Hundreds of people marched in several parts of the capital of Sudan and other cities on Thursday in protests against the prospect of military rule, as the crisis in the country’s troubled transition from authoritarian rule deepened.
It is said to be the biggest demonstration of the transition.
Beginning at midday and continued after sundown, Thursday’s protest took place on the anniversary of the 1964 October Revolution that overthrew a military government and led to a period of parliamentary democracy.
Since the removal of President Omar al-Bashir in 2019 after three decades of his rule, the military has shared power with civilian parties in a transitional authority.
A coalition of rebel groups and political parties have aligned themselves with the military, which has accused the civilian parties of mismanagement and monopolising power, and they are seeking to dissolve the cabinet.
Civilian leaders say that this would amount to a coup and that the military aims to install a government it can control.
The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said 37 people were injured in the protests, which it blamed on government forces, including four gunshot victims.
In a statement, police said rogue protesters in Omdurman set a police vehicle on fire and attacked police officers, shooting two. Officers then used a “legal amount” of riot control to disperse the crowd, it said. Eyewitnesses said protesters were tear gassed heavily.
The military says it is committed to the transition to democracy and elections at the end of 2023.
Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who leads the cabinet under a military-civilian power-sharing agreement, remains popular despite an economic crisis. He has said he is speaking to all sides in the crisis in order to find a solution.
In a statement Thursday evening, he said he saluted the protesters, saying “the crowds have made their voices heard and delivered their message that there is no going back from the goals of the revolution.”