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Protesters vow to remain in streets, suspend communication with military despite warning

By
Darryl Coote
Sudanese protests vow to remain in the streets despite the military's orders against blocking traffic and roads. EPA-EFE/STR
Sudanese protests vow to remain in the streets despite the military's orders against blocking traffic and roads. EPA-EFE/STR

April 22 (UPI) -- Sudanese protesters defied military demands and said they will continue demonstrating in Khartoum until civil rule is instituted.

On Monday, the ruling Transitional Military Council warned protesters against blocking roads and hindering the movement of citizens, specifically out front of army headquarters in the capital city of Khartoum.

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The army headquarters has been the location since December of opposition protests by the Sudanese Professionals Association demanding that President Omar al-Bashir be ousted, which the military did in an April 11 coup.

Since al-Bashir's ousting, sit-in protests have continued. The opposition has said it will continue until the Transitional Military Council hands rule of the country to civil society. The Transitional Military Council has previously said it would require two years to do so.

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On Monday, protesters continued to operate checkpoints on roads near their protest site at the army headquarters while arranging protests for a parade protest for Tuesday, despite the Transitional Military Council having called for the "immediate opening of the roads and removal of the barricades."

The call comes as the Forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change, which the Sudanese Professionals Association is a lead member, announced that it would be cutting off all communication with the Transitional Military Council over worries it is trying to give the country's rule over the members of the old regimen.

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In a statement released Monday, the Sudanese Professionals Association said it made the decision following a meeting between opposition forces and the military.

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"The TMC clearly expressed that it does not recognize the DFC forces as the representative of the protestors in the sit-down strike and that it considers other forces -- forces that include allies of the deposed regime -- as legitimate partners in the transitional period."

During the meeting, the military framed the Declaration of Freedom and Change forces as being "fragmented" and not able to rule the country, the Sudanese Professionals Association said.

It also charged Lt. Gen. Omar Zain al-Abdin, a chairman of the Transitional Military Council, of "trying his best to bring back the deposed regime from the window after the Sudanese people reject it in the widest popular terms."

Despite its statement to cut off communication, the Transitional Military Council said it will continue to reach out to all parties, the Sudan Tribune reported.

Transitional Military Council spokesman Shams al-Din Kabbashi said its aim is to create "a political environment full of harmony and transcendence."

He said it is considering the Declaration of Freedom and Change's transitional government, but that it is also considering others.

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