.
.
.
.

Protesters converge on Sudan defense ministry sit-in to demand civilian rule

Published: Updated:

Tens of thousands of people headed to a sit-in outside Sudan’s defense ministry on Thursday to demand that a transitional military council hand power to civilians, a witness said.

Protesters chanted “Freedom and revolution are the choice of the people” and “Civilian rule, civilian rule.”

Every road leading to the protest site was full of people as throngs of demonstrators converged outside the complex in central Khartoum.

“It’s extremely difficult to move closer to the protest site as there are hundreds and hundreds of people everywhere on roads leading to the complex,” a witness said.

The sit-in outside the army headquarters has been the epicentre of the protests for almost two weeks, but numbers had dwindled there in the days since Bashir was toppled.

ALSO READ: US says supports transition in Sudan led by civilians

Thursday’s rally was not convened by protest organizers who campaigned for four months against Bashir’s iron-fisted rule, but was a result of widespread calls by activists and individual demonstrators on social media networks.

It comes after an opposition coalition called this week on the military to establish a civilian-led ruling council with military representation, as well as a civilian government.

The council has said it is ready to meet some of the protesters demands, including fighting corruption, but has indicated that it would not hand over power to them.

The Khartoum sit-in was the culmination of 16 weeks of protests triggered by a worsening economic crisis in Sudan, leading to the ouster and arrest of Bashir after three decades in power.