Sudan: Huge Crowd Floods Capital Khartoum Pushing for Country’s Handover
By Staff, Agencies
A huge crowd massed outside Sudan’s Defense Ministry Thursday to demand civilian rule, challenging the Transitional Military Council [TMC] that removed President Omar al-Bashir earlier this month to cede power.
A Reuters’ reporter estimated the crowd to number hundreds of thousands. They were responding to a call by the Sudanese Professionals Association, the main organizer of protests including a sit-in outside the Defense Ministry compound that began on April 6, for a million people to join the march.
Many of those rallying chanted “Blood for blood! We will not accept compensation!” demanding punishment for officials responsible for killings during Bashir’s iron-fisted, three-decade rule.
Earlier, about 100 Sudanese judges demanding civilian rule walked from the Supreme Court in Khartoum toward the sit-in, joining anti-government protests for the first time, a Reuters witness said.
Wearing their black robes, some of the judges carried signs reading “judges for change” as they marched through central Khartoum to the Defense Ministry, the witness said. “Civilian, civilian, protected by the judiciary,” they chanted.
Sudan’s TMC and the opposition have been at loggerheads over how long it will take to move to civilian rule after the military ousted Bashir on April 11 following months of protests against his 30-year rule.
The military then established the TMC to run Sudan for a period of up to two years.
Thursday’s march was the first by judges in Sudan since before Bashir took power in a military coup in 1989.