Protesters converge on Sudan defense ministry sit-in to demand civilian rule


Protesters converge on Sudan defense ministry sit-in to demand civilian rule
A group of protesters acting like a mock TV crew interview a demonstrator in front of the Defence Ministry in Khartoum, Sudan, April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

In Summary

  • The crowds were the largest since former President Omar al-Bashir was ousted a week ago and the military council took over, with hundreds of thousands packing the streets in the center of the capital by early evening.
  • Protesters chanted “Freedom and revolution are the choice of the people” and “Civilian rule, civilian rule”, and waved national flags overhead.
  • Activists who have been holding a sit-in outside the defense ministry compound in Khartoum since before Bashir’s ouster had called for a mass protest on Thursday to increase pressure on the council.

Huge crowds joined a protest outside Sudan’s defense ministry on Thursday to demand that the country’s transitional military council hand power to civilians, a Reuters witness said.

The crowds were the largest since former President Omar al-Bashir was ousted a week ago and the military council took over, with hundreds of thousands packing the streets in the center of the capital by early evening.

Protesters chanted “Freedom and revolution are the choice of the people” and “Civilian rule, civilian rule”, and waved national flags overhead.

Activists who have been holding a sit-in outside the defense ministry compound in Khartoum since before Bashir’s ouster had called for a mass protest on Thursday to increase pressure on the council.

It comes after an opposition coalition called this week on the military to establish a civilian-led ruling council with military representation, as well as a civilian government.

The council has said it is ready to meet some of the protesters demands, including fighting corruption, but has indicated that it would not hand over power to them.

The Khartoum sit-in was the culmination of 16 weeks of protests triggered by a worsening economic crisis in Sudan, leading to the ouster and arrest of Bashir after three decades in power.

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