Sudanese people have taken to the street to protest against the military coup that has taken place in the country. The short-lived 2-year stint of Western-backed democracy stands threatened, at the hands of General Abdel Fattah Burhan.
Supporters of democracy plan to take out ‘million-person marches all over the country on Saturday, and for the release of the democratically elected political figures who have been kept under detention. They are also protesting for the reinstatement of the transitional government.
The long-time autocrat Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted to establish a transitional government in Sudan, was only recently handed over to ICC on charges of corruption, causing riots that resulted in the death of over 300,000 Sudanese.
U.N. Envoy personnel Volker Perthes on Friday met Muhammad Hamdan Dagalo, a close aide of Gen. Burhan, and a coup orchestrator. Dagalo leads the feared RSF (Rapid Support Forces), a paramilitary unit that has a stronghold in Khartoum, the country‘s capital. The group is also infamous for attacks on pro-democracy protesters in 2019.
Requesting restraint, Perthes took onto Twitter to stress, “the need for calm, allowing peaceful protest and avoiding any confrontation” while meeting the Coup leader.
The Military leaders maintain, that it was a necessary step in wake of the cracks in the political unity of the country and the failure of democracy as a viable alternative for the Sudanese people. This move comes just a month ahead of the transfer of power which was to take place from the General’s hand which would have weakened their clutches onto power.
A senior U.S. official expressed that Saturday’s mass protests would be “a test” for Sudan and that the coup orchestrated “hijacked and betrayed the aspirations of the Sudanese people.”
The coup has received widespread condemnation even from the U.N. Secretary-General and Western leaders alike, as the will of the African people needs to be respected through democratic means.