A million-strong march against the military is being planned in Sudan
The US has also urged the Sudanese military to refrain from using any violence against the protesters as Sudan gears up for the mother of all protests
Opponents of a military coup in Sudan are planning to take to the streets to demand the restoration of a civilian-led government and put the country back on a path to democracy.
in conjunction with calls for demonstrations in the “Million of October 30” to reject military measures and demand the release of detainees
According to Sudan TV, Sudanese security forces closed the majority of main roads and bridges in Khartoum, with the exception of the Halfaya and Soba bridges.
Tens of thousands of Sudanese this week have already protested against General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan’s removal of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s cabinet on Monday, in a military takeover that triggered a deadly crackdown against protesters and led Western states to freeze hundreds of millions in aid.
In another development, the United States on Friday urged Sudan’s military coup leaders to refrain from violence against peaceful protesters ahead of planned demonstrations on Saturday opposing the takeover, saying how the army reacts will be a litmus test.
“Tomorrow is going to be a real indication of what the military intentions are,” said a senior State Department official, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.
“We call on the security forces to refrain from any and all violence against protesters and to fully respect the citizens’ right to demonstrate peacefully,” the official said.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken reinforced the message in a Twitter post later on Friday: “Sudan’s security forces must respect human rights; any violence against peaceful demonstrators is unacceptable.”
Washington was relieved to see that ousted Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok had been allowed to return home, the official said, adding that it was not good enough because Hamdok was still under house arrest and unable to resume his work.
Sudanese General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan dissolved Hamdok’s Cabinet, and soldiers rounded up government ministers on Monday, prompting Western countries to cut off hundreds of millions of dollars in desperately needed aid to the North African country.
Opponents of the coup have called for mass protests on Saturday under the slogan “Leave!”. At least 11 protesters have been killed in clashes with security forces this week, and residents say they fear a full-blown crackdown.
With at least 11 people killed by security forces and several pro-democracy activists detained, opponents of the military government fear a full-blown crackdown and more bloodshed.
Still, the protesters remain defiant, with organizers hoping to stage a “million-strong” march against the military’s power grab.
According to an Al Jazeera correspondent, authorities imposed restrictions on the Internet and phone lines, prompting protesters to mobilize to protest using leaflets, text messages, graffiti, and neighborhood rallies.
“We will not be ruled by the military. That is the message we will convey” at the protests, said rights activist Tahani Abbas. “The military forces are bloody and unjust and we are anticipating what is about to happen on the streets,” Abbas added. “But we are no longer afraid.”
An activist who gave his name as Mohamed said “the army should go back to its barracks and give the leadership to Hamdok”.
“Our demand is a civilian country, a democratic country, nothing less than that,” added Mohamed, who also plans to protest.