Sudan blocks internet services ahead of coup anniversary demonstrations

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Sudan on Tuesday blocked internet access across the country as pro-democracy activists marked the first anniversary of a coup that derailed the transition to civilian rule, a web monitor said.

Reports show a “nation-scale internet disruption,” online monitor NetBlocks reported, with AFP correspondents confirming the network shutdown, as security forces mobilized throughout the capital Khartoum blocking roads and bridges.

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The military takeover halted Sudan’s transition to democracy following the overthrow of Omar al-Bashir in 2019, and threw an economy already in crisis further into turmoil. Foreign donors quickly suspended relations and the currency tumbled as the government hiked taxes spurring numerous strikes.

A year on, Sudan’s military leaders have not appointed a prime minister, while those loyal to Bashir purged from the civil service have returned.

Generals are now engaged in negotiations with the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition that had been sharing power prior to the coup. The talks are facilitated by the United Nations and African Union, as well as the “Quad” of the United States, the UK, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

The FFC last week presented its vision for a fully civilian-led authority to lead a transition to elections.

But the resistance committees that have sustained the anti- military protest movement with regular demonstrations have mostly rejected talks with the military and demand that its leaders be brought to justice over the killings of over 100 protesters and other alleged violations.

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