Protests erupted in the streets of Khartoum on Thursday over Sudan’s hybrid transitional government.
Supporters of the northeast African nation’s civilian coalition, the Forces of Freedom and Change, turned out after crowds who support a military-led government marched against civilian rule Saturday.
Thousands of pro-democracy protesters called for a fully civilian government. Their demonstrations skirted around the presidential palace, where pro-military protesters have sat for six days, according to Reuters. Factional rivalries threaten to break apart Sudan’s tenuous power-sharing agreement before elections scheduled for 2023.
Civilian leaders have shared power with Sudan’s military generals since former President Omar al-Bashir was ousted in 2019. But hopes for democratization have run aground after the transitional government’s military wing began calling for the civilian Cabinet’s dissolution.
Protesters on Thursday accused General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, chairman of the Sovereignty Council of Sudan, of continued loyalty to Bashir, Al Jazeera reported.
Burhan has called for dismantling the Cabinet of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. Burhan’s supporters say Hamdok’s government has bungled Sudan’s economic recovery, The Associated Press reported. Despite these tensions, both Hamdok and Burhan have asked their supporters to stay peaceful as protests across the country continue.
The Sudanese Professionals Association, an organization of trade unions instrumental in organizing the protests, said on Twitter that security forces attacked demonstrators outside parliament.
Reuters reported that protesters burned tires, waved Sudan’s flag and chanted pro-democracy slogans, part of the largest demonstrations of Sudan’s post-Bashir transition. Some Sudanese government officials even took part in Thursday’s protests.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.