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Iran Press TV

Sudanese opposition divided over general strike

Iran Press TV

Sun May 26, 2019 02:40PM

One Sudanese opposition body has rejected a call by another for a general strike, in a first sign of differences growing within the protest movement in the African country.

"We reject the general strike announced by some opposition groups" in the umbrella protest movement of the Alliance for Freedom and Change, said the National Umma Party – a key backer of the general protest movement – in a statement on Sunday

Umma, led by former prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi, said strikes were the last resort to press the ruling military council to transfer power to a civilian-led authority.

"A general strike is a weapon that should be used after it is agreed upon by everybody," Umma said. "We have to avoid such escalated measures that are not fully agreed [upon]."

In a recent interview, Mahdi, whose elected government was toppled by former president Omar al-Bashir in a coup in 1989, has warned protesters not to "provoke" the military rulers.

Earlier, the Sudanese Professionals' Association (SPA) called a nationwide strike for Tuesday and Wednesday. It called on people to go to work but abstain from any activity and then head to various marches and sit-ins across the country.

Last month, Sudan's military announced that it had unseated Bashir and later imprisoned him. It then set up the Transitional Military Council (TMC) to rule the country and promised to hand over after elections.

But protests, under whose pressure Bashir was forced out, have continued in Sudan, with people demanding that more civilians be on the council than military figures during a transition period.

The military and protest leaders have held several rounds of talks since the army overthrew Bashir on April 11.

The SPA and the TMC have been holding talks for several weeks. The protest group has articulated a set of demands, including a 15-member council consisting of eight civilian-appointed members and seven military-appointed members.

The SPA called the strike after failing to achieve a breakthrough in the talks with TMC.

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