Thousands took to the streets in Khartoum and several Sudanese state capitals amid tight security measures on Wednesday, to participate in the October 21 Marches of the Millions organised by the Sudanese Professionals Association and the Resistance Committees to commemorate the 56th anniversary of the October 1964 Revolution.
Demonstrators demand that the goals of the current revolution be achieved, the course of the current revolution corrected, and the transitional power structures completed.
Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that the marches started from most Khartoum neighbourhoods, and that the thousands of demonstrators forced the authorities to open a number of bridges connecting the three towns of Khartoum, while the demonstrators closed a number of main roads.
All bridges in the city and the roads leading to the army command were closed to prevent the demonstrators from setting-up a new sit-in in downtown Khartoum.
Government forces fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators at various places. There were also reports of authorities firing live ammunition at protestors.
Some marches witnessed skirmishes between supporters of the deposed Al Bashir regime and the revolutionaries.
Supporters of the former regime chanted slogans calling for the fall of Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, and the head of the Sovereign Council, Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, while the revolutionaries chanted slogans calling for the completion of the goals of the revolution and denouncing the military component.
The protesters blocked a number of main roads to protest against the denial of access to the Council of Ministers and the Republican Palace. The Organisation of the December Revolution Martyrs’ Families announced that the marches would head to the Republican Palace to present a memorandum to the Sovereign Council.
Khartoum roads closed
The security authorities implemented a complete closure of central Khartoum, concrete barriers were placed, and army and police cars were placed on all roads leading to central Khartoum to prevent entry or exit. The forces also implemented strict security measures to search passers-by in these areas.
The authorities of Khartoum warned the demonstrators in a press announcement of the movements of supporters of the former regime and “their miserable calls to thwart this great day” and “their attempts to divert the revolutionary marches from their revolutionary paths in order to cause chaos”.
The statement stressed that based on this information, the state will work with determination and decisiveness to secure the paths of the revolutionary marches.
Mass marches took place in Atbara in River Nile state, Wad Madani and El Managil in El Gezira, El Obeid in North Kordofan, Kadugli in South Kordofan, and Ed Damazin in Blue Nile state, as well as protests in El Gedaref, Kassala, and Port Sudan in Red Sea state.
The marches followed routes set by the organisers and chanted slogans calling for the completion of the goals of the revolution, the overthrow of the current government, the formation of a parliament, and the continuation of subsidies on basic commodities.
Activist Badreldin Hussein told Radio Dabanga from Atbara that during yesterday’s marches the Resistance Committees renewed their demands for a national parliament and legislative councils in the states, retribution for the blood of the victims, and for the Ministry of Finance to hold a mandate over public funds only.
The Resistance Committees categorically reject the lifting of subsidies on basic commodities..
In Port Sudan, capital of Red Sea state, the Resistance Committees handed the governor a memorandum calling for radical solutions to the tribal conflicts in the state.
First Marches of the Millions
On June 30 last year, hundreds of thousands of Sudanese demonstrated in the first Marches of the Millions to demand civilian rule and justice for the slain demonstrators during the December Revolution, and especially the violent dismantling of the Khartoum sit-in on June 3, 2019.
The Forces for Freedom and Change had called for this demonstration. Ten demonstrators were killed. The bridges between Omdurman and Khartoum were closed by security forces during the first March of the Millions, but demonstrators managed to break through.
In August 2020, Resistance Committees organised a Marches of the Millions ”to correct the course of the revolution”. Thousands took the streets in Khartoum and other cities to protest.
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