Earlier this year, Al Bashir criticised El Nur for his continued rejection of the principle of sitting for dialogue.

History of violence

Dr Mohamed Yousef, a member of the Secretariat of the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), described the claim that demonstrators are killing each other as “a statement without rationality or logic”. He explained that for a month the demonstrators in the street have refrained from violence. He said that it would be irrational to use violence because the government has the ability to mobilise all its military and security forces in the street, armed with heavy weapons such as Land Cruisers mounted with Dushka machine guns.

"The regime has become accustomed to killing over the past 30 years"

Yousef said that the killing of demonstrators and students has been happening since the nineties, also citing deadly uprisings in September 2013. Furthermore, he said, the government has killed citizens in Darfur, Nuba Mountains, and Blue Nile in the past.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga, Dr Wael Abdo, head of the Sudanese Doctors' Union in Ireland, echoed this claim, saying "it is clear that the regime has become accustomed to killing over the past 30 years."

Abdo said that the government's speech has been floundering since the beginning of the revolution; denying that an uprising happened, accusing a number of innocent people, balming secret agents and saboteurs; and resorting to excessive violence against peaceful demonstrators.

He said it was ironic that the first concern of a man like Omar Al Bashir is to deny the involvement of his regime and security services in killing the demonstrators instead of searching for the criminal responsible and bringing him to trial.

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