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Hundreds of Sudanese protest in Khartoum, call for the fall of transition govt

Protesters in Khartoum October 16, 2021   -  
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ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP or licensors


Hundreds of Sudanese called Saturday in Khartoum for the fall of the government that is supposed to lead the country to its first elections after 30 years of dictatorship, accusing it of having "failed" to get them out of the political and economic stagnation, AFP reporters noted.

Yahya Mohieddine, who came from his northern province to demonstrate in front of the presidential palace in the capital, where the transitional authorities are based, held up a sign demanding "the dismissal of the government" led since the fall of Omar al-Bashir in 2019 by the technocrat Abdallah Hamdok.

"We need a government that includes all revolutionary forces," he assures AFP while the sacred union of civilians and military of the "revolution" of 2019 has fizzled.

On Friday evening, nearly a month after a failed coup, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok denounced "deep divisions" between civilians and military but also within these two blocks. He also declared that the transition was going through its "most dangerous" crisis, saying that the path to democracy was threatened.

On Saturday, a seditious faction of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FLC) - the civilian coalition of the "revolution" - led by two former rebel leaders, including Hamdok's finance minister, called for demonstrations against the government.

"We need a military government, the current cabinet has failed and only the army can bring us justice and equality," said Abboud Ahmed, a self-described "poor" farmer outside the presidential palace.

Around him, pick-ups are dropping off new waves of protesters, some of whom are chanting "One army, one people", while the security forces have blocked many of the capital's main roads since the morning.

"There is no stability and life is too expensive," said the 50-year-old man, whose country, one of the poorest in the world, is caught between inflation approaching 400% and an austerity decreed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

For their opponents, Saturday's demonstrators are supporters of the former deposed regime. Supporters of a complete transfer of power to civilians have already called for "a demonstration of one million people" on Thursday.

The new authorities, made up of military and civilians, are supposed to lead the country towards elections, but they keep pushing back the deadline, currently to 2023.

Sudan's prime minister on Friday announced a series of steps for his country's transition to democracy less than a month after a coup attempt rocked its leadership.

In a speech, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok called the coup attempt an 'alarm bell' that should awaken people to the roots of the country's political and economic challenges.

Authorities announced the coup attempt by a group of soldiers on September 22, saying that it had failed.

They blamed supporters of the country's former autocrat Omar al-Bashir for planning the takeover.

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