New Protests in Sudan Demand Faster Government Reforms
By Naba Mohiedeen August 18, 2020
Sudan marked one year of a civilian-military power-sharing deal with a new wave of protests this week demanding wider and faster reforms.
Hundreds of protesters gathered Tuesday near the Council of Ministers in Khartoum, wearing and holding Sudan's flag and chanting for reforms.
At another event Monday, riot police arrested dozens of protesters and fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.
Khalid Ahmed was one of the protest leaders who helped end the iron-fisted rule of longtime president Omar al-Bashir.
He said he is surprised that a little over a year later, he is participating in a new wave of protests against the new government, especially given that it was created after huge sacrifices. But, he added, the government can't seem to see a clear plan to reform the situation.
In August 2019, military leaders and pro-democracy protest leaders signed a power-sharing agreement and a draft for a new constitution.
The protesters want the transitional government to abide by that draft and form a new legislature, as well as take steps to improve Sudan's economy, make peace with rebel movements, and stop tribal clashes in the east and west of the country.
Political analyst Ahmed Abdelghani says the new wave of protests could represent a real and growing challenge for the power-sharing government.
On the peace process, the transitional authorities recently announced the completion of security procedures with rebel groups and said a final agreement could be signed within a few weeks.
The transitional government has also pledged to hand over Bashir and allies of his regime to the International Criminal Court to face trial on war crimes and genocide charges related to the Darfur conflict, which left 300,000 people dead and millions displaced.
The former president and his aides are currently in a federal prison, awaiting trial on charges of undermining the constitution in the 1989 military coup that brought them to power.
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