Sudanese security forces on Sunday fired tear gas at an anti-coup rally by a group of teachers at the start of a two-day civil disobedience call against last month’s military takeover.
At a rally outside the education ministry in the capital Khartoum, dozens of teachers carried banners that read “No, no for military rule” and called for a transition to “full civilian rule”.
Nationwide anti-coup protests – involving thousands on 30 October – have taken place since the 25 October coup, but have been met with a deadly crackdown. At least 14 protesters have been killed and nearly 300 have been injured, according to Sudan’s independent Central Committee of Doctors.
“We organized a silent stand against Burhan’s decisions outside the Ministry of Education,” said Mohammad al-Amin, a geography teacher who participated in that stand against the country’s top general, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
“The police came later and fired tear gas at us, though we were just standing on the streets carrying banners,” he said.
There were no immediate reports of casualties, but a union of Sudanese teachers said that “a large number of teachers were detained.”
The teachers’ rally followed the military leadership, which replaced the heads of departments in the Ministry of Education as part of the wider changes the coup had brought in several sectors.
“The protest rejects the return of remnants of the old regime,” the teachers union said in a Facebook post, with ousted President Omar al-Bashir K.
Sunday’s rally followed a call for civil disobedience by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), an umbrella of unions that played a key role in the 2018-2019 protests that ousted longtime autocrat Bashir in April 2019. Had given.
“The Sudanese people have rejected the military coup,” the SPA said on Twitter, “no dialogue, no partnership, no legitimacy.”
“We will begin Sunday and Monday by barricading main streets to prepare for mass civil disobedience,” urging protesters to avoid clashes with security forces.
According to eyewitnesses and AFP correspondents, since late Saturday, protesters were seen piling up bricks and large slabs to block roads in Khartoum and neighboring cities.
The latest resistance effort came nearly two weeks after Burhan dissolved the government as well as the ruling Joint Military-Citizens Sovereign Council, which was supposed to move the country towards full civilian rule.
Burhan also declared a state of emergency and detained Sudan’s civilian leadership.
The SPA broadcast its latest appeals via text messages to bypass internet outages since Putch.
According to eyewitnesses, as of Sunday morning, some shops were still open, but others in Khartoum and its twin cities Omdurman and Khartoum-North were closed.
Following the civil disobedience call, “movement on the streets is less than usual, but there has been no complete blockade or shops closed on the streets”, said a witness for Omdurman, who declined to be named for fear of reprisal. Gave.
Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok was briefly detained but later placed under effective house arrest.
On Thursday, the military released four civilian members of his government, but other prominent people remain in custody.
On the same day, security forces arrested other civilian leaders near a UN building in Khartoum after a meeting with the UN Special Representative in Perth, Sudan Volker.
“We call on the military leadership to stop arresting politicians and activists and stop human rights violations,” Perth said in a statement on Friday.
The military takeover drew international condemnation, including calls for cuts in punitive aid and a swift return to civilian rule.
Burhan insisted it was “not a coup” but a move to “correct the course of the transition”.