Civil disobedience campaign empties streets of Sudan’s capital

Civil disobedience campaign empties streets of Sudan’s capital
Civil disobedience campaign empties streets of Sudan's capital

A civil disobedience campaign todemand civilian rule left the streets of Sudan's capital Khartoum largelydeserted on Sunday, while police fired tear gas to disperse protesters inKhartoum North, witnesses said.

Opposition and protest groups hadcalled for workers to stay at home after security forces stormed a protest campon Monday, killing dozens and dealing a blow to hopes of a peaceful transitionafter ex-President Omar al-Bashir's ouster in April.

The raid came after weeks ofwrangling between the military council that took over from Bashir and theDeclaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) alliance, over who shouldcontrol a transition leading to elections.

On Sunday morning, the start ofthe working week in Sudan, few pedestrians or vehicles could be seen in thestreets. Public transport was barely functioning and most commercial banks,private companies and markets were shut.

Some state banks and publicutility offices were working normally.

At Khartoum airport, where veryfew flights were operating, travellers crowded the departure hall. Most travelagencies were closed because of an internet outage, and ticket prices soared.

In Khartoum North, across theBlue Nile from the centre of the capital, police fired tear gas to scatterprotesters. There were no reports of casualties.

Demonstrators have been trying tobarricade roads in the capital over recent days as a way of sustaining theprotest movement.

Also on Sunday, Sudanese state TVreported that a senior commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), MohamedAbdallah, had been replaced.

Witnesses said the RSF, whoseleader General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo is deputy head of the TransitionalMilitary Council, led last Monday's raid.

Opposition medics say 117 peoplewere killed in the storming of the camp outside Khartoum's Defence Ministry andsubsequent security crackdown. The government has put last week's death toll at61, including three members of the security services. 

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